IETA Program Overview
The International Experience & Technical Assistance (IETA) Program was established in 1997, as the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) continued to increase its role in the direct provision of global prevention and prevention research programs. Participants in the IETA program provided technical assistance to countries, while offering these Federal Public Health Service employees the opportunity to gain experience overseas. Today the program is housed in the Coordinating Office for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, following the same principles upon which it was founded.
Over a 12-month period, IETA participants complete three 5-day workshops in Atlanta, Georgia as well as a supervised international assignment of at least 12 weeks in a less-developed country. Participants continue to work in their current positions with time away to attend workshops and complete their international assignments. The employee’s office covers salary and costs associated with all training, while the host program office covers all costs associated with the international assignment.
The IETA program aims to build a pool of CDC staff qualified for and interested in long-term assignments in our global programs as well as create a cadre of staff capable of responding to increasing requests for short term international technical assistance.
Benefits of the program are two-fold: IETA provides its participants with a supervised work experience in the international public health sector while supporting personnel needs of CDC programs as organizations benefit from IETA assignees working abroad.
- Build a pool of CDC staff qualified for and interested in long-term assignments in our global programs.
- Create a cadre of staff capable of responding to increasing requests for short term international technical assistance.
- Provide IETA participants with a supervised work experience in the international public health sector.
- Support personnel needs of CDC programs and organizations benefiting from IETA assignees working abroad.
IETA workshops are designed to provide an introduction to the program as well as cover practical issues of international travel and overseas work. Additional training and program briefings may be arranged when assignments are negotiated.
The first workshop, Orientation to International Work, takes place in January and covers a number of topics, including, but not limited to:
- IETA Program Overview
- Introduction to CDC’s overseas programs, international public health organizations, Ministries of Health and American Embassies
- The International Travel & Medical Clearance Process
- Perspectives from IETA Alumnae & Supervisors
The second workshop, Realities of the Field, consists mainly of the Preparing for Work Overseas course required by the Department of State, along with several IETA-specific sessions. Together, this covers various topics such as:
- Preparation for Overseas Assignments: Resources, Available Benefits, Staying Healthy
- International safety & security concerns
- Preparing for Cross-cultural aspects of working internationally
The third and final workshop takes place in early December, after all assignments have been completed. Participants each report on their overseas experience and discussion regarding lessons learn ensue. There is also a focus on making further short- and long-term overseas assignments/jobs a reality.
IETA participants are required to complete a supervised international field assignment of at least 12 weeks. To learn more about potential assignments, click on the "Assignments" link located in the sidebar.
Certificates of completion will be awarded to participants who attend all the offered workshops (3) and complete an international field assignment & the required documentation for the project:
- International Trip Report required by the US government for all international travel;
- Debriefing assessing the assignment itself and the IETA program;
- Evaluation of Supervisor assessing the host country supervisor;
- Supervisor’s Evaluation, completed by host country supervisor, assessing the assignee’s performance and the IETA program.
Recommendations are also collected during each workshop, both in written and participatory group activities format, in order to gauge the success of the program.
In sum, 202 Federal Employees have been enrolled in the program since 1996, with 166 of these participants having successfully completed program requirements (Current data: 01/01/08). Of those that completed the program, 95% are interested and actively continuing to link with international public health work. Seventeen have pursued long-term international position, with many more taking on positions in global program offices at the CDC.