Knowledge management and health

Department of Knowledge Management and Sharing (KMS) at headquarters


The WHO Department of Knowledge Management and Sharing (KMS) was formed after a detailed strategic review in 2003 to develop and implement a strategy which will foster knowledge management and sharing within WHO and in public health. Its mission is to bridge the know-do gap: the gap between what is known and what is done, which is behind most health inequities in the world.

Subsequent to its formation, Knowledge Management and Information Technology was identified as one of the strategic orientations for 2006-2007 in WHO's Global Programme of Work. The global KM objectives are, contributing to strengthening country health systems through better knowledge management, promoting the principles and practice of knowledge management as a fundamental aspect of public health research and practice, and enabling WHO to become a better learning and knowledge sharing organization.

Working closely with WHO regional and country offices

Although the department is based in headquarters, KMS clearly recognizes the importance of working closely with WHO regional and country offices in order to meet its objectives.

In some cases the department may not map clearly to a KM entity in every region but we endeavor to collaborate closely various KM activities and efforts already in place. The KM Leadership team (including focal points from each region and headquarters unit) are jointly responsible for WHO's KM strategy and implementation plan which builds on existing experience and expertise in this area in some of the regions.