One of the main uses of mathematical models is that they can assess the impact of a range of potential control strategies rapidly, efficiently and with no risk to the population. Much of the applied work in WIDER therefore focuses on assessment of control strategies against a number of infectious diseases, and determining which of these potential strategies is optimal in terms of minimising costs while maximising benefits. Examples of this approach include:

In addition to these applied problems, work in WIDER also considers the more methodology questions of how we determine the true optimal control strategy in a dynamic, ever-changing outbreak situation. Here ideas from optimal control theory are key to underpinning the development.