Oral health

Report of the meeting of directors of WHO collaborating centres on oral health, 30 September 2002

Convened in Vienna, Austria, 30 September 2002, with updated information on WHO collaborating centres management

This document describes the discussions and outcomes of the technical meeting on the role of WHO Collaborating Centres in the implementation of the WHO Oral Health Programme.

The objectives of the meeting were to:

a) inform about the changing role of collaborating centres in relation to WHO and the implications for management and administrative procedures;

b) exchange views on strategic support to the WHO Oral Health Programme for WHO collaborating centres

c) identify mechanisms for effective co-operation between WHO collaborating centres at global and regional levels.

Definition and role of collaborating centres

A WHO collaborating centre is an national institution designated by the Director-Genera to form part of an international collaborative network, canying out activities in support of WHO's mandate for international health work and its programme priorities. An entire institution, or a department or laboratory within an institution or university, or a group of facilities for reference, research or training belonging to different institutions, may be designated as a "WHO collaborating centre". When a WHO collaborating centre comprises several departments or institutions, only one of them acts for that centre in relation to WHO. WHO collaborating centres playa strategic role in helping WHO meet two major needs. First, they contribute to implementing WHO's programme priorities, in close coordination with the technical units concerned in WHO's six regional offices and at headquarters. This inter-institutional collaborative network supports WHO programmes and priorities at the country, inter-country, regional, inter-regional and global levels, while addressing the health agenda of their own countries.

A collaborating centre's terms of reference must be in line with the WHO policy and strategy for technical cooperation. WHO collaborating centres must also participate in strengthening their own country resources in terms of information, services, research and training, in support of national health development. The current definition, structure, goals and designation process are outlined in the document entitled WHO Collaborating Centres.

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