About WHO

Programmes and priority setting

Graphic of health terms

As a strand in the reform process WHO is working together with its Member States to set priorities for its work in order to focus its activities and deliver more effectively.

To date, Member States have reached consensus on a set of distinct categories of work for WHO (communicable diseases, noncommunicable diseases, promoting health through the life course, health systems, and preparedness, surveillance and response) and criteria that will guide the process of setting the Organization’s priorities. The new categories of work provide a broader organizing framework for WHO and will allow greater flexibility in allocating resources to priorities within these categories.

Establishing clear institutional priorities will ensure that WHO’s performance can be effectively and objectively measured, and that the Organization will be held accountable for its specific, expected deliverables. The categories and criteria for setting priorities will be used in the development of the Twelfth General Programme of Work that will provide the strategic overview for the Organization during the period spanning from 2014-2019, and subsequent biennial programme budgets.

Reference documents

Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly (WHA66) and Executive Board 133, May 2013

132nd Executive Board, January 2013

Non-Member State stakeholders consultation on the Draft Twelfth General Programme of Work, 30 August –15 October 2012

Sixty-fifth World Health Assembly (WHA65), May 2012

Member State meeting on programmes and priority setting, February 2012

NGO consultation on programmes and priority setting, February 2012

130th Executive Board, January 2012

Special session of the Executive Board, November 2011

129th Executive Board, May 2011

Sixty-fourth World Health Assembly, May 2011