Project PEOLC31

DAHLIA: Mobilising knowledge of Death Literacy across non-clinical community networks

Death Literacy is defined as practical know-how needed to navigate end-of-life care options. This project aims to spread factual, practical, experiential, and community-based knowledge to increase Death Literacy


There are a range of options to help people plan for a birth of a child. There are also options to personalise the experience of dying according to a person’s preferences, values, and beliefs. However, we need to advertise this more and help people prepare. A stressful end-of-life experience can be traumatic for the people that witness the death. Trauma can be prevented, or reduced if we invest more in death education and specific community development strategies.

Project Aims

This project aims to increase Death Literacy among non-clinical community networks. This is knowledge and skills about what to do, where to seek help, and how to plan for death. It covers practical issues about how to access support in your local neighbourhood, and public messages to help educate and resolve uncertainties.

Project Activity

Organised across four work packages over a four-year duration, work package 1 will map the local context to assess current levels of Death Literacy and community assets, and identify learning needs and outcome criteria for the project. Work package 2 will convene a Community of Practice to mobilise Death Literacy across the Eastern region. Work package 3 will spread Death Literacy using the Compassionate Communities Charter as an implementation framework. The project will use contribution analysis to assess the value of the knowledge mobilisation strategy for spreading Death Literacy.

Anticipated Impact

Work package 4 will use creative dissemination and engagement methods involving a 15-minute film documenting elements of work package 3, a public-facing summit celebrating Death Literacy, and yearly arts-based competitions open to all age demographics.

Who is involved?

  • Guy Peryer, University of East Anglia (PI/Corresponding)
  • Stephen Barclay, University of Cambridge


This project relates to the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death:


Guy Peryer,