Field epidemiology training programs (FETP) leaders, partners, and supporters from across the globe gathered in a global, comprehensive, and strategic planning meeting held at the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy between June 11 and 15, 2018. Organized by the Task Force for Global Health, in collaboration with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the meeting saw the beginnings of a design for an FETPs global roadmap. The roadmap will facilitate the harmonized efforts among the partners, and it will therefore result in effective use of available resources for the development of strong and sustainable field epidemiology capacities worldwide.
During the meeting, partners discussed and identified challenges that affect the decade-long investment in global epidemiology capacity. This meeting helped the participants to develop strategies to address the challenges by defining their common vision, identifying specific functions to realize their vision, stressing the importance of program institutionalization and placement of graduates, and finding ways to assure sustainable funding for all components of FETP enterprises. Participants also discussed challenges of the overlapping of roles among various FETP support structures, as well as the need for systematic program quality assurance. They also highlighted the importance of needs-based, geographic prioritization in establishing new FETPs.
At the conclusion of the meeting, partners developed the first draft of the roadmap which will be endorsed for future publication. This roadmap will guide the partners to streamline their roles and responsibilities and harmonize their efforts to meet the expectations of funders and to use the available resources efficiently.
This meeting powerfully enhanced potential partnership to develop a strong and sustainable field epidemiology capacity worldwide.