Research policy

Advisory Committee on Health Research | ACHR

The ACHR is an advisory body with a consultative mandate to support the World Health Organization in carrying out its constitutional role of promoting and coordinating research relating to international health work, acting in close cooperation with external institutions pursuing common goals and with the scientific community at large.

The mandate

The role of the ACHR is to provide the Director-General with the scientific advice in relation to WHO's research programmes.

The terms of reference of the global ACHR are as follows:

  • to advise the Director-General on the general orientation of WHO's research;
  • to advise on the formulation of global priorities for health research in the light of the policies set by the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board and on the basis of regional priorities evolved in response to the health problems of the countries;
  • to review research activities, monitor their execution and evaluate their results, from the standpoint of scientific and technical policy;
  • to formulate ethical criteria applicable to these research activities;
  • to take a prominent part in the harmonization of WHO's research efforts as between the country, regional and interregional levels, and in their effective global synthesis;

At the regional level, the terms of reference are broadly equivalent:

  • advising the Regional Director on formulation of policies for the development of health research in the Region, in accordance with directives provided by the governing bodies (World Health Assembly, Executive Board and Regional Committees) and within the framework of the global WHO policy. This formulation includes the identification of national and regional priorities;
  • establishing mechanisms for coordinating research at national, intra- and inter-regional levels;
  • development of the research potential and capability, nationally and regionally;
  • harmonization of regional research activities with the activities of other regions and headquarters, in close collaboration with the global ACHR;
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