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Recruitment and selection of participants

This page should be read in conjunction with the Logistics page and the Course planning page.

The key functions associated with recruitment and selection include:
  • the announcement,
  • marketing,
  • the application, 
  • assessment of applications,
  • offers, reserves and regrets,
  • acceptance,
  • visas and flights,
  • preparation. 

We need to create a new webpage to announce each course. This provides a URL to direct inquirers to, and a base from which applicants can apply.  Check earlier announcements to see what needs to be included in each announcement. We have a template prepared for the announcement page for each new course; instructions hereSee templates for an email announcement and for the PDF for download announcement.  

Marketing of the course needs to be directed as much as possible to people who will continue to participate effectively in the broader people's health movement, including but not exclusively within PHM.  This involves putting a strong emphasis on marketing through established PHM networks and those of friendly organisations. 

We use web based application forms with automatic spreadsheet data downloads. The template application form needs customisation for each course. Hard copy application is possible but discouraged. 

The columns on the spreadsheet download correspond to the fields on the application form: personal name, family name, gender, addresses, email, current and previous occupations, institution (and web), language competence, previous and current health activism, 'why do you want to?', 'list areas of interest', referees and contact details, 'scholarship for travel?', 'scholarship for accommodation?', 'outline your circumstances'.

Once the applications are closed several further columns are added to the spreadsheet to:

  • capture the scores of the applications assessment panel, individually and average;
  • acceptance status (accept, reserve, regret);
  • scholarship offer (travel, accommodation);
  • acceptance offer made, confirmed.
The applications assessment panel is asked to assigning scores (0-5) to all the applicants broadly along the following lines. 
  • Are they already involved in the struggle for health (within and/or beyond paid employment?)
      • See previous and current activism (Column Z)
      • See areas of interest (Column AB)
      • See current and previous occupations (Cols AD, AE)
  • Do they have links with grass roots networks?
      • See activism (Col Z)
      • See occupations (Cols AD, AE)
      • See Interests (Col AB)
  • Do they understand the ideas of ‘the struggle for health’; the ‘social movement strategy’, the idea of ‘activism’?
      • See activism (Col Z)
      • See ‘Why participate and what do you hope to do afterwards’ (Column AA) 
  • Would they be able to manage the requirements of participation in the course (foundational knowledge assumed; reading level; analytic skills; etc)
      • see educational background (Col AC) and current and previous occupations (Col AD, AE)
      • (this is a yes/no consideration; it does not lend itself to grading)
  • Likely amount of benefit from participation? (likely to gain a great deal or not so much?; course content not too familiar already?)
      • Drawing from all of the columns 

Where appropriate one member of the panel might be deputed to consult (email or phone) with established PHM activists who know the applicants. 

Thus an applicant might score 5, if they:

  • Are already engaged in activism (but perhaps are not bringing a huge career experience of activism and engagement)
  • Have grass roots links
  • Have a commitment to and understanding of ‘the struggle for health’, the ‘social movement’ approach and ‘activism’
  • Are going to be able to manage the level of content
  • Are likely to gain a great deal from the course
  • Are relatively young 

Achieving balance within the whole class across gender, age, ethnicity and country cannot be really sorted on an individual basis. After the panel has graded individual applicants they are asked to review 'accept and offer' decisions and rebalance the cohort for first round offers balance issues before issuing invitations. 

See the logistics page for template letters and tracking sheets for the next stage: 
  • acceptance or regret,
  • scholarship offers,
  • arrangements for formal invitation for visa,
  • flight arrangements, and later
  • the practical information note (map, weather, greeting arrangements, contact numbers, power plugs).

From time to time course organisers have sought to encourage participants to undertake some pre-reading before attending the course.  The most substantive of these initiatives was the short IPOL presented before the face to face Cape Town IPHU in 2012. See also the pre-course preparation email, various versions of which have been used in several courses (not very successfully!).