You are here

Course planning


The course planning model (checklist, not mandatory) identifies a range of functions which need to be attended to in setting up an IPHU course and the kinds of timelines involved:

  • course planning: dates and venue,
  • management of planning and delivery,
  • fundraising, 
  • marketing, 
  • applications, enrolment and scholarships, 
  • logistics coordination (travel, accommodation, venue and facilities), 
  • program development and coordination (program planning, faculty recruitment, scheduling, briefing, quality assurance, evaluation),
  • website. 

Planning group

Detailed planning is usually supported by a planning group that communicates via email and Skype and meets via Skype. The members of the planning group should include: 

  • local coordinator or coordinating group (local arrangements (venue, accommodation, ground transport, etc), liaison and coordination)
  • nominees of sponsoring networks (including local PHM)
  • IPHU anchor person and other international faculty person/s
  • enough volunteers to cover the specific coordination functions:
      • fundraising,
      • marketing, 
      • student liaison (receipt of applications, enrolment and scholarships),
      • local logistics (venue and facilities, catering, ground transport, accommodation),
      • program development and coordination (program planning, faculty recruitment, scheduling, briefing, quality assurance, evaluation),
      • website,
      • management (meetings, agendas, minutes, follow up on action commitments, etc). 

One member should take responsibility for managing the process, not in any dictatorial sense so much as ensuring that decisions are documented and action commitments are followed up. 

Co-sponsoring organisations 

We will need a policy early on about who are the organisations to be identified as co-sponsors of each IPHU course (and perhaps to participate on the Planning Committee). It is part of movement-building; it may be necessary also for marketing if we need to access their mailing lists. Co-sponsoring organisations may have an interest in the program design and may have suggestions for topics and resource people.

University affiliation. Part of the IPHU model is to build a network of friendly universities through a process of affiliation. The main practical issues associated with university affiliation are about legitimising the participation of academics and also coming to agreements on credits if any students want credits for participating in the IPHU. It is also a bit about giving some status to IPHU as such.

Course planning: dates and venue 

The first step is to determine the location and dates. Detailed planning needs to start at least 6 months before the course is due to be presented (the time lines shown in the course planning model are too short; only four months). 

We need a strong local coordinating group. Without this local support it might be better not to proceed. 

We need secure funding. Do not proceed to advertise until funding is secured!!

Once the local coordinating group is in place and funding has been secured the key tasks and timelines centre around: 

  • posting of the announcement and application form on website;
  • liaison with organisations whom we hope will help distribute the announcement (and might be co-sponsors);
  • commencement of email marketing (and completion of first wave of marketing);
  • decisions regarding acceptances and scholarships.

See logistics page for a range of resources to support these functions. 


Need to start marketing at least 6 months before commencement.  We want to get the courses into people’s diaries before they have committed to applying.

We need a clear policy about the kinds of people we are looking for for each course.  What proportion should be local, regional, global? Consider language implications.  

We need an announcement page for the website (so we can advertise a URL) and we need a PDF that can be sent electronically and printed out and distributed. These will need to be translated into appropriate languages. (See logistics page for more resources for these functions.)

We have found that using the application form posted on line greatly reduces the work entailed in handling applications.  It may be necessary to have a hard copy application form (in Word or PDF format) that people can distribute and print out for applicants who do not have internet access.  However, this involves further data entry which adds to the organisers' workload. Check up on the most recently used Application Form for further ideas.

Recruitment policies

The (teaching) goal of IPHU is to contribute to HFA globally by strengthening the people’s health movement, by providing learning and collaborative opportunities, which are well targetted, address priority objectives, and are well designed and presented.

  • What mix of local, national, regional and global participants are we aiming for?
  • What are the priorities for capacity building of the movement in the region and locally? 
  • What are the learning priorities for the individuals who we are likely to attract?

Email advertising

Most of the advertising is done via email lists.  Some of the email lists the Planning Group will have direct access to, eg the PHM Exchange.

Many of the email lists that we want to use are the property of other organisations.  We need to open a conversation with these organisations early. (And check to see that promises (about sending out the notice) are carried out promptly.)  

Fund-raising and budgeting

Start fund raising early (see proposal template and further discussion on Finance page).  Do not commence advertising until funding is secured.

Close liaison with PHM Global Secretariat is essential.

Need to develop a revenue budget and an expenditure budget (see separate IPHU budget model) although it is likely that what eventuates will departs significantly from the best prepared plans.

Note the value of registering in-kind support and the value of volunteered time as well as cash revenues as part of demonstrating to funders how much their funds are multiplied. 

The IPHU budget model provides a framework for budget planning.  Many of the items will be irrelevant for some courses so just put zeros for these.  However, it may be useful in developing funding proposals.

Applicant liaison (receipt of applications, enrollment and scholarships)

We use an online application form on the IPHU website for most
  There may be a need for a printable hard copy application form to be distributed but this will be on a one-off basis. Most will be expected to apply the website.

The advertising will refer to the website.

Most applications will come in in e-form.  Perhaps a few will come in in hard copy.

Applications data are transferred to a spreadsheet as they come in so that the data can be easily shared among members of the Planning Committee.

See logistics page for links to the various tools which have been developed for these functions. 

Need to set a (notional) final date for receipt of applications so that
decisions about acceptances can be made in good time.  This is especially important for the internationals.

Need clear understanding between PHM Global and the Local Coordinator regarding local acceptances.

Application forms will invite applicants to indicate whether they need
scholarship support.  Decisions about airfare subsidies in particular will be needed early to get discounted flights
and allow time for visa processing. 

Please remember to advise unsuccessful applicants (see templates for acceptances and regrets on logistics page). 

Practical information

What do participants need to know? What to expect in terms of weather; need for malaria prophylaxis; visa requirements including invitation letters (see logistics page); health insurance; etc?

Get visa requirements clear early.  Note that the visa requirements will generally be different for people from different countries.  Provide visa advice early.  Visas may need an official letter of invitation.  Be prepared (see logistics page).

All participants and faculty should have health insurance cover for the duration of their stay in the host country. 

Flight details

Collect flight details early and maintain a close watch over changes.  It is very depressing not to be picked up in a foreign country.

Arrival welcome and orientation

Arrange activities for welcoming and orienting participants on arrival at the venue or at their accommodation.  

PDF icon Course planning tasks and timelines28.23 KB