Appendix B: Epidemiological Modelling Tool from Forecasting and control of emerging infectious forest disease through participatory modelling

Epidemiological models are powerful tools for evaluating scenarios and visualizing patterns of disease spread, especially when comparing intervention strategies. However, the technical skill required to synthesize and operate computational models frequently renders them beyond the command of the stakeholders who are most impacted by the results. Participatory modelling (PM) strives to restructure the power relationship between modellers and the stakeholders who rely on model insights by involving these stakeholders directly in model development and application; yet, a systematic literature review indicates little adoption of these techniques in epidemiology, especially plant epidemiology. We investigate the potential for PM to integrate stakeholder and researcher knowledge, using Phytophthora ramorum and the resulting disease sudden oak death as a case study. Recent introduction of a novel strain (European 1 or EU1) in southwestern Oregon has prompted significant concern and presents an opportunity for coordinated management to minimize regional pathogen impacts. Using a PM framework, we worked with local stakeholders to develop an interactive forecasting tool for evaluating landscape-scale control strategies. We find that model co-development has great potential to empower stakeholders in the design, development and application of epidemiological models for disease control.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Detection, forecasting and control of infectious disease epidemics: modelling outbreaks in humans, animals and plants Part 2’.