Injuries occur as the result of a confluence of factors: environmental, social, biological, economic, and behavioral. To effectively address the burden of injuries, especially in low- and middle-income countries, a focus is needed on developing the human resource capacity for injury prevention. MENTOR-VIP is a global mentoring program that the authors developed with this need in mind. MENTOR-VIP approaches developing human resources in injury prevention by providing mentoring opportunities for junior professionals involved in its practice, research, and/or programs. MENTOR-VIP entails a 12-month working relationship between junior injury prevention practitioners (mentees) and more experienced individuals in the field (mentors). Its general objective is to improve global human resource capacity to effectively prevent and control injury and violence through the enhanced development of relevant skills. The program is currently in its pilot phase and is nearing the end of its second formal mentoring cycle, which began on September 1, 2008. This article discusses mentoring professionals as a key strategy to developing the human resource component of capacity, and one which complements existing approaches to capacity development. The authors also provide an overview of the rationale, modalities, objectives, and evaluation of MENTOR-VIP. This article highlights the importance of capacity building in the injury prevention field and situates MENTOR-VIP within the larger context of capacity building for global public health.
Dr. Hyder is associate professor and director, International Injury Research Unit, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. Meddings is a medical officer, Department of Violence and Injuries Prevention, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr. Bachani is a doctoral candidate, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Hyder, 615 North Wolfe Street, Suite E-8132, Baltimore, MD 21205; telephone: (410) 955-3928; fax: (410) 614-1419; e-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org).