The African Field Epidemiology Network developed its first five year strategic plan for the period 2012-2016 in 2011. The six priority plan developed in 2011 advocated for: Strengthening field epidemiology, public health and laboratory capacity in Africa as well as strengthening surveillance and outbreak response and laboratory capacity among others. The plan which was developed in partnership with Ministries of Health guided the operations of the African Field Epidemiology Network.
The 2011 plan which was developed in partnership with Ministries of Health laid the platform for an updated plan to guide the next five years.
A strategic planning workshop was organized by the AFENET secretariat from 2 - 4 November 2016 in Kampala, Uganda to guide the development of a new strategic plan. Some of the themes identified to guide the new strategy include: Surveillance and response, Infectious diseases, mental health issues, Laboratory systems strengthening, Health systems and research and Capacity building for applied epidemiology. The thematic areas are meant to guide AFENET’s path in developing Field Epidemiology practice in the African region and address the priority public health meetings.
The strategic planning workshop also assessed AFENET’s overall goals, operational capacity to deliver on its strategic goals and objectives. Also discussed the Secretariat’s mandate and within countries, capacity of the Board of Directors and Annual General Meeting. The workshop was attended by Program Directors, Resident Advisors, and key program staff and partners who shared ideas on how to achieve the AFENET goal and Mission in the next years.
The workshop sought to:
- Assess AFENET’s operational capacity to deliver on its strategic goals and objectives
- Identify strengths and weaknesses and other constraints that may have influenced program performance and make recommendation on how they can be addressed.
- Conduct a contextual analysis for the current situation that would increase the impact of Field Epidemiology in Africa (including but not limited to Knowledge management, Resource mobilization, Networking and partnership)
The process of developing the plan as a network is the first step towards building the network work towards achieving its goal of a “Healthier Africa”