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Application call for EPHA-OSF Roma Health Fellows

Application call for EPHA-OSF Roma Health Fellows with the support of the Public Health Program of the Open Society Foundations, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) – Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health – launches a one-year Fellowship programme (2017 – 2018) to train and mentor two Roma Health EU Advocates and an Early Childhood Development Fellow.

The Fellowship will include 5 paid advocacy visits to Brussels in 2017/2018 (travel, accomodation and per diem allowance included), 2-3 days of each, during which Roma fellows will have advocacy meetings with decision makers, attend relevant policy events and receive tailored trainings guided by their individual mentor selected from the EPHA Policy Team.

The Roma Health Fellowship aims to empower Roma community 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).

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. Fellowship action will add to EPHA’s engagement with the European Framework of the National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) and Fellows are expected to work on the national strategy of their own country, by making analyses and contributing shadow reporting activities. The Roma Health Fellowship programme complements EPHA’s campaign on Healthy Economic Policy by adding a Roma integration dimension. The Fellowship programme requires approximately half a day per week engagement (mostly via electronic communication with EPHA mentors) from the Fellows so as to develop the following skills:

  • Thorough, practical understanding of EU decision making and consultation processes with a focus on health actors within the EU institutions
  • Policy analysis skills
  • Building alliances with various organizations working on social and health policies.
  • Drafting policy-relevant texts and recommendations for decision-makers
  • Presentation and advocacy skills, e.g. for meetings with EU decision makers.

Objectives and expected outcomes of the Fellowship

The Fellowship aims to empower Roma Health Advocates to develop the necessary tools to engage with European policy-makers on health issues. On completion of the Fellowship, the Fellows will be able to navigate the EU scene, interact and advocate for advancing Roma health at European level. The expected outcomes of the Fellowship are to train Roma Health Advocates to develop and implement a one-year program facilitated by the mentors, to strengthen public speaking skills, to deepen their knowledge about the EU advocacy techniques as well as to strengthen their networks by meeting key EU actors. Fellows are also expected to advance understanding and advocacy related experience concerning the NRIS as well as the European Semester.

Qualifications and requirements for Fellows:

  • Candidates of Roma origin from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)
  • Fluency in English and Romanian and/or Bulgarian required
  • Active in civil society sector or other relevant experience in relation to Roma health and/or health rights for a minimum of two years
  • University degree in a relevant field, or an extensive work experience e.g. social sciences, health, economics, (public) policy, international relations
  • Excellent written and oral communication and strong analytical skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Creative mindset, strong motivation and initiative

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’. Duration of the Fellowship activities: March 2017 – March 2018 Deadline for applications: Tuesday, February 7th, 17.00 pm CET How to apply:

  • Please send your CV, motivation letter and a cover letter (written by the organisation where you are currently working) explaining your interest and how your organization could benefit from this experience.
  • In case you are not currently employed please provide a reference letter from your past employer or from a university professor. Please explain how your experience and commitment to Roma health-related issues and how this Fellowship will advance this.
  • Send your application to with “Roma Health Fellowship Program- application” in the subject line

Selection procedure

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

“As a result of the program, I feel that I understand better processes on developing European Parliament reports in particular I also understand better the main roles and the functions of the European Parliament, European Commission and the Council of Ministers.”

Maja Saitovic – Jovanovic

Former EPHA-OSF Roma Fellow, 1st Roma Health Fellowship Programme (2012-2014)

“I am much more involved in promoting access to health services at local level,  I understand the role of NGOs and which steps need to be followed in advocating policies at both national and EU level.”

Florin Nasture

Former EPHA-OSF Roma Fellow, 2nd Roma Health Fellowship Programme (2015-2016)

“The programme enhanced my knowledge on the role of EU institutions and non-for-profit organizations based in Brussels and I gained a broader perspective on some of the initiatives taken at EU level relevant for Roma integration.”

Diana Pirjol

Former EPHA-OSF Roma Fellow, 2nd Roma Health Fellowship Programme (2015-2016)

“Now, I understand more broadly, how to elaborate and implement an advocacy strategy on Roma Health in Romania. I also feel more confident when I have an advocacy meeting and the discussion is in English.

Marius Radulescu

Former EPHA-OSF Roma Fellow, 1st Roma Health Fellowship Programme (2012-2014)

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