Workshops, Networks and Projects

Move for the 3 Billion campaign!

WHO will lead a series of physical activity events between 2019 and 2023. WHCA joined the step challenge during the week 15-22 September 2019on the occasion of RC69 and walked and ran a total of 365,579 STEPS, the equivalent of 255 km! (aprox. the distance from Rome to Florence)




 Adapting vaccine messages: 5 translation tips


Street lawyers and legal literacy: determinants of health.

Congratulations to WHCA award winning intern, Martin Luca de la Cruz, whose work for Avvocato di Strada in Foggia, Italy is  featured in new book  “Io, avvocato di strada” (I am a Street Lawyer).

Martin’s capacity to help homeless people (immigrants and Italian natives) access, understand and take action on their human rights and entitlements is described by author/lawyer Massimiliano Arena. [read more...]

Martin is currently working as caseworker at EASO, and based at Naples sections of the Territorial Commission of Salerno (Italy). He is working on the processing of applications for international protection, applying the EU asylum acquis and relevant national legislation.

▪ Working on the processing of applications for international protection, applying the EU asylum



Workshop on Vaccination: Frames, Facts, Fictions and Feelings, Centre for Independent Journalism, 9-10 February 2018, Bucharest (Romania) 

WHCA worked with the Romanian Centre for Independent Journalism this last week in developing and facilitating a workshop on Vaccination.The workshop brought together 20 journalists from around the country working in local media outlets, bloggers and investigative journalists. 

The aim of the meeting was to increase knowledge of journalist and enhance capacities to cover vaccination stories and to help build relationships with public health and vaccination experts. To that end, the workshop format was structured as a series of  World Café conversations between small groups of journalists and pairs of vaccination experts from institutes, academia and general practice.Vaccination rates in Romania have been driopping over last few years and there is a growing anti-vaccination movement fueled by celebrities, rapidly changing governments, mistrust in health system and supply problems. These factors have all contributed to lower vaccination uptake resulting in major measles outbreak with over 30 deaths to date, mainly in unvaccinated children under 12 months.

Presentation 1-2  Presentation 3  Presentation 4 


Translation alone is not enough

This guide introduces an innovative five-step, stakeholder-based approach to adapting health communication materials. It describes how countries can take any health communication material (produced in English or other languages) and create adapted products which reflect national or local realities, needs and assets without losing the scientific correctness, core concepts and messages of the original version. Lessons learned from applying this approach in WHCA ECDC-supported projects to pilot and adapt the "Lets talk about Protection - Enhancing childhood vaccination uptake” A Communication guide for healthcare providers" in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary and Romania. [download PDF of the GUIDE]


Lets talk about hesitancy - Enhancing confidence in vaccination and uptake. Practical guide for public health programme managers and communicators

This guide provides practical evidence-based and peer-reviewed advice for public health programme managers (PHPMs) and communicators involved with immunisation services. It identifies ways to enhance people’s confidence in vaccination and addresses common issues which underlie vaccination hesitancy. PHPMs are the target audience for this guide, as they are uniquely positioned to initiate, coordinate and monitor the comprehensive system-wide action needed to address the many psychosocial determinants of hesitancy and provide support to healthcare providers in their efforts to enhance vaccination confidence and uptake. This guide serves as a supplement to the ECDC guide Let’s talk about protection], which focuses on strengthening the capacities of healthcare providers to better address concerns about vaccination and tackle obstacles to vaccination uptake. [download PDF of the GUIDE]

Lets talk about Protection- Enhancing childhood vaccination uptake- updated

This Guide provides practical peer-reviewed advice and evidence-based guidance for healthcare providers who are involved with immunisation services i on ways to increase the uptake of childhood vaccinations. This advice and guidance is delivered by giving voice to the thoughts, knowledge and insights of parents, social marketers ii, health promoters and other health service and public health experts. The advice aims to help healthcare providers gain insights into the behaviour and choices of different stakeholders and identify ways to better address concerns about vaccination and other obstacles to vaccination uptake. [download PDF of the GUIDE]


Should the Olympic Games in Brazil be postponed? Watch interview


South East European Center of Infectious Diseases Surveillance and Control Stakeholder Meeting  2-3 March 2016, Rogner Hotel, Tirana, Albania

National and regional disease surveillance and response experts gathered in Tirana 2-3 March for a SECID/CORDS stakeholder meeting. The meeting aimed to agree priority action plans for SECID network. Zika preparedness and response was a key issue on agenda. Some international agencies such as WHO, ECDC, USAID, and government representatives were also attending.

