Pandemic Proof Is Back for Season 2

When we launched Pandemic Proof, many countries were still in the throes of the health and economic shocks of COVID-19. Lessons learned from the pandemic were still fresh. And the visibility and urgency of the pandemic catalyzed some important policy action, including the establishment of innovative financing mechanisms like the Pandemic Fund, which issued its first cycle of grants last year. Against this backdrop, we spoke with experts across the field during season 1 of the podcast to explore priority policy proposals and monitor implementation of efforts to strengthen global capacity for pandemic preparedness and response.

Despite important progress, global systems are far from prepared for another pandemic threat. Estimates suggest a 50/50 chance of another pandemic on the scale of COVID-19 in the next 25 years. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s surveillance system recorded 166 public health events, including outbreaks, in 2023 alone. At the same time, the number of drug-resistant infections keeps creeping up while the pipeline for new antimicrobial treatments remains dry. And efforts to bolster global capacity are at risk of stalling due to insufficient financing and political will. For example, the Pandemic Fund has only secured a fraction of the funding needed to strengthen global preparedness and response.

Join CGD’s global health experts for season 2 of Pandemic Proof as we dive back into these issues. This time, we’ll examine the challenges and opportunities of strengthening pandemic preparedness and response in the post-COVID world. We’ll also consider ways to keep the lessons learned from COVID-19 and other recent outbreaks in the collective conscious.

Like last season, episodes will feature interviews with experts from around the world. Javier Guzman will return as the host for the season. He’ll also pass the microphone to a few CGD colleagues, who will guest host episodes throughout the season.

Stay tuned as we keep our eyes on a few key upcoming milestones. For example, several pandemic financing mechanisms face important milestones for operationalization (such as the Africa Epidemics Fund and the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator) and advancement (with the Pandemic Fund undergoing its second call for proposals). Multilateral initiatives like Gavi are defining their role in pandemic preparedness and response as they revamp strategies and gear up for pivotal replenishment cycles. The Pandemic Accord may shift from theory to action, as member states decide whether to sign on at the World Health Assembly in May. And preparations are already underway for the High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance at this year’s United Nations General Assembly.

Tune in Thursday for the first episode of this new season, in which Javier will be joined by Dr. Jean Kaseya (Director General, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) to discuss progress and challenges in strengthening pandemic preparedness and response in Africa. Pandemic Proof is available on the CGD Podcast stream, so make sure you’re subscribed to the CGD Podcast on AppleSpotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. And in the meantime, check out past episodes—including on ensuring equity in global responses and reflecting on media coverage during COVID-19—and more of CGD’s work on financing for outbreak preparedness and response and global health security.


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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.