Advocacy Program

Katherine Pettus.

The goal of the IAHPC Advocacy Program is the integration of Palliative Care into primary health care within the spectrum of universal coverage, and to improve access to adequate care for patients in need. The Advocacy Program aligns with the four thematic areas of work identified in the IAHPC 2020-2024 Strategic Plan and seeks to achieve the IAHPC Strategic Objective 1.2: “To develop a global cadre of IAHPC members to advocate for improved access to palliative care at national, regional, and global levels.”

The IAHPC has developed and implemented a list of resources, tools and strategies to strengthen advocacy for palliative care. The program is under the leadership of Dr. Katherine Pettus, Senior Advocacy and Partnerships Director.

Advocacy Initiatives

The IAHPC Advocacy and Partnerships Senior Director and IAHPC members have participated as delegates and representatives in several meetings of UN organizations and civil society organizations. This section includes links to presentations and reports.

Including Palliative Care in the Pandemic Treaty

WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Needs Palliative Care! The WHO Intergovernmental Body is negotiating a pandemic preparedness and response treaty. IAHPC and other palliative care organizations have suggestions to improve the draft. See how you and your organization can help to make this happen.

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Mapping Our Advocacy & Partnerships

This map, created in January 2023, gives the locations and events were IAHPC's Senior Director of Advocacy & Partnerships, as well as her international team of Advocacy Focal Points, attended, participated in, and/or made submissions to high-level meetings and congresses to further availability and access to palliative care and the essential medicines it requires. The events date from January 2022.

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Leadership Development Program (LEAD)

The IAHPC Leadership Development (LEAD) Program is designed to support academic institutions and civil society organizations aspiring to build leadership capacity to develop constructive partnerships and improve palliative care service provision in their countries or regions.

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Advocacy Course

The goal of the IAHPC advocacy course is to continue building and strengthening partnerships to accelerate global, regional, and national advocacy for palliative care.

Access the course

Frequently asked questions on Palliative Care Advocacy

  1. What is a palliative care policy advocacy? Structured communication between national, regional, and global palliative care associations (non-governmental organizations) and government representatives, at the local, national, regional, and international levels.
  2. Why does IAHPC do palliative care advocacy? To improve policies leading to access to palliative care, and to raise public awareness of the benefits of appropriate care for patients and families.
  3. Who can do palliative care advocacy? Members of a palliative care organization, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and 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/organizations. Some examples of how you can do advocacy include:
    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. Build constructive, collaborative relationships with your government. They need experts to guide and advise and palliative care workers can provide guidance.
    4. Participate in social media (create accounts on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others.) Follow the IAHPC on social media and stay current.
    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 organizations.
    6. Get to know journalists and representatives of traditional media: learn to write press releases, editorials, and co-author journal articles.
    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 you with these efforts!