Collaborating centres


Management and evaluation

The management of collaboration with a centre is the responsibility primarily of the responsible officer within the technical programme that initiated the designation. Interaction between technical units in regions and headquarters ensures that the centre's collaboration is available to the whole Organization. In each WHO regional office, as at headquarters, focal points are designated to manage and coordinate statutory information and procedures on WHO collaborating centres. Overall guidelines and schedules have also been developed for the management and monitoring of collaboration with the centres, these are common to all regions and programmes.

Successful collaboration requires that particular attention be paid to the joint preparation of the centre's terms of reference and work plans. This should involve the institution, the regional office and the technical unit concerned in headquarters. The work plan should comprise clearly defined objectives and expected results, explicitly related to WHO's activities as set out in its programme budget. WHO will dedicate its own staff time and other resources, although not necessarily direct financial support, to ensure that collaboration can develop successfully.

Monitoring takes place on a continuing basis and at the end of each twelve month period a WHO collaborating centre must submit a report on the implementation of activities with the concerned programme in WHO. This report should reflect progress achieved in respect of the work plan, underlining possible difficulties and formulating suggestions for improvements for future course of cooperation. A final evaluation takes place at the end of the four-year designation period. It includes an assessment of WHO's support for, and actual use of, collaboration with the centre. No decision may be made on redesignation of any centre until completion of a thorough evaluation of its past performance and the continued relevance of this collaboration in view of WHO's evolving needs and policy.

To facilitate management, cooperation and networking, a global information system on all WHO collaborating centres has been developed, to be accessible worldwide to WHO staff, WHO collaborating centres, and eventually Member States and the public health community at large. Exchange of experience and collaboration between centres is supported by regular meetings at country and regional levels and on specific topics.