Informing Policy

Examples of Organisations Aiming to Inform Policy


Chatham House 


Chatham House is an independent institute the mission of which is to help governments and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world. It does this through dialogue, analysis and solutions-based ideas, and by empowering the next generation to build a better world. It particularly active around 


Sustainable and equitable growth 

  • Designing pathways to sustainable growth that protect the planet and reduce inequalities within and between countries.

Peaceful and thriving societies

  • Promoting the rule of law over the rule of force, so as to reduce levels of human insecurity, enhance resilience and prevent large-scale conflict.

Accountable and inclusive governance 

  • Enabling greater political accountability and more inclusive governance at global, regional and sectoral levels.


HLSP Institute (Institute for Health Sector Development)


The HLSP Institute aims to inform debate and policy on global health issues and national health systems, in order to reduce inequalities in health.


The Institute assesses new and emerging issues in international health and development practice. It addresses how best to strengthen the national response to HIV and AIDS, both within the health sector and taking account of HIV in other sectors.



Medact is a global health charity tackling issues at the centre of international policy debates. Led by its health professional membership, it undertakes education, research and advocacy on the health implications of conflict, development and environmental change, with a special focus on the developing world.


Medact speaks out for countless people across the globe whose health, wellbeing and access to proper health care are severely compromised by the effects of war, poverty and environmental damage. It campaigns and lobbies governments, international bodies and other influential organisations. It calls on them to take positive action on preventing violent conflict, improving health and on raising the standards of health care worldwide.


Overseas Development Institute ( ODI )


The Overseas Development Institute is an independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Its mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. It does this by locking together high quality applied research, practical policy advice, and policy-focused dissemination and debate. It works with partners in the public and private sectors, in both developing and developed countries.


Oxford Policy Management


OPM was established in 1996 as an independent research-based consultancy, having previously been part of the University of Oxford. It has aims to provide an independent approach, rigour and informed analysis together with the ability to provide practical assistance in solving clients' problems.


It provides analysis, advice and support in the design and implementation of economic and social development policies primarily in poor and middle income countries.  It aims to strengthen the public institutions in charge of those policies and, through them, to contribute to improved economic and social outcomes.


UN Research Institute for Social Development


The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development ( UNRISD ) is an autonomous UN agency engaging in multidisciplinary research on the social dimensions of contemporary problems affecting development. Through its research, UNRISD stimulates dialogue and contributes to policy debates on key issues of social development within and outside the United Nations system.


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More on Working Abroad


Funding Sources

There are many sources of funding available from a variety of different organisations; these include charities, professional medical bodies and government funded organisations.   British Charities   The British Charities website provides a guide to charities in the UK, some of which can be approached for funding support.   BMA Humanitarian Fund   The Fund aims to support health professionals in undertaking humanitarian work and is funded jointly by the BMA, Royal College of Nursing, and the Department of Health (England).   Grants of up to £3000 are available to individual projects to cover incidental costs, such as travel expenses and accommodation. Proposed projects should offer clear health benefits to the local population and must be sustainable. The project must involve at least one current NHS employee.   Individuals interested in applying to the Humanitarian Fund, should contact the BMA's International department on or on 020 7383 6133 or 020 7383 6793, or download the application form from the BMA website.   BMA Information Fund   The BMA Information Fund is run in association with Health Books International (operated by Practical Action Publishing, the publishing arm of the charity Practical Action). HBI sources, produces and distributes practical and accessible health information and educational materials designed for use in low-resource settings.   The materials provided by the fund are clearly written, illustrated and relevant to the many health workers worldwide who operate with limited access to electricity and reliable internet connections, sophisticated equipment or medicines.   Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)   The UK Governement is a source of funding for some types of work and a Funding Finder Tool has been set up by the FCDO to help potential applicants find Official Development Assistance funding opportunities that exist across all UK Governement departments.    The Health Partnership Scheme is an allocation to support the development of Health Partnerships between UK organisations and partners abroad. The Tropical Health Education Trust (see below) administers this allocation.    Hub Cymru Wales    Hub Cymru Wales collates information from various sources about funding opportunities that might be of use for people working in global health. It keeps interested people informed of these through its newsletter.    Medical Elective Funding   The BMA has an excellent directory of sources of funding which medical students can apply to for elective grants.   Overseas Surgical Fellowship   The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, in partnership with the British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd, are offering Fellowships to sponsor surgeons wishing to work in a developing country, primarily in the least developed countries, on a short-term basis. The purpose of the Fellowships is to provide training and support for overseas medical schools in the development of their postgraduate training programmes and, thereby, establishing links with these centres.   The principles of the Overseas Surgical Fellowships are to establish links with surgical centres in developing countries. These links are to provide the opportunity for teaching and postgraduate training of surgeons overseas and, where appropriate, to encourage the exchange of surgeons. In order to allow at least five Fellowships each year, a maximum grant of £2000 will be awarded to each successful applicant.   South West International Development Network   The South West International Development Network periodically advertises funding opportunities that are relevent for both service and academic work in Low and Middle Income Countries.    Tropical Health Education Trust (THET)   THET manages the Government's Health Partnership Scheme to support institutions and professionals in partnerships with low-income countries, to improve health outcomes by sharing skills and capacity building. More information about the scheme is available on its website.  

