WHO is reforming to be better equipped to address the increasingly complex challenges of health in the 21st century. From persisting problems to new and emerging public health threats, WHO needs the capability and flexibility to respond to this evolving environment.
Reform has three aims: programmatic reform to improve people’s health; governance reform to increase coherence in global health and managerial reform in pursuit of organizational excellence.
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At the biennial meeting of the heads of WHO Offices, leaders agreed tangible action items that will play a major role in strengthening our work at country level. The actions address the implications of the Sustainable Development Goals, improving our response to outbreaks and public health emergencies, and organizational accountability for results. Ensuring a coordinated approach across the 3 levels of the organization will be crucial.
The financing dialogue, 5–6 November 2015, brought together Member States and non-State contributors for an open discussion about increasing the predictability and alignment of WHO’s financing. Dr Chan announced that WHO will participate in the International Aid Transparency Initiative, a decision that was commended by numerous Member States as a positive move towards better transparency and accountability. The web portal shows a good financial position for 2016–17, however, funding gaps remain for certain programme areas. The funding outlook for 2018–19 is still low and more flexible monies are encouraged.
An open-ended intergovernmental meeting has been convened to finalize the draft framework of engagement with non-State actors on the basis of progress made during the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly. As part of its governance reform, WHO is revisiting its policies on engagement with non-State actors, including nongovernmental organizations, private sector entities, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions.
An independent panel of experts led by Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical officer (UK), released the final report that reviews WHO’s response to the Ebola outbreak. The panel made recommendations in three areas: the International Health Regulations (2005), WHO’s health emergency response capacity, and WHO’s role and cooperation with the wider health and humanitarian systems.