Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP)

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are now the first cause of morbidity and mortality in most countries. In September 2011, the UN Assembly dedicated to NCDs resulted in a Political Declaration urging the necessary inclusion of NCDs on the political agenda of all countries globally. However, capacity within Ministries of Health of low and middle-income countries (LMIC) to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as well as health promotion strategies to address the growing burden of NCDs lags far behind that of infectious disease.

For many years, the IUHPE has been and continues to be dedicated to building capacity for health promotion, addressing NCDs and the social determinants of health (SDH) towards health equity and social justice. In 2011, IUHPE prioritised its focus on NCDs, SDH, health promotion systems and sustainable development as priority areas of action through 2016.

As such, through a number of long-term multi-partner efforts and with its vast expert network as key asset, the IUHPE has contributed to and facilitated a number of actions to build capacity globally for NCD prevention in LMIC and integrate health promotion approaches in order to build a home-grown, sustainable, and well-trained workforce for addressing today's major public health challenge.


This dimension of work aims to:

  • collaborate with key agencies and Ministries of Health in LMIC to build capacity for NCD prevention and control in these countries

  • facilitate the development of tools and resources for building capacity for NCD prevention and control

  • contribute to strengthening the CDC Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) to include NCD, SDH and health promotion dimensions



Capacity building for mobilizing communities to addressing NCDs


Training courses in Thailand and Colombia

To contribute to building capacity for mobilizing communities to address NCDs in LMIC, the IUHPE, CDC, the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the InterAmerican Heart Foundation, in close collaboration with a number of key stakeholders at the local level, conducted two training courses: one in Thailand and one in Colombia.

The experience from these courses in Thailand and Colombia reinforces the importance of considering the local realities, diversity, dynamics, needs and socio-political context when planning such courses. So that the solutions generated are best suited to the in which these actions are to be carried out.

However, even though Thailand and Colombia workshops differed in relation to context, there was sufficient commonality in methodology used, the scope of actions, the planning process and outcomes of the courses to enable the construction of a global framework for capacity building for Non-Communicable Disease mobilization. This framework may be applicable in other low- and middle-income countries.


Related publications


Identifying priorities for building global capacity for NCD prevention in LMIC - a two step approach


A workshop on Building Global Capacity for NCD Prevention: Defining Direction and Roles

In July 2012, CDC and IUHPE hosted a multisectoral stakeholders meeting to discuss roles and define a way forward for NCD capacity building in low and middle income countries (LMIC) in response to the United Nations High-Level Meeting political declaration call for international collaboration around a broad range of actions, including the need to build capacity for NCD prevention and control in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).

The meeting brought together government and nongovernmental representatives from LMIC and key international organizations to start defining priority areas of work, translating these identified areas into a common multi-stakeholder agenda, and addressing the range of roles that could be best used to implement activities and deliver concrete outcomes.

  • Read the proceedings and executive summary of the workshop discussions.

  • A commentary on the meeting was submitted for publication in Global Health Promotion - "A meeting on Building Global Capacity for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Prevention: Defining Direction and Roles". McQueen D., Pratt M., Blanchard C. (2013).

  • An article based on meeting discussions - "Tackling NCDs in LMICs: Systems and Capacity Needed to Turn the Tide". Mohammed K. Ali, Cristina Rabadán-Diehl, John Flanigan, Claire Blanchard, K.M. Venkat Narayan, Michael Engelgau (Science Translational Medicine 2013).


A consensus-building process

Though very productive in producing a broad list of required actions on the much needed capacity building dimension of NCD prevention and control, a short consensus-building process was conducted to refine prioritization according to meeting objectives:

  • the key needs to increase NCD prevention capacity in LMIC

  • the role of health promotion in addressing NCDs

  • roles for organizations and institutions and LMIC represented at the workshop

  • areas for joint action on NCD capacity building in LMIC, and

  • specific steps for addressing and operationalizing the capacity building agenda.


Results of the consensus building process are presented in various documents:


Organising and holding a one day NCD component at AMNET annual conferences


A one day curriculum to introduce programming into conferences, where NCD epidemiology is absent, was developed and tested at two of the Americas' Network for Chronic Disease Surveillance (AMNET) Annual meetings (in Argentina in October 2011 and in Costa Rica in November 2012).


Developing an online course for building capacity of primary care practitioners in the Latin American region - Health Promotion, Social determination of health and Epidemiology of NCDs in Latin America


With the aim of building capacity for health workers to address NCDs in Latin America through innovative Practices that integrate health promotion, epidemiology and the social determinants of health, the IUHPE, CDC, Americas' Network for Chronic Disease Surveillance (AMNET) and Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET) are leading the development of a large programme of work on health promotion from primary health care services in Latin America comprising as an initial step a series of courses on Investigating NCDs in My Community.

This initiative of the alliance for NCD capacity building - ALIANZANET (IUHPE, AMNET, TEPHINET, CDC) has for goal the development of tools/ series of virtual courses (distance learning and online) to train health professionals that can and must have an approach to NCDs in their environments, work and community.

The first course developed is a course on Health Promotion, Social determination of health and Epidemiology of NCDs in Latin America. You will soon be able to access this virtual resources.

Latin America is a very diverse region with very different contexts defined not only geographically, but also in terms of lifestyles, cultures, ethnicities, available resources for capacity building, environments and political contexts, among others.

Thus the next stage of this first course is a large piloting phase across seven countries representative of the sub-regions of Latin America to ensure the relevance of course materials and validate its modality for the region and target participating groups.


An NCD assessment tool in FETP priority countries


To provide technical assistance to ministries of health in various LMIC countries, CDC developed an NCD assessment tool to provide uniform information that will be used by each country to identify gaps and strengths in NCD capacity training, surveillance, advocacy, planning, and evidence-based prevention strategies. The information gathered by the tool will inform and facilitate the discussion between CDC, the Ministry of Health and additional stakeholders about priorities in terms of NCD activities and technical assistance.

The specific objectives of the tool are to:

  • Build a profile to understand current national capacity for NCD prevention and control

  • Assist the country to identify needs, opportunities and priorities while strengthening the capacity building efforts between CDC, the ministry of health and additional partners

  • Inform decision-making for future NCD plans and projects

This tool is intended to be a guided self-assessment and it is meant to be a consultation between CDC personnel along with the person (or persons) in charge of NCDs inside the Ministry of Health. It only provides a profile for consultation purposes between CDC and the ministry of health and will not be used for comparison purposes. The information gathered for this tool belongs to the country.




The production of this web page and some activities described have received financial support from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an Agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement Number CDC RFA DP07-708 on Building Capacity of Developing Countries to Prevent non-Communicable Diseases with the International Union for Health Promotion and Education. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.