About WHO

Stakeholders speak

Listening to external and internal stakeholders is key to policy making and strategic communications.

3500 external and internal stakeholders took part in a recent stakeholder perception study. The findings highlight a paradox – most people value the important work of WHO, but a significant number have concerns regarding the independence of the Organization and the influence of vested interests. This is an important area for further work to address these concerns.

Here’s a summary of the key findings:

A graphic illustrating 80% of external stakeholders.

More than 80% of external stakeholders and 94% of WHO staff see WHO as being either indispensable, or important for work to improve people ‘s health.

Two thirds of external stakeholders and WHO staff perceive WHO first and foremost as providing leadership on health matters.

90% see WHO as the most effective organization when it comes to influencing policy for improving people's health at the global level.

Although the majority of respondents have confidence in WHO and its work, 24% of external stakeholders and 40% of employees express the opposite view.

21% of external and 25% of internal respondents have doubts regarding WHO’s ability to take the necessary measures to ensure the independence of its public health experts, similar proportions voiced concerns about WHO’s independence from inappropriate industry influence.

Nearly 90% of stakeholders view WHO’s information as being reliable and accurate. A third of external respondents and over two fifths of employees said delivery of WHO’s information was too slow and difficult to navigate.

Grayling, a global communications consultancy, undertook the confidential survey on behalf of WHO in the second half of 2012, with financial support from the UN Foundation. The survey findings will now contribute to the development of a global communications strategy for WHO, and provide baseline and targets to measure progress in the future.

The survey will be repeated every 18-24 months to identify the effectiveness and direction of our communications.


WHO reform secretariat welcomes comments on the issues discussed in this and other articles in the Change@WHO newsletter.

Please note that all comments submitted are subject to review by WHO before posting on the website. WHO is not responsible for the different views expressed. WHO reserves the right not to post comments that are deemed inappropriate.

Related links