Spotlight series: Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)

27th August 2015
This week we turn our attention to Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) for our Spotlight series. The series profiles research organisations based in developing countries.


PHFI is an independent foundation, which adopts a broad, integrative approach to public health, tailoring its endeavours to Indian conditions whilst also bearing relevance to countries facing similar challenges and concerns. It was launched in 2006 as a response to the limited institutional capacity in India for strengthening training, research and policy development in the area of Public Health.

PHFI's Mission:
  • Developing the public health workforce and setting standards
  • Advancing public health research and technology
  • Strengthening knowledge application and evidence-informed public health practice and policy
PHFI is developing a multidisciplinary public health workforce (more than 20,000 trained so far) through a network of five Indian Institutes of Public Health (IIPHs) established in partnership with state governments. These institutes are in Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Delhi-NCR, and Bhubaneshwar and a fifth institute commencing in Meghalaya.

Advancing research, technology and innovations in public health, its research and implementation portfolio covers areas such as MCH, prevention of NCDs, tobacco control, mental health, nutrition, infectious diseases, access to affordable medicines, Universal Health Coverage and social determinants of health.

The foundation has a multidisciplinary team of researchers, with medical and non-medical backgrounds, who specialize in technical areas such as health economics, health systems and financing, health promotion, policy analysis, epidemiology, clinical research, genetics, nutrition, biostatistics, and demography among other issues.

From its inception, PHFI has been mandated to establish a strong national research network of public health and allied institutions which would undertake policy and programme relevant research that will advance public health goals in prioritized areas - with suitable international partnerships wherever useful and appropriate. Bringing ‘knowledge to action’ approach, PHFI is strengthening health systems, practice and policies working with central and state governments. PHFI was the technical secretariat for the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) report of High Level Expert Group (HLEG) commissioned by the Planning Commission, Government of India. It is the designated technical support unit to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for enhancing Routine Immunisation coverage; AIDS/HIV prevention and advancing Allied Health Professional development. It supports the National Tobacco Control Programme and works with more than 10 states on advancing their health agenda.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appointed PHFI as one of the Nodal Centres for Health Policy and System Research (HPSR). PHFI is also recognized as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India.