About WHO

Collaborations and partnerships

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan in conversation with a group of people.

One of our core functions is to direct and coordinate international health work by promoting collaboration, mobilizing partnerships and galvanizing efforts of different health actors to respond to national and global health challenges.

WHO partners with countries, United Nations system, international organisations, civil society, foundations, academia, research institutions – with people and communities to improve their health and support their development.

WHO’s work with the United Nations

WHO works closely with the United Nations system to support its Member States in achieving their national priorities and ensuring better health outcomes. WHO strives to increase coherence, effectiveness and efficiency in delivering results.

WHO’s engagement with non-State actors

Engagement is a key aspect of WHO’s role in global health governance and non-State actors play a critical role in supporting WHO’s work to fulfil its constitutional mandate.


Partnerships include various organizational structures, relationships and arrangements within and external to WHO to enhance collaboration to achieve better health outcomes.

WHO collaborating centres

WHO collaborating centres are institutions such as research institutes, parts of universities or academies, which are designated by the Director-General to carry out activities in support of the Organization's programmes.

WHO Expert Advisory Panels and Committees

This is a mechanism of collaboration with individuals experts from whom the Organization may obtain technical guidance and support. After appointment to an expert advisory panel, these experts can be invited to participate in an expert committee meeting to review and make technical recommendations on a subject of interest to the Organization.