Mission, Vision and Values

What IANPHI Does

IANPHI is the only organization that strengthens national public health institutes (NPHIs) using an evidence-based international framework for development. Its unique peer-to-peer model, supported by targeted investments, leads to long-term national self-sufficiency. Since 2006 our investments have measurably improved capacity in 45 countries.

IANPHI is also a professional network of NPHI directors. They are accomplished and highly-regarded global leaders, who share a wealth of public health insight and practical solutions that hold promise for a healthier, more secure world. Individually, they lead their countries’ efforts to protect and improve health. Collectively, they comprise a unique global resource to strengthen national public health capacity and diminish collective vulnerabilities around the world.

Why IANPHI Matters

IANPHI’s unique focus on NPHIs has led to measurable improvements in capacity including outbreak surveillance and response for Ebola, Zika, and other urgent threats that require swift, comprehensive public health cooperation across borders. IANPHI members also exchange best practices and technical capacity for major threats to public health such as tobacco use and bodily injuries, and risk factors for chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

The partnership between our members and our holistic approach to developing comprehensive institutes rather than investing in vertical disease programs – makes IANPHI unique.

To learn more about IANPHI's mission and governance, you can read:

National Public Health Institutes

To do the job of public health – detect, measure, and tackle health challenges through population-based interventions – every country must carry out a set of functions that are the cornerstone of strong public health systems. Key among these are: 

  • Population health assessment (assessing the health status of the population)
  • Health protection (surveillance and response)
  • Research (evidence to inform policies and programs)
Many countries consolidate these functions organizationally in a “national public health institute” – a science-based organization (or network of organizations) that provides leadership and coordination for public health at the national level. In most cases, NPHIs are part of the government (usually under the Ministry of Health) or closely attached to it.

The United States version of a national public health institute is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Similarly, there are Public Health England in the U.K., the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands. Some NPHIs, such as those in Brazil (Fiocruz) and Finland (National Institute for Health and Welfare), have existed for decades. Others, such as the Public Health Agency of Canada, were created in the wake of major and dramatic public health crises that highlighted deficits in capacity, leadership, and coordination. Countries such as Kenya and Cameroon are actively working to create new NPHIs with IANPHI assistance. 

The world's NPHIs vary greatly. Yet, despite their differences in history, scope, and resources, NPHIs all provide core public health functions that improve their countries’ efforts to address public health challenges both within and beyond their borders. Consolidating these functions — and the associated skills, disciplines, experience, and expertise — in an NPHI provides many benefits:
  • Improved delivery of public health services
  • More efficient use of funds
  • Ability to generate and share knowledge, data, and evidence to inform public health decisions and policies
  • Increased capacity to mount a quick, decisive, and coordinated response during a public health emergency
  • Visible national leadership for public health issues
  • Ability to develop public health policy agendas and resource allocation in line with the country’s own priorities
  • Consistent policies and harmonized procedures
  • Linkages among all those working to improve public health in the country
NPHIs also create a central focus for human resources in public health and provide a career path and nucleus of public health professionals to carry out core public health functions.

Learn more about NPHI core functions and attributes