EPF Launches its First Capacity-Building Module in Poland!


On Thursday 30 March, EPF launched its first capacity-building module in Poland. Over the next six months, 18 patient organisations will follow an intense training module designed to strengthen their capacities and foster a collaborative culture between patient organisations and relevant stakeholders.

According to a situational analysis on patient organisations commissioned by the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) in 2016, the obstacles faced by the Polish patient community are many. To mention only a few: the healthcare professionals still play a predominant and central role in the healthcare system and the awareness level of patients’ rights is almost inexistent until people start interacting with the healthcare system. Moreover, the resources and capacities of Polish patient organisations are so meager that they struggle to provide materials information to their community and are often limited when it comes to leading advocacy actions.

In that context, EPF decided to extend its capacity-building programme to Poland. Already rolled out in Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary, EPF’s capacity-building programme supports patient organisations in strengthening their role as equal players in the healthcare environment and provides a tailor-made approach to the needs of the participating organisations.

The first training module in Poland was launched at the end of March 2017. It aims to empower the participating organisations and to support them in developing and maintaining a collaborative and influential relation with key stakeholders. The programme will consist of several face-to-face trainings, with individual coaching taking place between these.

 “In most organisations, there is a need to strengthen the leadership skills of the people involved”, stated Jacek, training expert from the organisation ResPublic. “Trust is also needed to enable the organisations to show openness for cooperation. Currently, the climate is very much about competition and not so much about cooperation. We hope that with this first module we can show organisations how to reach stability and sustainability through change.”

Ultimately, EPF hopes that participating organisations are able to develop and implement their advocacy strategies, first as individual organisations and then through coalitions, to increase their voice when engaging with decision-makers and other stakeholders.

Contact person: Elena Balestra, EPF Membership & Capacity-building Officer