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Saturday, 23rd February 2019

Call for Applications

Palliative care (PC) aims to improve quality of life of patients, their families and caregivers by relieving the multi-dimensional suffering associated with serious illness and conditions.

In 2014 the World Health Assembly adopted a PC resolution (WHA Resolution 67.19), which recognizes PC as an essential component of comprehensive and universal health care (UHC). The WHA Resolution also instructs the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop and adopt steps to help member states implement and advance palliative care.

The global movement to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030) which relies on the achievement of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as other important policies and initiatives, provide an excellent opportunity to advocate for government policies and budgets that can increase access to palliative care for the estimated 10 million in need. Although PC is associated with better quality of care and lower costs, few policymakers in Middle and Low income countries are aware of the health economies involved, and the vast majority of the population in need has no access to adequate treatment for severe pain and symptoms, including essential medicines,.

Barriers to sustainable government policies include lack of adequately trained health workers, laws and regulations that interfere with access to controlled medicines for PC, and lack of political awareness and will. In order to overcome these barriers and integrate PC into the Agenda 2030 and other international policy initiatives, it is critical to increase advocacy training for PC for workers around the globe, so that in turn they may collaborate with their governments and other members of the civil society in their implementation.

The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC), is collaborating with the WHO Department of Service Delivery and Safety in Health Systems and Innovation to implement an online educational course on policy in preparation for the July, 2018 Open Ended Working Group on Aging (OEWGA9). The objective of this course is to train PC providers/workers to write evidence based policy briefs so they can effectively work with policymakers to advance PC in their own settings. The July, 2018 Open Ended Working Group on Aging (OEWGA9) will discuss palliative and long term care for older persons. For more information see the publications in the IAHPC newsletter and EAPC blog.

The course will be free of charge to participants.


  • To develop evidence based awareness regarding the provision, or lack thereof, of palliative care for older persons in your country or region
  • To present evidence based policy briefs on palliative care for older persons to key national and regional officials involved in preparations for the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing in July 2018.

Topics for policy briefs on palliative and long term care for older persons include but are not limited to:

  • Public and political awareness of the need in your country for palliative care for older persons
  • Workforce capacity to meet that need.
  • Gaps in undergraduate palliative care education and geriatrician training
  • Models of care delivery including primary and home care
  • Links with Agenda 2030 — Palliative Care and the Poverty Trap.
  • Implementation and application of one or more of the policy recommendations included in the Report from the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief to be launched on October 12 (more information and access to the full report after this date).

Time Commitment:

Students must be prepared to dedicate 12-15 hours in January-February 2018. Basic commitments include:

  1. Selecting a topic relevant to the webinar course.
  2. Listening to, and understanding each part of the virtual course.
  3. Applying what you have learned through practical exercises
  4. Submitting homework on time for review and guidance.
  5. Completing a feedback/reflective survey after each session.

Format: 4 sessions with 9 sections. The courses will be taught online using WebEx technology from WHO. Contents of the sessions include:

First session

  1. How do stakeholders use analysis/mapping and strategy to engage in the decision-making process? Why it is important?
  2. Why and how to develop an evidence based policy brief as an advocacy tool and what is the expected impact with policymakers?
  3. Outline and format of evidence-based policy brief.

Second session

  1. Describe the problem of palliative care access (each participant needs to identify and select a specific topic on palliative care), the factors underlying the problem, and their consequences based on evidence.
  2. Identify, select and assess quality of evidence (quantitative and qualitative) for the description of the problem?

Third session

  1. Design evidence based policy options.
  2. Address implementation considerations.

Fourth session

  1. key messages for policymakers and organize policy dialogue with stakeholders.
  2. the policy brief for advocacy to increase awareness about palliative care, move to practical interventions, and follow-up with targeted audience.

A certificate of completion will be issued to participants who complete all the tasks.

Course Instructor:

  • Ms. Isabelle Wachsmuth-Huguet, MS, MPH - Project manager, Health Systems and Innovation, WHO, Geneva. To learn more about Ms. Wachsmuth-Huguet click here.

Dr. Katherine Pettus, PhD - IAHPC Advocacy Officer, will serve as expert adviser to Ms. Wachsmuth-Huguet and to students on as needed basis. Dr. Pettus will work with representatives of the global palliative care community, including the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, the International children’s’ Palliative Care Network, the regional and the national palliative care associations as necessary. To read Dr. Pettus bio click here.

Criteria to apply

  • Candidates must be proficient in written English
  • Candidates must have a working email account and access to broadband internet
  • Preference will be given to individuals working full time in PC in Low and Middle Income countries and who are members/representatives of the corresponding national PC association.
  • Preference will be given to individuals who are currently IAHPC members. If you are not a member and wish to join click here.

How to Apply

Please send the following to Ms. Genevieve Napier, IAHPC Programs manager gnapier@iahpc.com

  1. Completed application which includes the following:
    1. A statement of your interest on palliative care and older people
    2. A statement on how you intend to use this webinar after completion.
    3. Description of any previous participation in advocacy efforts and/or campaigns.
    4. Short CV

The application form can be downloaded from the IAHPC website here

  1. A letter signed by your direct supervisor written in your institution letterhead (PDF or JPG format) stating that if you are selected for this webinar, the institution supports your participation and allows time for the completion of tasks.
  2. If applicable, include your membership status with the national PC association and/or with the IAHPC
  3. Writing sample (no more than 500 words).

Deadline to apply is November 30, 2017. A committee of IAHPC and WHO representatives will select the candidates. Results will be announced by mid-December and the course will begin January 8, 2018.

Twenty-four students, four from each WHO region (AFRO, AMRO, EMRO, SEARO) will be selected to participate in the course.