ALERT – HI on board of a new Global Rehabilitation Alliance !

Posted by: on Jun 13, 2018 | No Comments

In the small world of rehabilitation actors, this is a truly historic moment: the Global Rehabilitation Alliance was born on 22 May 2018!

Advocating for more and better rehabilitation services

On the side of the World Health Assembly that was held in Geneva in May, a group of dedicated professionals and activists, including HI, agreed to join hands to build a new international body to advocate together for more and better rehabilitation services throughout the world.

Rehabilitation needs are largely unmet, while the demand will continue to increase in light of global health and demographic trends. To address these needs, rehabilitation should be considered an essential component of integrated health services, part of the continuum of care.

This is well acknowledged in the “Rehabilitation 2030” Call for Action adopted by the WHO in 2017. The Call for Action also mentions that “there is an urgent need for concerted global action by all relevant stakeholders (…) to scale up quality rehabilitation”. Clearly, this has prepared the ground for the establishment of the future Alliance.

Historically, rehabilitation stakeholders (professional associations, users associations, academia, NGO) have been fragmented and lacked a unifying platform for strong and consistent messaging and collaboration. The Alliance fills this critical gap, bringing together stakeholders across disciplines and spheres of influence towards a common vision.

HI delegation at WHA

HI delegation celebrating the creation of the Global Rehabilitation Alliance.

The mission of the GRA is to advocate for the availability of quality, coordinated, and affordable rehabilitation through strengthening health systems according to population needs. The Alliance priorities will be guided by the initiative “Rehabilitation 2030 – a Call for Action”. It will be a strategic partner of WHO, and will develop other partnerships.

At the 22 May founding meeting, 14 organisations endorsed the founding act, and a Board was elected. Isabelle Urseau from HI has been elected as a “member at large” of the Board. The Chair is Thierry Regenass, ICRC-MovAbility Foundation Executive Director.

HI will be actively contributing to build up the influencing capacity of the Global Rehabilitation Alliance, that will be a strategic network to work with for our advocacy objectives on rehabilitation.

Founding members of the Global Rehabilitation Alliance

  1. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  2. Dementia Alliance International
  3. Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health (GMusc) / Secretary: Karsten Dreinhofer
  4. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) / Board member: Isabelle Urseau
  5. International Council of Nurses (ICN)
  6. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  7. ICRC MoveAbility Foundation / President: Thierry Regenass
  8. International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO)
  9. International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) / Vice President: Christoph Gutenbrunner
  10. International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS)
  11. World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) / Vice President: Emma K. Stokes
  12. World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR) / Board Member: Stephanie Clarke
  13. World Federation for Occupational Therapy (WFOT)
  14. World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) / Member: Pierre Cote

Treasurer :  Jan Monsbakken (founding committee of the GRA)


Blandine is the Deputy Director for Advocacy in Handicap International Federation Advocacy and Institutional Relations Team, since March 2017. Blandine is specialized in global development policy, as she carried out advocacy work for CONCORD, the European Confederation of Development NGOs, and in the Caritas network. She also worked for the UNDP in Syria, and the French Embassy in Cambodia, mainly on governance-related programmes.

Today in Handicap International, based in Brussels, Blandine supervises the production of evidence for advocacy, internal communication and fundraising strategies. She also coordinates HI federal advocacy for inclusive development, and HI advocacy towards the European Union.

Blandine holds a Master degree in European studies from Sussex University in the UK and a Master degree in public law from Vaucluse university in France.