WHCA was giving facilitation and communication support services and gathering interviews from some of the stakeholders. 

To know more visit SECID  and CORDS website.


A-debate: U-Turn on Addictions. Biological and social science to reframe addictions policy - Barcelona, February 17-18, 2016 

ALICE RAP hosted a final debate to present and discuss key research findings coming out of the project, their policy implications and the science with the greatest potential to contribute to smart and evidence-based global drugs policy.
The event was attended by high-level scientists, policy actors from national and international organisations and expert civil society actors. [read more]

Read the final version of the  A-Debate Science Summary document. 


4th Annual Pharma Anti-Counterfeiting 2015 “Competences to Combat Counterfeits” 8-9 September 2015, The Kensington Close Hotel, Wrights Lane, London, UK

 Franklin Apfel gave a presentation on DAY 2 at 15:50 – Raising “counterfeit” health literacy -people, professionals and policy makers.


Where’s the pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technologies market heading? Counterfeit medicines issue is creating a growing threat to patients in every part of the world, with increasing numbers in Europe and the USA. Customs department in every part of the world are finding more and more illegally produced drugs in day-to-day life. [read more]



EBOLA – Intensified Preparedness Programme (IPP) First pilot training: CORDS - Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance - 25-26 November 2014 Hotel Imperial, Kampala Uganda


Franklin Apfel together with Dr. Petra Dickmann and  Prof. Nigel Lightfoot is one of the facilitators during a 2-day pilot training on EBOLA – Intensified Preparedness Programme (IPP) organized by CORDS. The workshop convenes key stakeholders from several African Countries  and aims to build capacity in communication and community work to better manage the Ebola outbreak.


ALICE RAP Steering Group Meeting, 3-4 February 2015, Barcelona 

The aim of the ALICE RAP Barcelona steering meeting is to review project achievements and publications to date and agree reporting plans and the agenda and programme for early 2016. WHCA supports project communication work and chairs the media and communication advisory group.


CORDS- Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance - One Health workshop 
10 - 12 November 2014 - Bangkok, Thailand

Franklin Apfel has been one of the facilitators during a 3-day pilot One Health workshop on Influenza H7N9 and Ebola organized by CORDS. The workshop convened key stakeholders from 7 South-Eastern Asian countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. These countries are part of 2 networks, MBDS (Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance) and APEIR (Asia Partnership on Emerging Infectious Diseases Research).

More videos from ONE Health workshop can be watched on CORDS Youtube Channnel


Cultural Adaptation and translation of Health- related materials

Assistance for country-tailored health communication activities to support measles and rubella elimination
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) August 2014-March 2015

WHCA, under the terms of a Framework Contract, has been working and supporting ECDC initiatives and pilot projects over the past few years. One major area of activity has been the development and adaptation of evidence-based communication tools to r support health care providers during their daily interactions with patients and/or beneficiaries around topics related to vaccination in general, and especially MMR uptake.  Activities have included coordinating the development of the ECDC guide Let’s talk about protection; the cultural adaptation of the guide and supporting materials (called guide set) in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania; the pilot testing of the guide set in three Roma communities in Bulgaria. As part of this process WHCA has helped ECDC develop guidance for cross-border adaptation of health related materials.

Over the next 8 months WHCA will support more country-led teams in adapting Let’s talk about protection plus work with Heidi Larson and colleagues at the London School of Hygiene to develop a supplement on “vaccine hesitancy” for use by relevant health care providers and public health professionals to enhance communications between providers and parents and grandparents  around vaccine preventable diseases and vaccines.

[read more about WHCA activities within the Framework contracts with ECDC]




Global Health and Journalism Mentoring Initiative
The World Health Professions Alliance meets the journalists, Geneva,  19 May 2014

More videos on this meeting


4th ALICE RAP GENERAL PARTNERS' MEETING, 12-14 May 2014, Amsterdam

The WHCA Global Health and Journalism Initiative selected two students - Martin Luca de la Cruz (Faculty of Law, Padua University) and Charlotte Sexauer (MA Journalism - University of West England)  to participate in the Alice RAP meetings in Amsterdam to hear, debate and reflect on ways some scientists are trying to influence drug and addiction- related policy making in Europe and beyond through research and advocacy.

