WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES)

Safety and effectiveness

Management of public health pesticides

In March 2007, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in a joint programme for the sound management of pesticides.

The International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides (Code of Conduct), originally adopted in 1985 by the FAO Conference and revised in 2002 promotes sound pesticide management practices that minimize potential health and environmental risks. The code of Conduct describes the shared responsibility of many segments of society, including governments, industry, trade and international institutions and provides a framework for management of all pesticides including those intended for use in agriculture and in public health. The Joint Programme provides unified, coordinated and consistent advice and support to the Member States and to other stakeholders on sound management practices.

WHOPES recommendations and reports of WHOPES Working Group meetings


The latest report of the WHOPES Working Group
Report of the seventeenth whopes working group meeting – Review of Alphacypermethrin 250 WG-SB, ICON MAXX, Netprotect LN Chlorfenapyr 240 SC, 15–19 SEPTEMBER 2014, World Health Organization Headquaters, Geneva
Ref: ISBN 978 92 4 150803 2 and WHO/HTM/NTD/WHOPES/2014.3

Reports of the previous WHOPES Working Group meetings
Full list


Reducing health risks through sound management of pesticides

is a concise technical report of a 6-year project (2007–2013) that was financially supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented in six WHO regions. The main objectives of the study were to facilitate the establishment of national regulatory frameworks and optimize the registration of public health pesticides; to strengthen country capacities on the sound management of pesticides, including their judicious use, and to reduce the health and environmental impacts of pesticide use and application; and to reduce trade in substandard pesticide products. The purpose of the document is to disseminate the major outcomes of the study and raise awareness of national vector-borne disease control programmes, pesticide registration authorities and other stakeholders on sound management of pesticides.

Sound management of pesticides and diagnosis and treatment of pesticide poisoning

This resource tool is intended to assist national programmes and those involved on management of pesticides, and with diagnosis and treatment of pesticide poisoning, in formulating training courses, adapted to specific needs of different target group(s).

Decision-making for judicious use of insecticides (Facilitator's guide & Paticipant's guide)

This training material provides vector-borne disease control programme managers, at national and district levels, with the skills and knowledge to apply evidence-based decision-making in vector management programmes.
Ref: WHO/CDS/WHOPES/2004.9a and
Ref: WHO/CDS/WHOPES/2004.9b

Insecticide treatment of mosquito nets


A more simplified approach to insecticide treatment of mosquito nets (ITNs) is based on experiences in the field over recent years and a better understanding of insecticides and their interaction with netting materials. The document is designed for use by national control programmes, dipping centres, mobile teams, village health workers, nongovernmental organizations, bednet and insecticide manufacturers and others who promote the judicious use of ITNs.
The approach can be found in Instructions for treatment and use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, Geneva, World Health Organization,
Ref: WHO/CDS/WHOPES/GCDPP/2002.4

Malaria vector control

The purpose of this publication is to help to ensure the safe and effective use of insecticides in malaria vector control. The choice of the methods to use should be preceded by decisions on the composition of a selective approach to vector control that is specific in time and space and may or may not require the application of insecticides.

Decision making criteria and procedures for judicious use of insecticides
Ref: WHO/CDS/WHOPES/2002.5 Rev.1

The purpose of this document is to help health authorities and other partners to select suitable insecticides for their malaria control programmes. It reviews the main characteristics of the insecticides, the entomological, epidemiological and ecological variables, and the operational requirements which should be taken into consideration when making that choice.

Insecticides for indoor residual spraying
Ref: WHO/CDS/WHOPES/2001.3

Guidelines for procuring public health pesticides
Ref: WHO/HTM/NTD/WHOPES/2012.4 | French (web only)

Pesticides and their application for the control of vectors and pests of public health importance, Sixth Edition [pdf 608kb]

Contact us

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at whopes@who.int

WHOPES evaluation

Insecticide products under WHOPES evaluation [pdf 17kb]

WHOPES collaborating centres

Collaborating Centres [pdf 48kb]