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Institutional Framework


WAWLC is a partnership of international organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies, partner countries, donors, foundations, industry, health professional associations, academic and research institutions. Also included are individuals sharing interest in, and a commitment to, improving the management of wounds and lymphedema around the world. Members are committed to providing adequate and sustainable technical, financial and material support to ensure continued and successful operations of the Alliance, including its Secretariat. The Alliance is not an independent entity, but a collaborative mechanism between the members. This framework describes five areas of operations of the WAWLC namely 1) Criteria for membership, 2) The Secretariat, 3) Global forum, 4) Advisory Committee and 5) Working Groups (Figure 1).

Criteria for Membership

The criteria for membership of WAWLC  will be agreed by the Advisory Committee. WAWLC criteria for membership includes: international health organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), not-for-profit health professional associations, academic and research institutions, and individuals interested in advancing wound and lymphedema management worldwide. Any member may withdraw from participation by notifying the Secretariat of its intention to do so.



The Secretariat is the permanent and operational arm of WAWLC, responsible for supporting the execution of plans and decisions of the Advisory Committee. The number staff required will be subject to the availability of funding. The Head of the Secretariat is a person who commands respect at the highest levels and has excellent networks globally, both politically and within the health sector.



  • Provides support to the Members, Advisory Committee and Working Groups
  • Is responsible for carrying out and managing the day-to-day operations of the Alliance and coordinating the implementation of planned activities
  • Prepares the work plans and budgets of the Alliance in collaboration with the Working Groups for approval by the Advisory Committee
  • Provides a six-monthly progress report on implementation of the plan and budget
  • Facilitates coordination of the provision of technical support by partners in agreed key countries
  • Carry out high level advocacy at global and country levels, and represents the Alliance in relevant international and national events


The annual WAWLC Forum

The annual forum, to be held every October, serves as a global platform for partners to share progress and renew commitments to the mission and purpose of Alliance. It will also serve as an advocacy forum and used to gain a broad consensus on key policy and strategic issues.



The Forum:

  • Shares experiences in and reviews overall progress based on reports by partners and the Secretariat
  • Consolidates and increases members’ commitment to the objectives of the Initiative
  • Improves plans and coordinates activities through the active exchange of information and experiences on best practices
  • Highlights any special opportunities and constraints that would warrant the attention of the Forum and Advisory Committee
  • Establishes a Strategic Plan for the coming year
  • Welcomes new , invited members of the Alliance


The Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee (AC) is the governing body of WAWLC and holds decision-making authority. The Members of the Advisory Committee represent a balance among the major constituencies and partners in WAWLC. They are elected in a transparent manner by the Forum and serve a term of 2 years. The Alliance AC has a Chair and two Co-chairs who support the Chair and act in his/her absence.



The Advisory Committee:

  • Sets policy, establishes goals, priorities, strategies and targets for the Alliance based on new information arising from the Forum
  • Endorses the Institutional Framework and proposes or endorses future change
  • Develops and oversees the implementation of agreed medium and long-term plan of action for achieving the goal and objectives of the Alliance
  • Supports resource mobilization efforts in pursuance of the mission and objectives of the Alliance
  • Reviews and advises on any other matter related to the Alliance as may be referred to it



The Advisory Committee will meet at least once in a year. Other communications will be by e-mail and or telephone/video conferencing. The Head of the Secretariat in consultation with the Chair and Co-Chairs propose the provisional date and agenda for each AC meeting.



The Advisory Committee consists of no more than 13 members selected,  as available,  from the different constituencies of the Initiative.

  • Ministries of Health
  • Donor governments/agencies and Foundations
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Research and academic institutions
  • Representatives of health professional associations.



A maximum of 6 persons would be invited with observer status. Such persons have no decision making role and do not carry a vote. No person or constituency has permanent observer status. Observers from other relevant bodies and partnerships may be invited in the interest of collaboration and complementarities. No more than two observers will be permitted from any single organization and their attendance will be dictated by items on the agenda.


Working Groups

There will be four Working Groups (WGs) constituted by the Advisory Committee to support the work of Initiative: These are: 1) Country Support, 2) Advocacy and Fundraising, 3) Program Development and 4) Research, Monitoring and Evaluation. These working groups are subject to periodic review. For further information, click here.