[Read more about ALICE RAP project]

Read Charlotte Sexauer's article

Read Martin Luca de la Cruz's article


Health in Europe: are we there yet? Learning from the past, building the future
13-16 November 2013, The Square, Rue Ravenstein 2, Brussels, Belgium

Under contract to ECDC, WHCA facilitated a panel on Risk Communication  for the prevention of communicable diseases: Introducing a new risk communication paradigm. Friday , 15 November from 13:30 to 15:00 Room M4.


5th Annual WHO Healthy Cities Conference, Izmir, Turkey, 20-22 September 2013

WHCA will coordinate the press conference and moderation services during the 5th “Annual Business and Technical Conference” of WHO European Healthy Cities Network and European National Healthy Cities Network.

[read more]


Population-Level Behavior Change (PLBC) Evidence Summit for Child Survival
FHI 360, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
June 3-4, 2013

Franklin Apfel, Managing Director of World Health Communication Associates, joined forces with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to launch the Behavior Change Evidence Summit for Child Survival on June 3–4 to ensure we are all doing what works best to end preventable child deaths and ensure healthy growth and development. The Summit brings together global leaders to determine what is needed to change health-related behaviors in lower and middle income countries (LMICs) and reduce under-five mortality.


Follow the summit on Twitter:

Hashtags: #GHmatters #Promise4Children


The World Health Editors Network (WHEN)meeting

Geneva, 18-23 May 2013

Four "cub reporters" have entered the stadium of the 66 World Health Assembly. They have faced and overcome some obstacles to access health information since the very first day. They are trying hard to make health information understandable to the general public in the attempt to democratise knowledge so everybody can leave the stadium and bring home some useful health information to start being a policy maker in their own homes. [read more]


ALICE RAP Steering Group Meeting, 5-7 February 2013, Barcelona

The aim of the ALICE RAP Barcelona steering meeting is to review project achievements and publications to date and agree reporting plans and the agenda and programme for the project meeting 23-25 April 2013. WHCA supports project communication work and chairs the media and communication advisory group.


Risk communication pilot training, 16-17 January 2013, ECDC, Stockholm

Under contract to ECDC, WHCA has been coordinating the development of a risk communication training course. To this end WHCA recruited three international experts working at the forefront of research on and practice of risk communication and managed a curriculum development process. The course modules, developed through one face-to-face and five virtual meetings of the experts, were used to support the delivery of this 2-day “pilot” training course for ECDC staff.  Feedback and evaluation from this pilot testing is being used to finalise a course syllabus and inform ECDC planning for further development of the training programme.


2012 Child Safety Report Cards

On June 12, 2012 the European Child Safety Alliance of EuroSafe  launched the Child Safety Report Cards for more than 30 European countries at the European Parliament in Strasbourg with the support of MEP Malcolm Harbour Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli.[read more]

The “Unofficial” World Health Communication Associates (WHCA) Action Guide to the: WHO – 65th World Health Assembly
21–26 May 2012, Geneva 

Download a copy here









Workshop on Wellbeing and Happiness

Columbia University, New York City
Sunday, April 1st, 2012

WHCA participated in the Workshop on Wellbeing and Happiness which aims to reframe the way the world looks at and works for development.

[read more]


Annual meeting STI and HIV in EU/EEA
15-17 February 2012
Elite Hotel Marina Tower & ECDC

WHCA supplies facilitation and rapporteur services in this annual meeting that is meant to provide a platform for expert discussion amongst the nominated contact points for STI and HIV with respect to the recent STI and HIV surveillance reports to better understand the spread of disease and differences across EU/EEA Member States, and with respect to several ongoing projects in these disease areas initiated by ECDC.
[Read programme] ECDC website


The European Health Literacy Conference
Museum of Natural Science, Brussels November 22 -23, 2011

WHCA introduced system scorecard approach concepts to the meeting and will help with report finding dissemination. 150 people from more than 20 countries took part in the conference and discussed the developments and policy impacts of the health literacy survey results, which were launched. European Commissioner for health John Dalli opened the conference which was endorsed by several members of the European Parliament: Christofer Fjellner, Karin Kadenbach, Pat the Cope Gallagher and Antoniya Parvanova. [read more...]

The Movie of the HLS-EU project


9th International Dialogue on Population and Sustainable Development
Education Matters: Empowering Young People for a Healthy Future
Berlin, KfW, October 19 – 20, 2011

WHCA staff engaged small group activities in the Market place and  World Café sessions aimed at capturing their collective wisdom and experience in advocating, implementing, sustaining and strengthening human rights approaches to sexual and reproductive health.
[read more...]


