Humanitarian Health Action

Refined Business Model for WHO’s work in emergencies

Monthly Highlights - November 2010

WHO has embarked upon the development of a business model that will provide a systematic and coherent approach for its extensive range of emergency activities, including preparedness, response and recovery.

The Humanitarian Futures Programme, King’s College, led by Dr. Randolph Kent, is assisting with this undertaking.

The current work is built upon HAC’s previous experience with structural reviews and programmatic assessments including Strengthening WHO’s institutional capacity for humanitarian health action and a business model outline developed in consultation with WHO’s Regional Emergency Advisors.

WHO will move rapidly towards completing a business model which will reflect the emerging needs within the critical economic environment and take into account:

  • WHO’s main considerations and actions needed to respond to the main components of emergency action, ie, preparedness, response and recovery, both in the context of contemporary issues and to adequately respond to the complexities and uncertainties of future crises;
  • WHO’s emergency actions in terms of its normative roles and responsibilities, including identifying, developing, prioritizing and disseminating timely and appropriate emergency health innovation and support that has a direct impact on improving health outcomes in emergency contexts;
  • WHO emergency activities with a view to its wider constituencies, including health cluster partners at all levels;
  • WHO’s functions, expertise and human resources at country, regional and headquarters levels.

The development of a business model for WHO’s emergency work will be undertaken in three phases. Phase one will review previous assessments of WHO’s emergency work and develop detailed recommendations, incorporating the perspectives of a range of stakeholders; phase two, will involve broad consultations with WHO’s internal and external stakeholders to validate these recommendations; and phase three will focus on the development of a business to guide this work.

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