Programme Overview

Global Health: Advocacy and Diplomacy in Action

This summer course is open for undergraduates, master students, PhD candidates and junior professionals from different disciplines who are interested either in gaining more knowledge on global health or in better understanding and navigating policy-and-decision-making-processes.



The fourth year of the COVID-19 pandemic, added to the worsening climate, food, economic and political crises, disrupts our lives in new ways and further exposes and increases societal vulnerabilities. Policymakers must skill up to navigate complex ecosystems characterized by poly-crises, rising inequities and a degrading environment.

As a result, new ways of understanding and working in global health policy, advocacy and diplomacy are needed by those who work in health or those who work in fields that will be affected by decisions or impacts from the health sector.

It is a key year for health governance, given all countries are discussing a possible legally binding pandemic treaty, a new set of commitments for Universal Health Coverage and reviewing progress at the halfway point of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

This course focuses on the practice of global health policy, advocacy, and diplomacy at the global level and its interrelated impact at the regional and national levels. It will:

  • Give a general introduction to policy and decision-making processes
  • Examine the political and policy environment that surrounds the current global health ecosystem
  • Outline decision-making structures in the global health diplomatic space including the World Health Assembly, G20, the UN General Assembly and more
  • Show how to interpret and navigate health governance processes
  • Interrogate advocacy work to understand the steps to success and how to draw lessons from failure
  • Employ case studies to illustrate current issues and their related political and policy dynamics
  • Build practical experience with role-playing diplomatic negotiations
  • Introduce participants to major organizations with on-site visits and receive up-to-date learnings from key staff


Day 1 – Conceptual introduction: governance, public policy processes, challenges of decision-making and politics in global health
Day 2 – Advocacy & global health: the art of advocacy for global health linking theory and practice
Day 3 – Diplomacy & global health:  ongoing diplomatic processes with simulation exercises and case studies
Day 4 – Complex policy ecosystems: navigating different actors and approaches with a visit to the Global Health Campus (eg. Gavi, Global Fund) and examples of specific policy themes (e.g. UHC, migration, pandemic instrument)
Day 5 – Future outlook: exploring new ways of interacting and influencing global health policy


The methodology of the course is participatory and interactive. The methodology will be adapted to the course participants and will involve lectures with privileged access to speakers, analysis, peer learning, case studies, simulation exercises, role play, reflection sessions and other liberating structures methodology.

The venue of the course is at UNIGE premises but with some sessions held externally. The course is taught in English.


For university students: 3 ECTS can be obtained through this course, requiring a short reflection on the learnings from the simulation exercise (500 words, mid-course) and on the takeaway messages from the course (500 words, end course). Please check with your university if they will be recognized at your institution.


A certificate of completion will be issued to all participants who have followed the full five days. University students who also submitted the assignments will receive a certification of the 3 ECTS credits. Please check with your home institution for credit transfer.



Professionals: CHF 1,000

External students (*): CHF 800

UNIGE students (*): CHF 200

(*) Bachelor and master’s degree-seeking students only. The tuition fees for lifelong learning students and Ph.D. candidates are subject to employment status.

Course + Accommodation Package

Participants choosing the package can register through us for housing at the Cité universitaire de Genève. Only a limited number of rooms are available for that course. All applications are handled on a first-come-first-served basis and assignments will be subject to availability.

Note: We only arrange housing from Saturday to Saturday. Check-in is on Saturday,  1 July, and check-out is on Saturday, 8 July.

Professionals (course + accommodation): CHF 1,336

External students (course + accommodation): CHF 1,136

Dr Michaela Told, Visiting Lecturer, Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva, Director of HI5 Governance

Susan Brown, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Women in Global Health

Speakers will be selected representatives from organisations such as WHO, IOM, MSF, Gavi, The Global Fund, Rollback Malaria, and Stop TP Partnership, as well as global health experts, academics and government representatives on specific topics.


The draft programme may be subject to change until the start of the course Download the schedule as PDF

This summer school follows the courses on Global Health, Drugs, Policy and Power and Global Health Law.


This course is new on the Summer School programme and, therefore, no testimonials are yet available.