Charting a Path Forward for Developing Global Field Epidemiological Capacity

Since the 1970s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has supported the development of field epidemiology training programs (FETPs) around the world. However, as the number of countries with FETPs has grown, challenges have emerged including FETP institutionalization and sustainability, quality assurance and improvement, role confusion among partners, funding diversification, career paths for graduates, and more. At this juncture, there is a critical need for a collectively agreed-upon strategic roadmap for the future.

From June 11-15, 2018, TEPHINET's parent organization, The Task Force for Global Health, held a meeting of TEPHINET and several key partners who are collectively engaged in ensuring effective disease outbreak detection and response worldwide. Participants included representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TEPHINET, regional FETP networks, FETP directors, and major foundations. Participants convened at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy to begin developing an updated roadmap for building global epidemiology capacity through the FETPs. This roadmap will be created in accordance with the following objectives:

1. To establish a collectively agreed-upon path forward that reestablishes the larger mission of the global FETP development program
2. To streamline and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the various partners in this effort
3. To harmonize the goals and expectations of funders and implementers
4. To establish clear success metrics for the various dimensions of this capacity-building effort

Next steps

Meeting participants are now working to prepare a report of the meeting outcomes to share with stakeholders. A final report will be released publicly by this fall. TEPHINET will share more information about this initiative in the coming months, starting with the 2018 TEPHINET Program Directors Meeting in July.