About WHO


Editorial by WHO's Director-General Dr Margaret Chan
3 September 2013

The reform process at WHO continues to move ahead, as documented in this issue of Change@WHO. We are beginning to see some concrete changes.

Portrait of WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan

The Twelfth General Programme of Work and the Programme Budget for 2014–2015 have now been approved. These key documents, which will govern the work of WHO, are the first to be issued as part of the reform process.

The Twelfth General Programme of Work, organized around areas of leadership, sets out a high-level strategic vision for WHO, with priorities and an overall direction. It aims to make the work of WHO more strategic and more effective.

The Programme Budget is organized around categories of work and provides the basis for specific budgetary investments. For the first time, it provides a view of all financial resources, from all sources, thus giving Member States an opportunity to approve and monitor the budget in its entirety.

Securing a firmer financial footing for our work has been another high priority for reform. The first financing dialogue was held in June with the aim of ensuring that the approved budget is fully funded. A frank overview of the real money that will be coming in is a prerequisite for good management. This new initiative, which was a learning experience for both Member States and the Secretariat, will continue with a second meeting this November. The financing dialogue is also on the agenda for the Regional Committee meetings, which start in September.

Of direct personal relevance to staff are reforms in human resources policies, which will culminate at the end of this year in a new strategy and implementation plan for the next three years. Reforms include streamlined recruitment procedures, an e-learning platform to aid career development, a new system for managing performance, and an improved system for the administration of justice.

Staff will also be interested in WPRO’s mobility and rotation policy, which has been in place since 2009. Such a policy helps support a principal objective of reform: to give WHO the flexibility needed to respond to the complex health challenges of the 21st century.