Talking about financing
Two hundred and sixty-six representatives of 92 Member States and 14 non-Member State partners came together in Geneva on 25 and 26 November 2013 to review WHO’s funding outlook for 2014-15 and to work together to address funding challenges.
“This well-constructed dialogue will strengthen WHO’s intended democracy,” said Norwegian Ambassador Steffen Kongstad in his opening statement.
“This well-constructed dialogue will strengthen WHO’s intended democracy.”
Steffen Kongstad, Norwegian Ambassador
During this positive and constructive second Financing Dialogue meeting, the Secretariat reported that 61% of the 4 billion US dollars required for the 2014-15 Programme budget is now available. For the first time, Member States and other contributors provided funding projections to enhance the understanding of the Organization's financial situation, and to better plan for delivery of results, in advance of the biennium. These projections totaled 935 million US dollars, bringing to 85% the proportion of Programme budget funding that is available or projected.
Participants noted, however, that the overall strong funding situation masked serious shortfalls in some programmes. “We would like to see a better and more balanced distribution of funds across programmes,” said India’s Mr Keshav Desiraju.
Contributors stressed the importance of aligning available funds with Member State-agreed programmatic priorities. “We are proud to support WHO’s leadership in public health,” said Dr Chris Elias of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We rely on WHO to achieve its mandate in order for us to be able to carry out our strategies”.
The meeting also noted some positive steps toward greater flexibility and predictability of funding and highlighted the importance of ensuring longer-term financing linked to the six-year General Programme of Work. “This new approach to financing WHO has the potential to show the way for other UN agencies,” said Mr Pierre Blais of Canada.
The new programme budget web portal received a particularly warm welcome. Participants acknowledged significant progress towards greater transparency and accountability, both for the flow of WHO’s resources and for monitoring progress towards results. The Secretariat was encouraged to continue its efforts to ensure better reporting and a clearer indication of WHO’s contribution to results.
There was also wide support for the proposal to move towards more coordinated and coherent resource mobilization. As one participant put it, “The days of freelance fundraising by individual operating units is, we hope, at an end.”
Participants agreed on the importance of continuing and enhancing the dialogue process. Further discussions will take place, for example, on proposals to develop a new approach to financing administrative and management functions, at the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board in January 2014. The Secretariat will also provide an update on the funding situation at the January session of the Executive Board meeting and will present an evaluation of the Financing Dialogue and resource mobilization experiences to the World Health Assembly in May 2014.
The Financing Dialogue aims to ensure a match between WHO’s results and deliverables as agreed in the Programme budget and the resources available to finance them, with the ultimate objective of enhancing the quality and effectiveness of WHO’s work.
What is the programme budget portal?
“The aim of the portal is to provide detailed information so that contributors can make informed funding decisions”, said Scott Pendergast, Department of Planning, Resource Coordination and Performance Monitoring.
The programme budget portal gives access to explore, at any time, details of the work that WHO has planned for 2014–2015, the results the Organization intends to deliver, and the funds WHO has towards the achievement of these results across countries, regions and headquarters.
The portal allows visitors to go into any of the six areas of work, drill down to programme level and access information on what we want to achieve, including outcome and output targets and what WHO will do to achieve these results through activities at all three levels of the Organization. Interactive maps illustrate which countries are working towards specific goals. The user can also see what resources are needed, by output level and major office.
The portal also shows financial contributions, what they were applied to, and in what amounts. Graphs make it easy to see where funds have been allocated and where there is still a need for additional contributions. The web portal will draw data from WHO’s enterprise resource planning system, the Global Management System, so that financial information such as expenditure rate will be regularly updated and available.
Please visit the programme budget portal at: