Public Health Workforce Capacity Roadmap and Action Plan
In early 2022 the World Health Organization (WHO) released the publication, “National workforce capacity to implement the essential public health functions including a focus on emergency preparedness and response: Roadmap for aligning WHO and partner contributions” . This workforce roadmap builds upon a number of declarations and resolutions2 as well as joint efforts of leading public health and emergency response experts, organizations and associations. The Roadmap conceptualises an approach to scoping, defining, and building the capacity of the public health workforce1 by both consolidating evidence and building on existing resources. This will drive a consistent and concerted effort to build Public Health workforce capacity building across all countries. The proposed conceptual approach of the Roadmap includes:
- Defining essential public health functions (EPHFs), subfunctions and services in the post-COVID era;
- Identifying skills and competencies required to deliver these functions and develop competency-based education tools to assist with the delivery of functions and services; and
- Mapping and measuring the size and profile of occupations engaged in the delivery of these functions and services.
As implementing this roadmap will require a different approach in each country, the roadmap also proposes a progression matrix which will:
- Aid countries to benchmark themselves and assess their current situation on each action area;
- Facilitate tools to aid advancement along the progression matrix; and
- Support progress to the “full implementation” level in each of the action areas .
With ambitious targets and timelines set, this roadmap requires the support of a diverse and broad coalition of partners, stakeholders, collective collaboration and action from governments, funders, technical partners, academic public health institutions, national public health institutes and civil society organizations .
To assist with the immediate activities and deliverables in the first 2-year Roadmap period (July 2022 to June 2024) the WHO has also published an Action Plan, “National workforce capacity to implement the essential public health functions including a focus on emergency preparedness and response: Action Plan (2022–2024) for aligning WHO and partner contributions”.
This Action Plan identifies five workstreams  which include:
- Defining EPHFs, subfunctions and services
- Competency-based education
- Mapping and measurement of occupations
- Knowledge translation and dissemination
- General coordination
The Action Plan aims to meet the following targets:
- By the end of June 2023, all tools and guidance are available for country contextualization and endorsed by the participating organizations; and
- By the end of June 2024, at least 100 countries have benchmarked themselves on the three action areas and developed action plans for implementation .
To realise and refine the Roadmap, the Public Health and Emergency Workforce Roadmap Steering Committee was convened and met between October 17-19th in Geneva, with CAPHIA represented by the Global Network of Academic Public Health (GNAPH) chair Laura Magaña. Twitter posts from the meetings showed discussion points for the Roadmap Steering Committee and partners included:
- Outlining actions to identify skills and competencies needed to deliver essential public health functions (especially in emergency preparedness and response);
- Developing a definition, classification and scope of practice of the essential public health workforce and their functions;
- Providing high-level guidance and develop global public goods in defining education outcomes that are useable and useful in employment for the public health workforce; and
- Mobilising global political leadership, stakeholder partnerships and collaboration around an integrated approach to strengthening the public health workforce.
If you are on Twitter, you can follow updates on by using #1healthworkforce
You can also sign up for monthly email updates from the WHO Health Workforce Department here.
- National workforce capacity to implement the essential public health functions including a focus on emergency preparedness and response: roadmap for aligning WHO and partner contributions. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
- National workforce capacity to implement the essential public health functions including a focus on emergency preparedness and response: action plan (2022–2024) for aligning WHO and partner contributions. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.