by | May 1, 2015 | Opinion

Call for a one-year EU advocacy Roma health fellowship programme  


With the support of the Public Health Program of the Open Society Foundations, EPHA (the European Public Health Alliance) – Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health – launches a one-year fellowship programme (2015 – 2016) to train and mentor up to two Roma health EU advocates.

The fellowship aims to empower Roma Health Advocates from CEE countries to develop the necessary tools to engage with European policy makers and to increase the capacity of the Roma community for leadership on Roma health at EU level. The two fellows (and their sending organisations) will get the opportunity to develop their professional skills with a practical and European orientation, and develop contacts and cooperation with the most important European actors (e.g. European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and European networks of NGOs inter-alia).

Description of the fellowship programme

The programme provides tailored technical assistance for two Roma health activists on EU Health Advocacy. The tailored assistance will include mentoring and training component on the key EU health processes and on a design of an EU advocacy strategy for advancing a specific Roma health issue. It will also facilitate establishing partnerships and potential collaborations with relevant EU actors.

The three key elements of the programme are:

  • To develop the capacity of participating Roma Health Fellows to undertake EU level advocacy
  • To increase the attention to Roma health issues in EU policies
  • To build capacity and commitment for Roma health at national and regional levels.

The fellowship will be mainly carried out via electronic communication between the fellow and EPHA staff. The programme requires approximately half a day per week engagement from the fellows so as to develop the following skills and knowledge:

  • An understanding of the EU decision making and consultation processes with a focus on health actors within the EU institutions
  • An improved policy analysis skills
  • Building alliances with various organizations operating in the social and field sectors.
  • An improvement in policy drafting skills, including drafting policy recommendations for decision makers
  • An improved presentation skill by doing face-to-face meetings with EU decision makers.

Objectives and expected outcomes of the fellowship 

The overarching goal of the fellowship is to empower Roma Health Advocates to develop the necessary tools to engage in advocacy on Roma health with the European policy makers. Upon finishing the fellowship, the two Roma health EU advocates will be able to navigate the EU scene, interact and advocate for advancing Roma health within the EU Health scene.

The expected outcomes of the fellowship are to train Roma Health Advocates to be able to develop and implement a one-year program facilitated by the mentors, to strengthen their public speech skills, to deepen their knowledge about the EU advocacy techniques as well as to strengthen their networks by meeting EU actors and MEPs.

Qualifications and requirements for fellows:

 Candidates from Central and Eastern European Countries

  • Fluency in English is a must
  • Active in civil society sector on Roma health and health related rights for a minimum of two years OR past experience
  • University degree
  • Understanding of Roma health issues is valuable strong plus
  • Excellent written and oral communication
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability and commitment to work independently and from distance
  • Creative mindset and strong motivation and initiative
  • Proficiency in multitasking

Previous experience in advocacy (influencing decision making at local, regional, national or European level), MA in health or social sciences as well as understanding of Roma health issues would be an advantage. The ideal candidate would be a “young Roma leader”. In case there are more suitable candidates than available places, priority will be given to female candidates.

Duration of the project: May, 2015 – May, 2016

Deadline to apply: Friday, June 12th, 2015, 17.00 pm CET

How to apply

Please send your CV, your motivation letter and a cover letter (written by the organization where you are currently working) explaining your interest and how your organization could benefit from this experience.

In case you are not employed at the moment please provide a reference letter from your past employer or from a university professor. It is of particular interest for us to see how your organization and yourself are already working or are committed to work on Roma health-related issues and how this fellowship could contribute to it

Send your application to and with “Roma Health Fellowship Program- application” in the subject line by Friday June 12, 2015.

Selection procedure:

EPHA and the OSF Roma Health Programme will make a pre-selection of candidates based on the applications received. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a telephone/Skype interview. The selection will be made without regard to race, religion, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.

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