Capacity building, education and training within the International Union of Health Promotion and Education: Details and Opportunities

By Hope Corbin

As student and early career members of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), the organization’s efforts to improve capacity building, education and training (CBET) are of great interest to us. The current Vice President for CBET, Paolo Contu, has recently shared the 2011-2013 working plan for this portfolio. This article has the purpose of introducing the details of that plan, highlighting how ISECN is already contributing to it and how you might become involved.

The main goals of the working plan are:

  • “To integrate the worldwide cultural traditions, experiences and assets in capacity building in a shared vision both culturally sensitive and globally oriented;
  • “To support the identified needs of countries, particularly where workforce capacity is lacking or weak, by developing mechanisms for the delivery of culturally appropriate courses and training support;
  • “To develop and achieve consensus on a worldwide competency-based standards and accreditation schemes for health promotion practice, education and training that will positively impact on workforce
    capacity to deliver public health improvement in the highest number of countries;
  • “To facilitate the exchange of theoretical and practical knowledge with special emphasis on networks, competencies, accreditation
    schemes, tools and experiences,  transferability of implementation evidence and practice knowledge across culture, systems, structures and contexts, and focusing on the IUHPE priority action areas (Social
    Determinants of Health, Sustainability, Non-Communicable Diseases);
  • “To establish networks among institutions and professionals with focus on the IUHPE priority action areas (Contu, 2011).”

Specific steps are underway to accomplish these goals. A working group is being established; partners from various networks are being approached (such as Consorcio Interamericano fe Universidades y Centros de Formacion de Personal en Educacion para la Salud y Promocion de la Salud, The CompHP Project, FOPROSA Formation Regionalale Africane en Promotion de la Sante, participants in the Galway Consensus, ETC-PHHP, EUMAHP, Phetice group, etc.); a network of academic institutions is being developed in partnership with the IUHPE Vice President for Scientific Affairs.

Further plans include developing a common worldwide strategy for creating “competency-based standards” and accreditation schemes (; facilitating dialogue between professionals and institutions through new media, meetings, workshops and courses; and providing all working group documents in all three IUHPE official languages. With a special focus on the IUHPE priority action areas, plans are also in place to explore the feasibility of approving course and trainers to respond to requests for training and professional development, and to identify a range of education and training materials, including online resources, to support training courses leading to professional qualification and continued professional development.

ISECN is going to be involved in this initiative in several ways. Paolo is very interested to consult with ISECN members as we are recipients of education and training, and he recognizes our unique ability to offer a perspective from the ground level. ISECN will be represented on the CBET Working Group and has also offered its website as a place where IUHPE members can list their profiles according to their “priority work area” of interest to facilitate the connecting of health promoters by topic area. There may be opportunities to be involved in research for the CBET working group, so if you are interested in contributing to these important initiatives, please send me an email at , and I will help you find a role.

Published: September 2011

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