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Improving Public Health Management for Successful Public Health Action

A country with a strong public health management workforce will be better prepared to:

  • Prevent or mitigate the impact of naturally-occurring outbreaks and intentional or accidental releases of dangerous pathogens
  • Rapidly detect and transparently report outbreaks when they occur
  • Employ an interconnected global network that can respond rapidly and effectively.


IMPACT Core Competencies

  • Program planning and management
  • Communications and use of communications tools
  • Community partnership development and community assessment
  • Analysis and assessment
  • Organizational leadership and systems awareness
  • Basic public health sciences and practice
  • Budget and financial planning skills
  • Emergency planning, preparedness, and response skills
Kenya's first cohort of Distinguished Fellows graduated from IMPACT in October 2016.
Kenya’s first cohort of Distinguished Fellows graduated from IMPACT in October 2016.

Effective and efficient management is critical for translation of research and scientific innovation into successful public health action. In many countries, however, mid-level and senior-level public health officials commonly lack the management experience needed to efficiently and effectively coordinate and direct public health systems. To address this challenge, CDC developed an initiative called Improving Public Health Management for Action (IMPACT). IMPACT aims to grow a cadre of highly-trained public health managers in partner countries to work alongside scientists to prepare for, and respond to, disease threats and effectively implement public health programs.

IMPACT was launched in 2016 in Bangladesh and Kenya. Kenya has a two-tier program—a five-month Distinguished Fellows course for senior-level managers, and a two-year Master of Public Health program for early-career professionals. Bangladesh has a single-tier two-year program that targets medical doctors who are pursuing public health-focused careers.

As of December 2016, Kenya’s Distinguished Fellows program had graduated 12 senior managers; 78 percent of the fellows reported using their new management skills prior to graduation. Five of the graduates will serve as mentors and supervisors for the two-year master’s program to begin at Kenyatta University in February 2017.

Bangladesh’s program was launched in Spring 2016 with six top-performing doctors from the Ministry of Health. Each of the fellows was placed at a different district site and was assigned a mentor and supervisor. The program strategically placed fellows in field assignments outside of the national Ministry of Health offices to build capacity in areas beyond the capital city. “I am grateful for this program. It is a great opportunity to increase our knowledge and experience and to help our country too,” noted a current Bangladesh fellow.

IMPACT is increasing the number of managers highly trained in effective and efficient public health management. Countries where IMPACT has been implemented will be better equipped to rapidly detect, respond, and manage public health emergencies at their source, before they become global threats.