About WHO

WHO’s engagement with non-State actors

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority in global health in line with its constitutional mandate. The global health landscape has become more complex in many respects, including the increase in the number of players in global health arena. WHO engages with non-State actors in view of their significant role in global health for the advancement and promotion of public health and to encourage non-State actors to use their own activities to protect and promote public health.

The Sixty-ninth session of the World Health Assembly has adopted the WHO Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA). The Framework endeavours to strengthen WHO engagement with non-Sate actors (NGOs, private sector entities, philanthropic foundations, and academic institutions) while protecting its work from potential risks such as conflict of interest, reputational risks, and undue influence.


Engagement with non-State actors 25th meeting of the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee & 140th session of the Executive Board (18th January-1st February, 2017)

The 69th World Health Assembly requested the Director-General, inter-alia, to report annually to the Executive Board through the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee on the implementation of the Framework of Engagement with non-State actors. The Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board, during its Executive Board’s January session, is also mandated to consider non-State actors in official relations and shall make recommendations to the Executive Board on entities in official relations with WHO, including (i) proposals for admitting non-State actors into official relations and (ii) review of renewals of entities in official relations.

In accordance with operative paragraph 3(8) of resolution WHA69.10 concerning the Framework on Engagement with non-State actors, the Director-General was also requested, to develop, in consultation with Member States, a set of criteria and principles for secondments from nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions and to submit the criteria and principles for the consideration of and establishment by, as appropriate, the Seventieth World Health Assembly, through the Executive Board, taking into account, amongst others, the following identified issues:

  • Specific technical expertise needed and excluding managerial and/or sensitive positions;
  • The promotion of equitable geographical distribution;
  • Transparency and clarity around positions sought, including public announcements; and
  • Secondments are temporary in nature not exceeding two years.

Report on the implementation of the Framework of Engagement with non-State actors

In accordance with operative paragraph 4 of Resolution WHA69.10, the Director-General was requested to report on the implementation of the Framework of Engagement with non-State actors to the Executive Board at each of its January sessions under a standing agenda item, through the Programme Budget and Administration Committee;

Report by the Director-General - Document EB140/41

Non-State actors in official relations with WHO

The Programme Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board shall review, provide guidance and, as appropriate, make recommendations to the Executive Board on entities in official relations with WHO, including: proposals for admitting non-State actors into official relations; and review of renewals of entities in official relations.

Non-State actors in official relations with WHO - Document EB140/42

Criteria and principles for secondments from nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions

The Director-General was requested, to develop, in consultation with Member States, a set of criteria and principles for secondments from nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions.

Human resources: update Criteria and principles for secondments from nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions Report by the Secretariat - Document EB140/47


WHO's Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA)

Download the framework in PDF format below:

The definitive version of the Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors can be found in the official records of the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly (document WHA69/2016/REC/1).



Register of Non-State Actors

FENSA also facilitates and enhances level of transparency and accountability in WHO’s engagement with non-State actors, with information on non-State actors and these engagements publicly available online in the WHO Register of Non-State Actors:


Referenced information