Improving and protecting the public health
by strengthening education and training
of public health professionals
for both practice and research
Remember me

The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
Home » Member's blog » Projects » Progress on the WHO Public Health and Emergency...



Member's blog - Projects

Progress on the WHO Public Health and Emergency Roadmap - Check out the Pandemic Fund!

Publication date: 21.03.2023
Author: John Middleton

One of ASPHER’s most important areas of work is as a partner in the steering group of the WHO Public Health and Emergency Roadmap. This is a major body of work to increase national workforce capacity to implement essential public health functions, including emergency preparedness and response.

The Road Map was launched at the World Health Assembly in May 2022. The action plan for the road map followed in October 2023. These were described in an ASPHER members blog in November 2022. The steering group met for the second time in London, February 27th and 28th 2023. The group now has representatives covering many international health agencies and over 130 countries in all the WHO regions. 

Photo caption: WHO Steering group at Senate House, University of London, February 27th 2023

Work is progressing at pace on five workstrands: 

  1. Essential Public Health Functions: defining subfunctions of the updated 12 WHO Essential Public Health Functions published in 2021.
  2. Competency-based education: an extensive library has been compiled of major references on competencies, curriculae, credentialling and professionalisation, across the globe. 
  3. Mapping and measurement of occupations. There is strong consensus on the need for major global and regional health bodies, the International Labour Organization and national governments and ministries of health to recognise public health as a profession and to define disciplines within public health. This work is progressing with urgency to enable us to encourage investment in public health skills. 
  4. The communications strategy is developing tools and resources to brief politicians and decision makers at global and national levels, and support the public health community in advocacy for a properly resourced and skilled workforce.
  5. A global developments and partnerships strand focussed on discussion of the call for proposalsfrom the Pandemic Fund.

Check out the Pandemic Fund! 

The Pandemic Fund is administered by the World Bank and opened its first calls for proposals on March 3rd. It invites proposals from Eligible Countries, Regional Entities and Implementing Entities. The submission portal will open in early March and will be closed on May 19, 2023. 

Eligible countries are those who can receive financing from the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Some of our members are in eligible countries (see box 1). It may also be that other members may have professional links with eligible countries and may be able to assist through the technical delivery of projects, particularly in relation to training and capacity building. We encourage members to have a look. If you are in an eligible country, find out if your ministry is bidding. Get involved!

 Box 1: Eligible Countries with ASPHER Members 

 European Region eligible countries with ASPHER Members:
 Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine. 

 Eligible countries outside the European Region with ASPHER Associate Members:
 Guinea-Bissau, India,  Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Mongolia.

There may be an opportunity for ASPHER and the Global Network of Academic Public Health to play a part in supporting the delivery of this vital programme. This would be a practical action supporting the GNAPH statement in 2021: ‘Global Governance for Improved Human, Animal, and Planetary Health: The Essential Role of Schools and Programs of Public Health’.

» Back to articles