An international audit committee of scientific experts, commissioned by the RIVM Scientific Advisory Board, reviewed the institute’s COVID-19 data analytics and modelling work. These models and data formed a scientific basis for recommendations by the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) and others on COVID-19 control measures in the Netherlands.
The aim of the audit was to assess the scientific quality and independence of COVID-19 modelling at RIVM. The audit focused on COVID-19 modelling between January 2020 and June 2022 in preparation for advisory opinions and policy recommendations provided to Dutch government ministries and the Cabinet by the OMT and the Health Council, among others. RIVM used scientific calculation models to map the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and assess the severity of the novel virus. Using data from surveillance and research in the Netherlands, it was possible to predict estimates for the course of the outbreak, the number of hospital and ICU admissions, or the effect of a suite of measures. The resulting data was also used to calculate various scenarios for measures, their impact and the associated consequences, which were then presented by RIVM. RIVM updated the calculated scenarios on an ongoing basis.
In the evaluation report, the audit committee indicates how these efforts compare to similar work in other countries, and offers RIVM recommendations for improvements. A complete overview of the findings and recommendations of the international audit committee can be found in the scientific audit report and in the factsheet (only in Dutch). In its response to the audit, RIVM reflects on the audit commit’s strategic recommendations.