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Mathematical models that capture COVID-19 dynamics have supported public health responses and policy development since the beginning of the pandemic, yet there is limited discourse to describe features of an optimal modelling platform to support policy decisions or how modellers and policy makers have engaged with each other. Here, we outline how we used a modelling software platform to support public health decision making for the COVID-19 response in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) countries of the Philippines, Malaysia and Viet Nam. This perspective describes an approach to support evidence-based public health decisions and policy, which may help inform other responses to similar outbreak events. The platform we describe formed the basis for one of the inaugural World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific (WPRO) Innovation Challenge awards, and was backed by collaboration between epidemiological modellers, those providing public health advice, and policy makers.