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Safety, Insurance and Pensions

Safety and Health    It is important to become aware of the health hazards of the particular country where you will be. The chances of having a road traffic accident, for example, might be much higher than contracting malaria. Other factors, such as political instability or the chance of natural disaster, should also be taken into account.    Sources of advice    Foreign Travel Advice is the Government's advice about travelling to individual countries.    "Vacation Disaster Preparation Safety Guide" provides a wide range of information that might be useful.  Anyone likely to travel in a high Covid risk area might also find the "Loveholidays" website useful. It provides information about what is happening in various countries and links to other useful websties.    Immunisations : Advice and vaccinations are available through your local general practice.    InterHealth in London provides a service for individuals before, during and after working abroad.    Insurance : GoCompare website provides useful guidance about the travel insurance that different companies offer. It is important to be very clear on the detail of what is and what is not covered by the insurance you choose.     Professional Registration and Indemnity    Registration : If volunteering involves carrying out professional duties, then the individual needs to be registered to practice in the country they are visiting. Seek advice from your professional body on what you need to do.     Professional Indemnity : You will also need to seek the advice about professional indemnity should anything go wrong whilst practising clinically.    Pensions   Important for individuals who volunteer to work abroad is the protection of continuity of pension contributions whilst absent overseas. It is important to know your own position.    The NHS organisation for which you are working or the organisation for which you will be working for when abroad should be able to advise. More general advice on volunteers rights and expenses can be found from the Department of Work and Pensions.        

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Training to Work Abroad (Pre-Departure Training)

Training to work abroad    The following are examples of resources that help prepare people to work abroad.    Disaster Management Course (Bournemouth University)    The International Disaster Management Course at Bournemouth is a two week course is designed for people with existing or anticipated responsibilities for disaster management. Run by the Disaster Management Centre at Bournemouth University it covers rapid and slow onset natural disasters, human made disasters and complex emergencies.   Emergency Humanitarian Assistance    The Emergency Humanitarian Assistance course is online and for professional development. It is run by the University of Manchester and provides an understanding of the principles of good practice in emergency humanitarian assistance and its place in health care development.   International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC)   INTRAC is a not-for-profit organisation that builds the skills and knowledge of civil society to be more effective in addressing poverty and inequality. It provides training, research,    RedR UK   RedR UK works around the world providing practical, up-to-date training programmes that are delivered by experienced humanitarians. It trains thousands of people each year covering a very wide range of topics - everything from providing emergency shelter to staying safe in the field.   Security Training and Safeguarding   Safer Edge runs courses on Hostile Environment Awareness, Security Management, International Travel Security, Women's Security, Crisis Management.    Travel Aware Campaign   The Travel Aware Campaign is a government initiative to help any from the UK who is travelling abroad to know about the general issues related to their travel and also issues specific to the country they are visiting.    Specialist Medical Areas   Anaesthetics    The Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics based at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, runs one and five day courses in anaesthetics for people planning to work in developing countries.   e-SAFE (Safer Anaesthesia from Education) is a bespoke resource developed for anaesthetists in resource limited areas. It has been put together by the Royal College of Anaesthetists, Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists and e-Learing for Healthcare with support from the Oxford University Press.   Child Health   Child Health in Developing Countries : The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health runs a practical short course for paediatricians interested in global child health or who intend to work overseas.    Disabilities   MAITS (Multi-agency International Training and Support) exists to empower educational and health professionals to enhance and develop the services they provide to people with disabilities in resource-poor settings through sharing knowledge and practice.   Medical Peace Work   Medical Peace Work provides free online courses that deal with the role and professional responsibility of health workers in violence prevention and sustainable peace.  

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