The World Health Organization (WHO) is in the midst of a transformation. Led by Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO is embarking on an ambitious effort to make 1 billion people healthier, protect 1 billion more people from health emergencies, and extend universal health coverage to 1 billion more people.
Dr. Tedros is pushing to modernize WHO, making the guardian of the world’s health nimbler and more connected.
To support this work, the United Nations Foundation last week in Geneva brought together an influential group of civil society leaders from around the world to advise WHO on its next chapter – built around the organization’s proposed General Programme of Work for 2019-2023.
The task team of 20, representing health organizations from Peru to Botswana to Malaysia, will make strategic recommendations on how WHO can extend its reach and advance its ability to save lives through collaboration with civil society at regional, national, and global levels.
Members engage with WHO in a variety of ways, from responding to health emergencies, to implementing national policy, to conducting and investing in scientific research and development. They represent constituencies including professional societies and faith-based organizations.
Central to this effort is fostering innovative new partnerships between civil society and WHO. These connections will identify ways to achieve shared priorities and build new engagement mechanisms. Stakeholders have welcomed this alliance as primed to amplify WHO’s impact.
The task team will meet periodically over the coming months, co-facilitated by the UN Foundation and RESULTS, and will survey up to 400 other civil society leaders to inform its strategic insights to strengthen health delivery worldwide. Dr. Tedros has urged these distinguished leaders to offer WHO bold ideas.
“Together,” Dr. Tedros has said of the new advisory group, “we are stronger.”