What problem did it address, where?
Early sharing of information - on disease occurrence, diagnostic methods, etc - is important to improve the chances of control of transboundary animal diseases. Networks of laboratories have been set up in S Asia, S E Asia and E. Asia for sharing of information and experience on diagnosis and techniques for testing for avian influenza. The Pan-African Rinderpest Campaign (P.A.R.C.) also adopted similar approach. Networking of epidemiology units has also been used in the cases of new world screw worm, classical swine fever, and food and mouth disease.
FAO can provide the neutral international forum for information sharing - FAO has an advantage here in not being the body responsible for mandatory reporting for animal disease. Through FAO-facilitated networks disease professionals can collaborate internationally away from the political spotlight. FAO has considerable experience managing such disease-specific or regional networks, and has learnt important lessons. Between 1999 and 2002, RADISCON for instance (linking 29 countries in N Africa and the Middle East) was only of limited success, the reasons being that it did not deliver sufficiently functional or flexible tools, while there were significant cultural differences between the countries included in the network.
In future, the Global Framework for the Eradication of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs) will aim for smaller/more similar groups of countries to ensure that these networks are most effective