 Little Music Makers: Nurturing imagination 

Bristol based music, world-building adventures created especially for your 3 months to 5 year olds. Every session is uniquely designed to bring out children's natural curiosity in music making and world exploring themes. *Lockdown adventures brought into your home!* Join Robin and Ali and gang on


Are you looking for something to give you and your children a sense of routine and structure to your week? Especially with the Summer holidays looming? Are you looking for entertainment and activities that will support your child’s learning, while you all have fun in the process? [Find out how...]



Coronavirus – Connecting Communities 
Strengthening social connectiveness -  Practicing physical distancing

WHCA and Inspirit Creatives are joining together to develop and manage a Coronavirus - Connecting Communities Initiative to bring practical 'News you Can use” to all. We welcome your stories and reflkections that could help others to better understand, cope, thrive and build resilience.

69th Session of the WHO Regional Committeee for Europe, 16-19 September 2019, Copenhagen, Denmark

WHCA is pleased to announce the publication Better Health for Europe – more equitable and sustainable Transformational Reflections 2010 – 2020 by WHO RegionalOffice for Europe. This book tells the story of how all the people who work in the Regional and Country Offices of the WHO Regional Office for Europe have sought, over the last ten years, to make a reality of this goal. 





Written by Richard Alderslade, Franklin Apfel and Sabrina Cecconi


Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe from 2010 until 2020, narrates the story on behalf of all staff and describes the vision, strategic thinking and processes followed, as well as the impact achieved. Political leaders, public health managers and health practitioners and advocates from across the WHO European Region and beyond were invited to enrich the narrative with their observations. In extracts from witnesses’ interviews they reflect upon the relevance and utility of the work of the Regional Office, throughout the book. 

This book is divided into three parts. Part 1: The Seven Strategic Action Priorities, presents the systematic process the Regional Office has followed in developing the policy frameworks, evidence base, capacities, relationships, partnerships, networks and skills needed to transform and enhance action for better, more equitable and sustainable health and well-being in Europe and beyond. Part 2: The Technical Achievements, describes outcomes and the impacts of Regional Office work on the two objectives and four priority actions of the Health 2020 European policy framework. Part 3: Conclusions and Messages, summarises reflections and looks at challenges beyond 2020.


Healthy, Prosperous Lives for all in the European Region – High-level Conference on Health Equity, 11-13 June 2019, Ljubljana, Slovenia

WHCA is moderating some of the sessions at the High-level Conference on Health Equity, hosted by the Government of Slovenia. The meeting will provide evidence and information on the solutions that can be implemented to reduce health inequalities and accelerate progress towards better health, well-being and prosperity for all in the European Region. [read more]


THE PEP 2018 Symposium “Room C”, WHO
Geneva, 12 December 2018

 The Symposium was on achieving multiple benefits through active mobility:reduced emissions and noice, better environment and improved human health.  Dr Franklin Apfel moderated a round table discussion following 2 keynote speeches: one by Prof Jean François Toussaint, (Université Paris Descarted) on the health benefits of active mobility and the other by Michael Walsh (independent consutant) on a global overview on motor vehicle pollution. The audience of the Symposium was made by THE PEP focal points from almost 30 different Member States and organizations  in the UNECE-WHO/Europe region, representing the transport, health and environment ministries. 

To know more visit THE PEP website


Global Conference on Primary Health Care
25 - 26 October, Astana, Kazakhstan

WHCA attended the Global Conference on Primary Health Care to celebrate the 40th anniversary meeting of the Alma Ata agreement in Astana in October to continue its interview work for the EURO 10 year reflection book.

Charlotte Marchandise, Deputy Mayor for Health in Rennes (France)   delivers Mayors Almaty Commitments to closing session of  WHO/UNICEF Astana Global Conference on Primary Health Care and calls for all Regions to aim to mobilise 20,000 healthy cities each to help realise the goals of the New Declaration !


International Healthy Cities Conference
Belfast 1-4 October 2018

WHCA attended WHO Healthy Cities Belfast meeting to continue its interviewing for the WHO -EURO 10 year reflection book. 


68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe
Rome, Italy, 17–20 September 2018

WHCA attended the WHO 68th Regional Committee. All 53 Member States were represented. Prime Ministers from Italy and Albania and over 20 Ministers of Health, Environment, Transport, Social Affairs joined the over 500 participants. High on the agenda was the new European Health Report, new public health strategy, an innovation and unique Men’s Health Initiative, reports on Migrant and Refugee Health programmes, new economic studies to support the case for Universal Health Coverage, and the renewed Tallinn Charter agreements.  WHO DG Tedros commend the Region for leading the way in a wide range of initiatives from Migrant Health, to governance to UHC.


