EPF to empower its members’ capacity and advocacy skills

The European Patients’ Forum (EPF) Capacity Building Programme (2012-2014) for patient organisations is launched! 30 patient organisations from Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania and eight pan-European disease-specific patient organisations will start take part  in the pilot part of  the programme in the second part of 2012.The objective is to strengthen the organisational and advocacy capacity of both Member State and European level Patients’ Organisations. The idea is to enable them to be more effective in achieving their objectives and aspirations, also in feeding their experiences and expertise into the work of EPF and utilising the outcomes of this collective work in a national, and/ or disease specific context.

EPF is leading the Capacity Building programme with the support of its national members in the various countries participating in the programme. “The Capacity Building Programme responds to needs and concerns which have been identified by EPF membership during previous activities. With this programme we aim at strengthening the impact of work undertaken by our members and their members which should ultimately contribute to stronger more effective patient organisations at both national and European level”, said Liuska Sanna, EPF Programme Manager responsible for the EPF Capacity Building Programme.

For this year EPF will select 10 organisations in each of three countries that will start taking part in the programme from the very beginning, i.e. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. The plan is to organise a strategic planning meeting per organisation to develop a strategic plan and run a needs’ assessment exercise. Note that EPF currently calls for experts in these countries to support this process- please click here for more information.

With European Organisations, EPF will run a needs’ assessment session with each organisation, with the objective of  identifying relevant training modules including, if needed, strategic planning skills and competences.

In 2013, based on the capacity needs that will have been identified in 2012, we will be running training modules for the staff, Board members and volunteers of each of those organisations. Depending on what those needs, we will tailor make a programme providing training on communication, fundraising, governance, project writing and much more.

In collaboration with national patient coalitions, EPF will also identify other 30 national patient organisations in three other countries and support them in developing strategic plans using the same approach as identified above and develop relevant training modules.

In 2014, we will be implementing further training modules and planning future relevant activities and ‘mainstreaming’ the capacity building programme in other countries.

Through its focus on the improvement of organisational capacities and advocacy skills of patient organisations, the Capacity Building Programme is expected to make a significant contribution in terms of strengthening the role and impact of patient organisations in national and EU level health-related policy making for the benefit of all European patients and advance EPF‘s work in a national as well as European context.