About WHO

Governance reform

Governance reform seeks to clarify and strengthen the positioning of the Organization in an effort to achieve greater coherence among the many players involved in global health. This can be achieved by improving governing practices internally and engaging more effectively with external stakeholders.

Non-State actors in global health include NGOs, civil society, philanthropic foundations, trade associations and corporations. Effective engagement involves strengthening WHO’s convening power, while at the same time increasing the uptake of its technical norms and standards.

Key outcomes of governance reform

Improved strategic decision making

Improved decision making must be the result of proactive engagement by WHO with Member States ahead of the meetings of the governing bodies – the World Health Assembly, the Executive Board and the regional committees. Additionally, governing body practices must be co-ordinated and harmonised. Finally, Member States must work coherently in global health.

Strengthened effective engagement with other stakeholders

Policy and operational coherence must also be promoted in global health when engaging with other (non-government) stakeholders. WHO leadership in global health can be utilised to leverage non-State actors to achieve WHO priorities. Additionally, when interacting with other UN agencies, WHO must maximise convergence within the UN system reform to deliver effectively and efficiently on the UN mandate.


Contact us

WHO Secretariat welcomes comments on all aspects of reform Please write to us at who_reform@who.int.