The Policy Delphi: A Method for Identifying Intended and Unintended Consequences of Educational Policy

We conducted a modified policy Delphi with expert stakeholders that involved generating, evaluating, and ranking potential policy options to address the data sharing issue with cancer variants (with a focus on the US context). We found policy options in the financial sustainability domain were highly ranked, particularly stable funding for trusted entities.
Sir John had laboratories named after him at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
From Getty Images
Outcomes from the final round of our modified policy Delphi process revealed that the most feasible, effective, and high-priority policy options to advance the genomic cancer variant commons were connected to funders. The policy options included establishing stable funding for data-sharing initiatives, advancing equity, implementing data quality standards, strengthening incentives for data sharing, and protecting privacy and data security.

These prioritized policy options conflict with panelists’ perceptions about the sustainability of funding for data sharing. Cultural shifts to enable stable funding for data-sharing initiatives were noted as critical to long-term success. Equity continues to be a high priority domain to address, but a clear path forward remains elusive. Data resources are important actors, but panelists were unconvinced they could resolve the identified issues alone.

Policy makers should consider these findings, and especially the points to consider raised by Delphi panelists, to ensure policies are implemented that facilitate sustainable cancer variant data commons that provide quality data, protect privacy, promote equity, and improve cancer care.