Advocacy Program

IAHPC Advocacy Program


The content of this section is under the coordination of Dr. Katherine Pettus, PhD, the IAHPC Advocacy Officer. If you wish to suggest any additional resources to add to this page, please contact Dr. Pettus via our website.



What is Palliative Care Advocacy?

Advocacy Program

Through this program, the IAHPC, in collaboration with other UN approved non-governmental organisations, seeks to ensure that access to palliative care and to essential medicines for pain relief and palliative care are included in international policy documents and strategies, as components of the right to health. Ideally, national palliative care organisations can leverage these international documents, usually approved by members of their own governments, to improve palliative care delivery for their patients and secure public funding. IAHPC works on the drafting and implementation of resolutions, agreements and strategies with international agencies of the United Nations, including the World Health Organisation and with governments by invitation. We also train palliative care providers who are members of palliative care associations to do advocacy for specific needs in their countries and regions.

Advocacy Course for IAHPC members

2019-2021 IAHPC Policy and Advocacy Reports

Skim two years of reports to get a flavor of global palliative care advocacy!

Palliative Care Advocacy, Why Does it Matter?

Journal of Palliative Medicine March 2020.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is a palliative care policy advocacy? Structured communication between national, regional, and global palliative care associations (non-governmental organisations) and government representatives, at the local, national, regional, and international levels.
  2. Why does IAHPC do palliative care advocacy? To improve care for the patients and families cared for by our members. Our advocacy includes encouraging governments to improve access to internationally controlled essential medicines such as morphine by collaborating, upon request, to review and revise unduly restrictive laws and regulations, educate prescribers, and raise public awareness raising of the benefits of rational access to controlled medicines.
  3. Who can do palliative care advocacy? Members of a palliative care or other professional associations or institutions. IAHPC advocacy is done by individuals and teams in an institutional context that is framed by the United Nations system. National advocacy is done in the context of your own government.
  4. How can I do palliative care advocacy? It depends on the issue and on what level you want to work: local, regional, national, international, or a combination. Advocacy is done by individuals, but through institutions.
    1. Join your national, regional, and international palliative care organizations.
    2. Stay current by reading the IAHPC newsletter!
    3. Get to know your lawmakers and regulators). Invite them to visit your program and see your work firsthand.
    4. Participate in social media (create and join accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Linked in, and Youtube.) IAHPC has all those accounts. You can “follow” us and stay current. (we can help!)
    5. Ensure your association designates an advocacy focal point to engage in direct communication: letters, emails, etc. with lawmakers, and with regional and international palliative care organisations (we can help!)
    6. Get to know journalists and representatives of traditional media: learn to write press releases, editorials, and co-author journal articles (we can help)
    7. Participate in a delegation with your national, regional, or international association in meetings where public health issues are debated and policy goals are set out in resolutions and consensus documents (we can help)

Access to the Advocacy course "Advocating for Palliative Care in the Multilateral System" (Basic)

by Katherine Pettus, PhD. IAHPC Advocacy Officer

Free to IAHPC Members! If you are a member, access to the Advocacy course here. If you're not yet a member, please join today, or ask your Institution to join you and your colleagues can take this course.


Palliative Care and Covid-19 Series Briefing Notes – Compilation

See the compilation


2021 Advocacy Initiatives


WHO 148th Executive Board Meeting January 19-26

Main Documents
IAHPC Submissions with the attached PDF behind


World Health Organization Executive Board Meeting Special Session 5

IAHPC Submission to WHO EBSS5
IAHPC Letter to Co-Chairs of WHO Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response
EBSS5 Agenda Item 3 Update on Implementation of WHA73
EBSS5 Agenda Item 4 IAHPC Statement to Independent Panel Chairs

30th Anniversary International Day of Older Persons

IAHPC Statement for International Day of Older Persons