Proportional value of interventions across pathways and layers of the biosecurity system

Project ID: 170621
Project Name: Proportional value of interventions across pathways and layers of the biosecurity system (extension of project 1606E)
CEBRA Project Leader: Assoc Prof Andrew Robinson
NZ MPI Sponsor: Steve Hathaway, Director Biosecurity Science, Food Science and Risk Assessment, Regulation & Assurance Branch, MPI
MPI Project Leader: Christine Reed, Manager, Biosecurity Science and Risk Assessment, Regulation and Assurance
Collaborators: Ecki Brockerhoff, SCION

This project is an extension of project 16006E: Scoping the value of performance of interventions across the NZ Biosecurity system.

The MPI biosecurity system faces increasing pressure from significant increases in goods and passengers, changing pathways and types of goods. With this increasing pressure, all layers of the system need to work together cost-effectively to maximise the reduction of biosecurity risk to New Zealand under sharply constrained resources.

In order to increase the efficiency of biosecurity investment and to identify opportunities for substantial improvement, the Ministry needs to determine the relative contribution of each layer towards biosecurity effectiveness. Presently, there is no agreed framework or process available to evaluate the comparative value of biosecurity activities implemented at intersecting sites across the biosecurity system matrix. Without knowledge on the likely effectiveness and costs of activities and control measures, risk management decisions on measures and allocation of resources at different “nodes” cannot be systematically evaluated.

This project seeks to further develop a decision-support framework that would significantly improve risk management decisions and resource allocation throughout the biosecurity system (from pre-border to pest management) by applying a systematic risk / return approach and evidence based analysis. The project will focus on extending current work on a high-level framework and example case studies e.g. fruit flies and brown marmorated stinkbug, to provide a much more comprehensive tool to populate with data across all major pathways.

The project objectives are an extension to those provided for project 1606E:

1. Develop a fit-for-purpose pathway-based framework using the seven layers of the NZ biosecurity system that will allow risk management decisions to be made on a risk / return basis.

2. Provide specific performance outputs for specified pests e.g. fruit fly, BMSB, and selected pathways

Comparative analyses will ultimately, after (i) the completion of this scoping project, (ii) appropriate generalization of its outcomes, and (ii) implementation of its recommendations:

  • Illustrate the value of the current allocation of biosecurity activities and resources
  • Inform and justify reallocation of resources where needed
  • Provide evidence-based information for adjustment of existing measures at specific nodes in the biosecurity system matrix
  • Support communication of the holistic and interdependent nature of the biosecurity system to all stakeholders.

The first year of the study (2016 – 2017) initiated a framework through which MPI could summarise the actions of the biosecurity system against a pest.

The second year of the project (2017 – 2018):

  • established that
    1. the simple framework advanced in the first year was unable to capture the complexities of the interactions of post-border investment choices,
    2. often, pre-border activities did not fall neatly into the three pre-border layers, and
    3. the structure of the three pre-border categories implied a hierarchy that was unsupported by reference to the activities being undertaken;
  • trialled a two-stage approach whereby more detailed snapshots of pathways will be used to estimating the impacts of activities, and simpler representations (namely, pre/at/post-border) used as summary tools;
  • reviewed candidate bio-economic models to best represent the impacts of post-border investment;
  • developed a suitable representation of uncertainty; and
  • developed a means of handling pest groups efficiently, e.g., timber pests.
  • is now representing the system across three main areas (Pre-border, border and post-border) with four main pathways (craft, cargo, mail, passenger) overlaid with the seven groups of biosecurity risk assessment/management activities as identified in CEBRA project 1607 “The health of the Australia Biosecurity System” - (Anticipate, Prevent, Screen, Prepare, Direct, Respond, Recover).

The third year of the project (2018 – 2019) will:

  • Test and finalise the biological component (i.e. estimates of risk reduction across intervention activities of the system) of the risk decision support tool by running the top 20 priority pests identified by MPI though the matrix;
  • Identify opportunities for enhancements, automation or simplification including acquisition and use of MPI data and resources.

Final Report - 1606E

Interim  Report - 170621

Final  Report - 170621

Research program

Strengthening Surveillance

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