Building operational public health capacity through collaborative networks of National Public Health Institutes

Robert Verrecchia*, Osman Dar, Olaa Mohamed-Ahmed, Neil Squires

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The strengthening of public health systems internationally is integral to the improvement and protection of global population health. Essential public health functions and services are provided for by a range of organisations working together, often co-ordinated and strategically led by national Ministries of Health. Increasingly, however, National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs) are being developed to better integrate and support the delivery of these services. In this paper, we outline the role of NPHIs, analyse their advantages and shortcomings, and explore their potential to deliver enhanced public health through collaborative networking as well as partnership with WHO.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001868
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Many countries such as Brazil and Finland established NPHIs decades ago, while others came into existence more recently. Some of these were formed in response to public health challenges that highlighted a need for specific capacity, leadership and co-ordination, such as the Public Health Agency of Canada, which was formed following the 2002–2003 SARS outbreak. Others resulted from the restructuring of public health services such as in the UK and China. Over the past decade, there has been an increasing recognition of the value that NPHIs bring, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), and thus many of these countries have formed new NPHIs, often with the support of grant money mobilised through the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI).3 NPHIs also vary in their regulatory roles and in their position and independence within government. While many NPHIs report

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Author(s).


  • public health


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