With 1,166 users from 98 countries in its database, TEPHIConnect, TEPHINET’s online and mobile networking platform for FETP alumni, has grown quickly since its launch almost one year ago.

Part of TEPHIConnect’s success can be attributed to the real need for FETP graduates around the world to be able to locate and contact one another for information and assistance. With its robust directory search functionality, TEPHIConnect makes this easy.

Another factor aiding its growth is the platform’s intuitive user interface, which facilitates navigation around the site. Currently, users can change their settings to display the site in English, Spanish, or French, and TEPHINET plans to add more languages in the future.

TEPHIConnect Project Manager Lisandro Torre is working to expand the platform by emphasizing the value of its interactive groups function for FETPs that are facing challenges in tracking and communicating with their own alumni. In the near future, every member of TEPHIConnect will be part of their regional group, where they can communicate with fellow FETP alumni in their region to share their work and collaborate on projects.

“TEPHIConnect is a free tool that our member programs can use for alumni management and alumni can use to connect with their larger FETP community,” says Torre. “TEPHIConnect can be a powerful tool for programs to reach their goals. Programs are encouraged to use TEPHIConnect to engage with the graduates, highlight their successes and collaborate regionally.”

In addition, Torre, who spent five years working as an epidemiologist at the CDC’s Emergency Response and Recovery Branch, is exploring ways that the platform could be used to identify qualified responders to future outbreaks.

“The key is not to duplicate the efforts of our partners but to use TEPHINET’s global position and the unique functionalities of our platform to supplement and strengthen these efforts,” says Torre. “We are still in the early stages of this initiative, but a preliminary test after the most recent Ebola outbreak showed us that our platform is capable of quickly identifying qualified FETP alumni for outbreak response.”

TEPHIConnect is available for free as a website and a mobile app (for iOS and Android devices) at www.tephiconnect.org. FETP graduates from all levels (Frontline, intermediate, and advanced) are encouraged to sign up. Please contact Lisandro Torre at ltorre@tephinet.org with questions.