National and International



There are many organisations engaged in global health at these levels. The following are examples of some of the more significant UK and international organisations. 


UK Organisations


All Parliamentary Group on Global Health


The All Parliamentary Group on Global Health is one of several All Parliamentary Groups set up by Government. It focusses on the underlying, cross-cutting health issues which affect us all wherever we live. Through research and regular events, the Group offers recommendations and advice to Parliament and the Government on key policies impacting health in the UK and overseas.


The British Council 


The British Council aims to build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. It encourages cultural, educational and other interchanges between the United Kingdom and elsewhere and its Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme scheme is aimed at students from across the Commonwealth who would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK. 

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office


The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office was formed in September 2020 by the incorporation of the Department for International Development ino the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Its most recent International Development Strategy was published in May, 2022. 




Healthcare-UK is a joint initiative of the Department of Health (DH), UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), NHS England and NHS Improvement. It helps UK healthcare providers to do more business overseas by promoting the UK healthcare sector to overseas markets and supporting healthcare partnerships between the UK and overseas healthcare providers.


Rebuild for Resilience 


ReBUILD for Resilience examines health system resilience in fragile settings experiencing violence, conflict, pandemics and other shocks. It is funded by the UK Government and is an international research consortium that aims to produce high-quality, practical, multidisciplinary and scalable research which can be used to improve the health and lives of many millions of people.


International Organisations 


European Commission International Partnerships 


The European Commission : International Partnerships promotes good governance, human and economic development, and tackle global issues, such as fighting poverty, hunger and preserving natural resources. It coordinates is work with EU member countries, builds international partnerships, involves all relevant stakeholders in its development efforts, and partners with developing countries to achieve their ambitions. Our development cooperation focuses on results, transparency, and mutual accountability.


United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)


UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help met their basic need and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. It was set up in 1946 after World War II to provide food, clothing and health care to European children who were suffering from famine and disease. It became a permanent arm of the United Nations in 1953.


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


The United Nations Development Programme is a United Nations organization tasked with helping countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable economic growthand human development. It is the part of the United Nations the works to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals


It emphasizes developing local capacity towards long-term self-sufficiency and prosperity. It administers projects to attract investment, technical training, and technological development, and provides experts to help build legal and political institutions and expand the private sector.


United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) 


The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs  is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. It also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort and helps to mobilise funding for the work.


World Bank 


The World Bank is a global partnership that forms a group working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. Experience shows that capacity in developing countries can be improved and strengthened quickly when donors better coordinate their activities and harmonize their procedures.


As such, the World Bank works with other international institutions and donors, civil society and professional and academic associations to improve the coordination of aid policies and practices in countries, at the regional level and at the global level.


It works in every major area of development, providing a wide array of financial products and technical assistance. It help countries share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face.


UN World Food Programme (WFP) 


The World Food Programme (WFP) is part of the United Nations and is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Its aim is for every man, woman and child to have access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. It delivers food assistance in emergencies and works with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. 


Follow this link to see the differences between the UN World Food Programme, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the International Fund for Agricultural Development


World Health Organisation (WHO)


The World Health Organisation is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.  




National and International image

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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