Franklin Apfel, Managing Director of WHCA moderated a side event on THEPEP initiative and continued its interviewing work in the preparation of the WHO-EURO office 10 year reflection book.

For the first time RC68 introduced an @ActiveRC68 initiative session that included a step competition. Participants were asked to count their steps during the days of the meeting. We are pleased to report that Sabrina Cecconi, WHCA Programme Director, was the winner of this first WHO EURO RC competition.  Congratulations to Sabrina! This initiative is part of a larger effort by the NCD group based in the Moscow Office of WHO to a catalyse healthier and more sustainable meetings. WHCA is looking at ways to support this initiative and welcomes ideas and communications from our followers.


Fifth high-level meeting of small countries: working together for better health and well-being for all, 26–27 June 2018, Reykjavik, Iceland

WHO established the Small Countries Initiative so that countries in the WHO European Region with a population of less than 1 million people can share their knowledge on implementing Health 2020.

WHCA joined the meeting to conduct interviews with Ministers and others to further support the development of a planned WHO Regional Office for Europe 10 year reflection book and advocacy guide on health impacts in Member States of new policies (e.g. Health 2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals), programmes, governance structures and leadership models. [... read more]


Health Systems for Prosperity and Solidarity: leaving no one behind, 13-14 June 2018, Tallinn, Estonia

This WHO High-level regional meeting was held in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Tallinn Charter.

WHCA joined the meeting to conduct interviews with Ministers and others to support the development of a planned WHO Regional Office for Europe 10 year reflection book and advocacy guide on health impacts of new policies (e.g. Health 2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals), programmes, governance structures and leadership models.

The programme was designed around 3 themes:
include – improving health coverage, access and financial protection for everyone;
invest – making the case for investing in health systems; and
innovate – harnessing innovations and systems to meet people’s needs. [... read more]


71World Health Assembly, 21–26 May 2018, Geneva, Switzerland

WHCA attended the WHA 71 to initiate its work on a Ten year Reflection book on Impact of the WHO Regional office for Europe.

WHA71 was not business as usual. On the Sunday before sessions started WHO organised a Walk the Talk event which mobilised over 3,000 people to demonstrate their commitment to enhancing physical activity by ‘walking-the-talk’  individually and in teams from the Palais ‘Broken Chair” square to Lake Geneva. The event was inspiring, bonding and healthy. [read more...]


HPV Prevention and Control Board Meeting, 15-16 May 2018,  Bucharest, Romania

The role of Health Care Providers in HPV vaccination and screening programme implementation; Prevention and control of HPV and HPV related cancers in Romania.  
WHCA gave a presentation on “10 tips to supporting Health Care Provider HPV related communications with media “; and produced a series of short videos on key messages from presenters [see[read more...]


Countering the hazard merchants blog series

Series one - New tobacco industry frames to undermine public health

A four part interview and commentary series 

Interviewer: Franklin Apfel, World Health Communication Associates (WHCA)

Interviewee: Derek Yach, Founder and Director Phillip Morris International (PMI) Foundation for a Smoke- Free World

Commentary: Professor Martin McKee, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

In this blog series Apfel analyses and McKee comments on Yach’s interview responses on the tobacco industry and his involvement in the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. The series is intended to identify new ways in which the industry is attempting to (re)frame conversations on tobacco and health and tobacco industry behaviours as demonstrated by their adherence to or circumvention of article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control states: "In setting and implementing their public health policies with respect to tobacco control, Parties shall act to protect these policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry in accordance with national law." 

New Tobacco Industry communication strategies to undermine public health: Part I - 50 shades of gray frame

New Tobacco Industry communication strategies to undermine public health: Part II - “There’s been no progress in 10 years”

New Tobacco Industry communication strategies to undermine public health: Part III - Redefining the "end game" goal1

New Tobacco Industry communication strategies to undermine public health: IV - Tobacco industry research sets the gold standard

A Stronger Possibility for Reinvesting Tobacco Money in Public Health for a Smoke-Free World


International Cycling Conference, (Mannheim Baroque Palace) Mannheim, Germany from 19 to 21 September, 2017







The ICC is a 3-day meeting to highlight the role of active mobility from an international perspective. It is an engaging, innovative and interactive event gathering international researchers and practitioners  to discuss the role of active mobility in the modern world, intersecting academic, political and practical thinking strategies.  Dr Franklin Apfel from World Health Communication Associates (WHCA)