Advocacy Strategy

WFOT Advocacy

We are finding and supporting the voices in occupational therapy to enhance the role of occupational therapy in world health and wellbeing. WFOT builds capacity for the future of the profession by providing workforce strategies, data and resources to support the growth of occupational therapy, supporting the development of the profession in countries where it does not exist, and facilitating the WFOT approved status of education programmes.

WFOT Advocacy Strategy

WFOT advocates on critical issues and challenges faced globally by occupational therapists. By partnering with our member organisations and other interested groups, WFOT mobilises advocacy efforts to represent the occupational therapy profession at the global, national, regional and local level using the strategy below.

WFOT advocacy begins by collaborating with members and other strategic partners to identify and define the critical issues impacting occupational therapy at the global level. Such issues include advocating for increased recognition of the profession and improved access to occupational therapy services, as well as promoting research and evidence-informed practice.

WFOT creates awareness of the importance of advocacy to advance the occupational therapy profession and provides education and resources to build advocacy knowledge and skills. For example,

WFOT provides guidance for the development of an effective strategy for key advocacy issues, by identifying goals, target audiences and compelling messaging. Examples of WFOT strategic guidance for global occupational therapy advocacy action include:

  • The WFOT Global Occupational Therapy Workforce Strategy for strengthening the occupational therapy workforce coverage – coming soon
  • The guidance document for the 2024 World Health Assembly Rehabilitation Resolution to promote the integration of occupational therapy and other rehabilitation services within universal health coverage
  • World Occupational Therapy Day resources to increase awareness of occupational therapy
  • Actions such as the Global Mental Health Strategy for promoting access to occupational therapy in areas of active health system development - coming soon

Sample advocacy tools available from the WFOT website include:

WFOT collaborates with advocacy groups and a range of other organisations who share mutual goals and have overlapping interests. For example, WFOT has been in official relations with the World Health Organization since 1959. Involvement in the World Rehabilitation Alliance is a more recent partnership for WFOT. Building such alliances helps to amplify advocacy efforts, leverage resources and increase visibility and influence.

WFOT engages in various strategies to communicate advocacy messages to target audiences, either as an individual organisation or in partnership with members or peer organisations. Advocacy activities include meeting with policymakers, legislators and government agencies with member organisations, providing letters of support and submitting statements to influence decision-making, for example, submissions to meetings of the World Health Assembly.