- Open Access
The Roles of Non-Governmental Organizations in Development of Schools of Public Health:An Example from Eastern Europe and Central Asia
© BioMed Central London 2011
Published: 6 June 2011
The international non-governmental community has played a major role in developing schools of public health and continues to do so. Nearly a century ago, seminal investments of the Rockefeller Foundation played a pivotal role in developing schools of public health in North America and several abroad. Today, involvement of non-governmental organizations in continuing development of schools of public health is needed, as many countries throughout the world continue to battle the burden of disease with insufficient numbers and quality of trained public health workers. In this paper we discuss in particular the roles of the Open Society Institute working together with the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region to foster the development of schools of public health in formerly socialist countries. We describe the development process in three example countries (Ukraine, Lithuania, and Macedonia), along with the difficulties they have faced. Government support and accreditation processes are needed to sustain the efforts to launch new schools of public health and to ensure their quality. The lessons learned in these initiatives are relevant to future development of public health education to provide the workforce required to address needs of professional public health in the 21st century.