The Harm Reduction Academy invites new applicants

A global learning and skills building programme for people who want to learn more about drug use and HIV is now accepting applications for its next cycle starting in July 2016.

The Harm Reduction Academy (HRA) has been established to equip practitioners and policy makers working to end AIDS and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs with the practical knowledge and international experience to maximise the effectiveness of their work.

The course content is inspired by evidence-based responses to drug use-driven HIV epidemics in some of the most challenging settings. Course content is delivered by leading thought leaders and practitioners with decades of experience. Participants are also encouraged to reflect on their own experience and share insights with colleagues from around the world.

The HRA is an initiative of the Alliance Centre for HIV, Hepatitis C and Drug Use,  hosted by linking organisation, Alliance for Public Health in Ukraine.

Who is HRA for?

HRA is suitable for those working in social work, policy and advocacy, health care, local and national government structures, as well as civil society programmers and advocates.

The first cycle of the HRA is currently taking place – participants have already completed two week-long modules in Ukraine and India.  A third will take place in Kenya in June.

One of the participants of Cycle 1 is Andrew Preston from Exchange Supplies in the UK.  He said, “Being on this course was really helpful to understand…the needs of injecting drugs users in other parts of the world. [In our business] we hope to be able to help them, to optimize the responses better, knowing their needs. The HRA is a great new capacity building resource for the global harm reduction community. The wide ranging syllabus, trainers, delegates, and course locations combine to offer huge benefit to practitioners, managers, funders and also for suppliers of harm reduction equipment like ourselves".

Another participant, Rustika Tembele is from Open Society Initiatives in Tanzania. She said “My coming to Ukraine for the Harm Reduction Academy has opened my eyes, because in Tanzania the harm reduction programmes are very limited. When I go back…I will approach the authorities responsible for different harm reduction projects to initiate discussion aimed to establish the harm reduction programmes based on the references I have seen in Ukraine.”

Hear more from participants in Cycle 1. short video 

How to register

Applications for Cycle 2 are now open. You can register until 1 May 2016.  Over the course of six months - starting in July 2016 – participants will attend three exciting weeks, or modules. Course content is a mixture of classroom based lectures and workshops as well as practical field visits in distinctly different settings. Participants come from varied international backgrounds ensuring professional and cultural diversity. On completing the course, they will become part of an effective global network of harm reduction practitioners.

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