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Thursday, 8th December 2022
Strategic Advocacy for Palliative Care and Access to Controlled Medicines: Small Grants Programme for Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda

Application Guidelines for 15th March 2017 submission deadline


The African Palliative Care Association (APCA) in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative For Eastern Africa (OSIEA) have developed a small grants programme to support Strategic Advocacy for Palliative Care and Access to Essential but Controlled Pain Medications initiatives in four East African countries of: Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.

Strategic advocacy for palliative care aims to influence decision makers to take steps to advance the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of palliative care. Access to essential controlled medicines is central to the provision of quality palliative care services. The May 2014 World Health Assembly Palliative Care Resolution (WHA 67-19) recognizes that access to palliative care and to essential medicines including opioid analgesics such as morphine for pain control, contributes to the realization of the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and well-being.[1]

This pilot small grants programme on strategic advocacy and access to controlled medicines will be implemented in 2017 and 2018, building onto strategies discussed at workshops during the 5th International African Palliative Care Conference in August 2016 in Uganda.

All work supported by this programme must directly contribute to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the following global, regional and national goals and objectives for improving access to palliative care and pain relief; 

A call for applications will be sent out in February 2017 and August 2017. Applications will be approved in April and October 2017. Funding is primarily for one-off projects, with a duration of no more than one year.  The size of grants will range from USD 2000 – USD 6000. 

Funding Priorities 

The programme aims to influence changes on health, medicines policies and laws to allow for improved access by patients who need palliative care and pain relief services. It is also expected to influence the allocation of local funding towards access to palliative care and controlled medicines. This programme also aims to bring more advocates on board to influence changes on this important public health issue, from other fields of health and human rights. 

Specific priority areas for consideration include:

  1. Review and/or change of laws, regulations and public policy to improve access to palliative care and access to controlled medicines;
  2. Development of legal and human rights frameworks for palliative care;
  3. Budget analysis, advocacy and allocation;
  4. Political and public debates on palliative care and access to pain medicines;
  5. Behavioural and attitudinal change including awareness creation among policy makers about palliative care and pain relief;
  6. Improving supply chain mechanisms for controlled medicines, including the engagement of key players and advocates from other fields of health and human rights;
  7. Media engagement;
  8. Strategic communication (reframing palliative care and access to controlled medicines, changing the narrative).
  9. Domestication of global and regional frameworks, strategies and tools aimed at increasing access to palliative care and pain relief. 

The following considerations will be taken into account in the selection of successful applicants for the small grants:

  • Projects which aim to make governments accountable to the global, regional and national commitments towards palliative care and pain relief.
  • Project alignment with and contributing to the achievement of the national, regional and global goals and objectives for palliative care and pain relief (i.e. WHA Resolution; Universal Coverage; Sustainable Development Goals; UN Political Declaration on NCDs; national palliative care policies and strategies etc).
  • Projects that aim to get palliative care and access to controlled medicines onto the agenda of the East African Community, as an important development issue for the region.
  • Projects that aim to use advocacy lessons from other fields of health and human rights.
  • Projects that aim to develop and mentor new advocates for palliative care and access to controlled medicines.
  • Projects that magnify the voices of palliative care patients and their families. 

Small grants will not be awarded for the following:

  • Projects on palliative care that do not focus on strategic advocacy and access to controlled medicines.
  • Personal applications which are not organizational in nature.
  •  Budgets that include per diems or grants to individuals or governments and other staff allowances.
  • As multi-year grants are not considered, salary costs will not be approved, although an applicant may include up to USD 600 for core/administrative costs as further explained below. 

Each applicant may include a request for up to USD 600 within their application for their core / administration costs. This component must be included as part of a bigger proposal. This part of a grant will only be included if the organisation applying makes a convincing case for the need for core / administration costs. This does not increase the maximum grant size which can be applied for, which is USD 6,000.

Grantees will be required to share with APCA any required information related to the grant in a timely manner, for the further development of the programme and other official purposes. 

APCA and OSIEA are keen to make this programme available to as many organisations as possible. We are therefore unlikely to approve consecutive grants to any organisation. This means that an organisation will be considered for a small grant only once within the two years (2017 and 2018). 


The deadline for applications will be 15th March 2017 and 15th September 2017 respectively.  Applications will be reviewed in April and October 2017. Only applications made by completing the small grants application form for strategic advocacy and access to controlled medicines which is available here will be considered. Should you require additional support or information while developing the proposals you can contact the Programmes Director at APCA by telephone +256 312 264978 or email at: advocacyandmedicines@africanpalliativecare.org or fatia.kiyange@africanpalliativecare.org 

Please attach all required documents to this application form. Incomplete applications risk not being considered. 

All applicants must include the following documents with their application: 

  • A copy of the registration of your organisation confirming that it is a legal entity in the country of operation.
  • Cover letter from the head of the organisation or relevant authorised person. 
  • Reference letter from a relevant local hospice and palliative care organisation, ministry of health or any other credible network organisation e.g. cancer society, hospital, academic institution.
  • A copy of a valid work permit if the responsible person is not a national. 
  • Current audited accounts. In the absence of current audited accounts, please provide an explanation of why it is not possible to provide accounts and instead submit an annual statement of income and expenditure.
  • Detailed project budget using a template provided as part of the application form. (The budget should be provided both in the local currency and USD currency, indicating the date of currency conversion and rate used)
  • A copy of the organisation structure if available.  Alternatively, a summary list of staff positions in the organisation indicating number of people per position.
  • Curriculum vitae (CVs) of the key institutional contact, the person responsible for project coordination and for the person responsible for finance management of the project.
  • If applying for training related project, please also include the following:
  • Completed training sheet for activities involving training using the template provided with the grant application form.
  • If applying for the purchase of equipment, medicines or materials, please also include the following:
  • A minimum of three quotes for proposed equipment purchases if applicable indicating the preferred quote and reasons for this. 

Please note that the small grants will be given through a highly competitive process and some applications will therefore be unsuccessful. We will endeavour to communicate our decision to all applicants within two months of the closing date.

What to expect if you are successful in applying for a grant 

If you are successful in applying for a grant, you will be notified by APCA who will send you a grant approval letter and contract outlining the terms and conditions of the grant. Once the grant has been paid to your organisation, you will be required to report on the progress of the grant on a quarterly basis. This will be explained in your contract. 

Once you are a successful applicant, please ensure that you stick to the project implementation timeline, activities and budget lines. If, at any time, you need to make changes, you must contact APCA for approval. A failure to meet the compliance requirements of the grant may result into:

  • Forfeiting of any undisbursed funds
  • Disallowance of any ineligible costs charged to the grant, and your organisation will be asked to pay back to APCA any disallowed costs 

What to do if your application is not successful 

If your application is not successful, you will receive a letter of regret from APCA. Please feel free to request any clarification from APCA if required. We know that all organisations that apply for small grants have interest in the programme and are doing important work in palliative care. 

[1] World Health Assembly, May, 2014. Sixty-Seventh World Health Assembly. Strengthening of palliative care as a component of comprehensive care throughout the life course. [pdf] Available at: <http://www.oeci.eu/Attachments%5CA67_R19-en.pdf>