Highlights of the IANPHI Executive Board Meeting

The IANPHI Executive Board held a virtual meeting on June 29, 2021. IANPHI President Duncan Selbie welcomed board members, as well as the chairs and vice-chairs of the IANPHI Regional Networks, representatives of the IANPHI Foundation, IANPHI's staff, strategic adviser, and guests of member national public health institutes (NPHIs) from Colombia’s Instituto Nacional de Salud, Public Health England, the German Robert Koch Institute, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Santé publique France.

1.  IANPHI Strategy 2021-2025

Action Plan Proposal

The IANPHI Strategy 2021-2025 was approved by the Executive Board on April 27, 2021 and launched on May 26, 2021. Board members agreed during the meeting on the proposed steps to set up a working group and launch the development of an action plan, which are:
  • To design a multiannual work plan;
  • To align these actions with the resources available or to be found, either through external funding or in-kind contributions;
  • The underway development of the Code of Practice for NPHIs, led by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health;
  • The IANPHI Framework revision, led by Robert Koch Institute;
  • A working group formed by: a consultant (who will be confirmed in the coming weeks and will be in charge of leading the project), the IANPHI Secretariat, the U.S. Office, the chairs or vice-chairs of the Regional Networks, one member of the Executive Board, the secretary general and the strategic adviser to review the final draft.

Strengthening IANPHI Communications

The IANPHI Communications Discussion Group was successfully set up in 2020 and now includes 35 members. IANPHI’s communications strategy is organized along three strategic pillars:

  1. Communications Best Practices
  2. Building Community and Demonstrating Effectiveness through Communications
  3. Advocate for NPHIs as Key Public Health Actors

D. Selbie raised the initial offer, made by Public Health England, to work with the communications team towards a significant contribution to the Action Plan on the communication area and to look for wider opportunities, particularly regionally based.

Standing Committees Initiative

With 110 institutions from 95 countries, IANPHI needs more structured and formalized ways to facilitate members’ contributions. The decentralization and sharing of workload is timely and needed. These committees, working across the IANPHI Regional Networks, could enhance IANPHI's capacities to work on important public health issues.

The approach should be decided after consulting and collecting preferences from Executive Board members by email, prior to launching the implementation of such committees.  

2.  IANPHI Budget 2021 Update

In May 2020, IANPHI's president, treasurer and secretary general met twice to discuss the current state of affairs and the best ways to adapt the financial activities for the second half of the year. Acknowledging the need to re-assess the projections of income, the expenses which will most likely not be spent and the opportunities for investments, the Executive Board approved the five proposals presented by the treasurer:

  • To re-assess the potential income from the dues collection;
  • To equalize the Secretariat terms and conditions with those in Santé publique France;
  • To recruit an additional staff member for the Secretariat;
  • To commission Public Health England to review, with the U.S. office and regional chairs, the potential and present options to the Executive Board meeting in October, for strengthening IANPHI communications with an emphasis on raising visibility and regional impact;
  • To recruit for six months or less a consultant to lead on preparation of the strategy of the Action Plan through consultation with the regions and the members on what they most want of this and present options for strengthening the support to the regions and IANPHI's presence at the World Health Organization (WHO).

3.  IANPHI Annual Meeting         

Fiocruz, the Brazilian public health agency, is willing to co-host the virtual 2021 IANPHI Annual Meeting for the second year in a row, as a face-to-face meeting in Rio remains impossible given the COVID-19 situation. The format and content are still to be decided. The Executive Board approved the suggested dates of December 1-3, 2021.

4.  IANPHI COVID-19 Lessons Learned Initiative

The Secretariat has developed a draft outline on NPHI’s preliminary learnings from COVID-19, after identifying the lessons learnt through regional and global meetings, bilateral discussions with NPHIs and members’ own analysis of responses to COVID-19. The Executive Board gave their approval to mandate the editorial team, composed of the Regional Networks’ chairs and vice-chair, the Secretariat and the U.S. Office to validate the content, prior to its finalization. It will then be presented to the Executive Board for revision. 

5.  Santé publique France Proposal to Host the Secretariat 2022-2025

Santé publique France is ready to continue its support to the association through hosting the Secretariat for 2022-2025. Santé publique France, which has been part of the IANPHI family a long time, is very supportive to express a stronger public health voice at the global level. 

6. Appointment of the IANPHI Secretary General

The Executive Board unanimously approved the nomination of A.C. Viso to succeed to J.C. Desenclos as secretary general for the four next years, starting from January 1, 2022. A formal hand over will take place during the General Assembly in December 2021. 

7. WHO-IANPHI Partnership

WHO is still looking how IANPHI can be considered as an organization with an official relationship with WHO. So far, IANPHI cannot be recognized as a non-state stakeholder given its membership. All the requested documents (IANPHI Statutes and Internal Rules, background information on the history of the IANPHI-WHO relationship) were newly sent to the Geneva-based organization. D. Heymann will meet with Z. Jakab, on July 2nd, acting as a special envoy for IANPHI to discuss what solution could be envisioned.

This online version of the IANPHI Executive Board meeting report reflects actions taken at the most recent meeting of the IANPHI Executive Board and is provided for the convenience of IANPHI members. This online document is not the official, complete record of the actions of the IANPHI Executive Board, it is merely a summary of actions taken. The IANPHI Executive Board’s official minutes, in their entirety, are on file with the IANPHI Secretariat. Should you have any questions about this online summary of the agenda, actions taken, or the minutes of the meetings of the IANPHI Executive Board, please contact the IANPHI Secretariat at secretariat@ianphi.org. 

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