About WHO

Managerial reform: Setting the right foundations

The 2008 global financial crisis has had a profound impact on WHO. Income fell, contributions decreased, and costs rose with volatile exchange rates, compromising work and creating uncertainty for many staff.

We took immediate measures to cut costs and liabilities, and adapt to the new financial realities, including:

  • Reduction in longer-term posts.
  • Non-renewal of short term contracts.
  • Temporary recruitment freeze along with re-examining all vacant posts with respect to their grade and wherever possible downgrading posts before advertisement.
  • Outsourcing service areas, such as facilities management and maintenance.
  • Off-shoring additional service functions to the Global Service Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

These measures have resulted in savings of more than $200 million.

Savings due to new travel policies

New travel policies were introduced to make travel more strategic, reduce cost, and increase accountability. The result has been an average reduction of more than 550 travels per month and a total reduction of flight ticket cost of more than $28 million from 1 January 2011 to 31 October 2012.

Improved financial controls

A robust internal control framework is in development that reinforces a culture of ethical behavior and workplace integrity. The framework covers all processes that have financial consequences to ensure adherence to rules and procedures and clear lines of accountability. The framework also encourages risk and compliance-awareness of its personnel and assists managers to identify and respond to risks in a systematic manner.