About us

GA4GH Startup Guide


Everything you need to know to get started as an active contributor in the GA4GH community.

About GA4GH

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) is an international, nonprofit alliance formed in 2013 to accelerate the potential of research and medicine to advance human health. Bringing together 500+ leading organizations working in healthcare, research, patient advocacy, life science, and information technology, the GA4GH community is working together to create frameworks and standards to enable the responsible, voluntary, and secure sharing of genomic and health-related data. All of our work builds upon the Framework for Responsible Sharing of Genomic and Health-Related Data.

GA4GH: The Global Standards Organization for Genomics

Learn more: GA4GH Overview 1-Pager

Work to Date

Since the launch of GA4GH Connect in 2018—a 5-year strategic plan—the GA4GH Steering Committee has approved over twenty new deliverables—from technical standards and APIs to policies and frameworks. In addition, the Regulatory and Ethics Work Stream runs the GDPR & International Health Data Sharing Forum, which provides guidance to the community in a monthly briefing. In 2020, GA4GH unveiled an updated product roadmap, along with strategic areas of focus: Interoperability, Implementation, and Clinical Engagement. To demonstrate progress on these initiatives, GA4GH showcased the 2020 Connection Demos at the 8th Plenary meeting, demonstrating GA4GH standards working together in real-world scenarios.

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Enabling a Global Learning Health System

GA4GH standards can help play a role at every step throughout a learning health system—from patient consent to data analysis to.

GA4GH Community

Core to driving GA4GH standards development work are the GA4GH Work Streams—working groups that are focused on key areas to enable global data sharing. GA4GH Work Streams collaborate with GA4GH Driver Projects—real-world genomic data initiatives that provide input on the standards most needed for the international genomics community to share data. The synergy between GA4GH Work Streams and Driver Projects fuel the creation of the technical standards and regulatory frameworks most needed by the international genomics community. Driver Projects put finished frameworks and standards to immediate use. GA4GH’s Partner Engagement initiative ensures proactive two-way dialogue at both the national and organizational level with potential end-users of GA4GH frameworks and standards to enable uptake in real-world settings.

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Roles & Responsibilities

In addition to the 500+ member organizations, which maintain an observing role within GA4GH, our community consists of a variety of active contributor roles. These include Driver Project Champions, Work Stream Leads, and Work Stream Contributors. GA4GH governance is overseen by a Strategic Advisory Board, Steering Committee, and Executive Committee, and operations are supported by a globally distributed Secretariat.

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GA4GH Processes

By contributing to the GA4GH Work Streams, individuals agree to the Standards for Professional Conduct. All Deliverables that emerge from the Work Streams must pass through the Product Approval Process before becoming confirmed as a GA4GH standard. The product approval process includes review by the Data Security and Regulatory & Ethics Work Streams.

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Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved with the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. Please find yourself in the list below and take the appropriate actions.

  1. Apply online for your organization to become a GA4GH Member
  2. Register for the next GA4GH Plenary Meeting
  3. Subscribe to GA4GH emails
  4. Contact GA4GH Secretariat to join a specific Work Stream
  5. Are you a newcomer to GA4GH? Learn more and join our Onboarding Contact Program!
If you’re a member of a new Driver Project:

Please contact your Driver Project Champion to learn how you can get involved from within your organization.