Supporting Occupational Therapy in low & middle income countries
Supporting Occupational Therapyin low & middle income countries

Distance Partnerships

OT Frontiers can help link OTs from the UK with OTs in low and middle income countries. The partnership is a chance for OTs from different cultures to share knowledge, skills and experiences. Distance partnerships facilitate a two-way process for reflection and learning, that is of value and benefit to both parties. The relationship is similar to mentoring but there is a stress on the equality within the relationship. Mentoring aims to help an individual develop to their full potential.

Some of the benefits may include:

  • Encouraging learning and experimentation
  • Sharing experiences
  • Professional friendship/peer support
  • Developing insight through reflection
  • Having an opportunity to sound out ideas
  • Being encouraged... which is a great motivator
  • Improved communication skills
  • Enhanced reflective practice


The specific benefits for Occupational Therapists in low/ middle income countries are:

  • Provides peer support when often therapists work in isolation
  • Improved self confidence in skills through positive feedback/appreciation from peer
  • Improved motivation
  • Provides an opportunity for CPD, which is often lacking


The specific benefits for UK based Occupational Therapists include:

  • Increased awareness of the realities of work in low/middle income countries
  • Opportunity to learn from another and challenge your own assumptions
  • Creative thinking... thinking outside of the box


A distance partnership may be carried out through an exchange of letters, email or telephone calls, depending on the needs and accessibility to technology. It is worth noting that access to email can be very problematic in many countries. In one of our distance partnerships, communication was by post and text messages. In six years, only one letter was lost, and the average time frame for us each to write and receive a letter was three to four months.


Ideas for distance partnership collaboration:

  • Discussing a typical day at work
  • Exchanging case studies/ assessment reports
  • Discussing CPD activities
  • Skill and knowledge sharing
  • Comparing/contrasting the OT process – assessment and evaluation methods used
  • Discussing current challenges and exploring solutions
  • Exploring how to adapt western techniques and treatments to ensure they are culturally relevant and appropriate


If you are interested, please contact us and mark your message 'distance partnerships'.


Future meetings:


20 July 2024

19 October 2024


OTs, students, and others interested in occupational therapy in low and middle income countries are very welcome to participate in these rich, varied and thought-provoking conferences that provide exciting opportunities for networking, meaningful discussion and certified CPD activity. Contact to register.

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