About WHO

In brief

Recent meetings

During two weeks in May the world’s health leaders met in Geneva for the eighteenth meeting of the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board, the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly and the 133rd session of the Executive Board.

One step further in the development of a policy

Increasing transparency, managing risks and avoiding conflicts of interest were three areas Executive Board members highlighted in the discussion on the proposals on principles of engagement with non-State actors. Their advice on the policy for interaction with non-State actors underlined the importance of protecting the Organization from vested interests. As requested in decision EB133(2), the final draft policy will be presented to the Executive Board at its 134th session in January 2014.

Vision, budget and funding

The Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly approved two major pieces of work that advance the reform agenda: the Twelfth General Programme of Work 2014–2019 and the Programme budget 2014–2015. The Health Assembly also decided to establish a financing dialogue and the Secretariat was asked to move forward with the preparations for the first meeting on financing for WHO that took place in June and the 2nd meeting that will take place on 25-26 November 2013.

Capacity to implement reform – WHO under the microscope

The Evaluation Management Group of the Executive Board selected the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to examine WHO’s capacity to implement reform. The PwC team has been working since mid-June and is reviewing documentation and interviewing Member States, partners, and the Secretariat to get a better picture of WHO’s preparedness to implement reform. The team will also identify possible barriers to successful reform implementation. The second stage evaluation will be presented to the Executive Board in January 2014.

Roles and functions of three levels of WHO

The Task Force on the Roles and Functions of three levels of WHO mapped WHO’s six core functions over the three levels of the Organization and developed a matrix which was used as basis for the development of the Programme budget 2014–2015. The Task Force also recommended that category networks are institutionalized in WHO as a means for promoting matrix management.

"Nature" highlights WHO’s budget

The approval of WHO’s Programme budget 2014–2015 went smoothly at this year’s Health Assembly – the budget was passed after a morning of deliberations. However, the discussions continued online and in social media. While some raised concerns over the priority setting and the budget allocation, others highlighted the steps towards budget responsibility and a clearer focus of the Organization’s work. The scientific journal "Nature" highlighted the shift towards fewer priorities and the drive towards more transparent funding that will allow the Organization to pursue the Member States’ priorities more effectively.

Taking the temperature on the public’s view

The general public has a good opinion of WHO – that is the conclusion of the WIN/Gallup International Association’s End of Year and Global NGO and NPO Barometer 2013, in which 54 221 citizens in 54 countries were surveyed on their opinions of the challenges that our world faces today and on their awareness of major non-profit and non-governmental organizations throughout the world.

87% of those surveyed knew of WHO and 64% had a good opinion of the Organization. The proportion of people with a good opinion has increased by 8% since the last survey in 2012. The majority thought that WHO is contributing to protecting people’s health by promoting health services, especially to the poor, protecting people from diseases and responding to public health emergencies. The WIN/Gallup End of Year survey comes out annually.