World Health Organization-Civil Society Task Team launches recommendations for strong collaboration in global health

In new report, leading civil society experts recommend new ways to partner to achieve health goals

Geneva, Switzerland

December 7, 2018


Megan Rabbitt

Today, amidst health threats stemming from conflict, climate change, and antibiotic resistance, civil society experts and the World Health Organization announced new plans to strengthen their collaboration to meet global health goals.

In January 2018, to help WHO achieve its Triple Billion targets and support people in enjoying the highest standard of health, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus invited the creation of a Task Team to identify concrete actions that will enhance collaboration with civil society. Today, the Task Team launched its recommendations – intended to be implemented over the next three years – for a bold way forward together to promote health, security, and progress.

Co-facilitated by the United Nations Foundation and RESULTS, the Task Team is composed of members representing 17 countries. Through an extensive consultation process, the Task Team gathered insights from over 200 stakeholders – including civil society leaders, Member State representatives, and WHO officials – through a series of events and online surveys. The recommendations launched fall into two broad categories – actions to improve collaboration under priority areas of the WHO’s General Programme of Work and actions to improve systematic engagement with civil society. The WHO plans to implement the Task Team’s recommendations and will develop their own civil society engagement strategy in the months ahead.

In a joint statement, Vice President for Global Health at the UN Foundation, Kate Dodson, and RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter said, “the recommendations in this report, if successfully implemented, would represent a meaningful change in civil society’s engagement with WHO, and will have positive implications on our collaborative ability to deliver health outcomes both in the short-term and long into the future. Many of the recommendations require new mindsets, unique ways of working, and a sustained commitment to putting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals front and center in our work.”

Civil society organizations represent diverse constituencies and communities, and they are well-positioned to advocate for and implement programs to meet the needs of their constituents. These recommendations mark a new way of doing business for WHO to create an inclusive decision-making environment and achieve higher standards of health globally.

“Civil society partners are unique and powerful voices of the people that WHO serves. Their valuable resources, knowledge and close community connections can help WHO ensure our impact is much greater than when we act alone. It is only through working closely with civil society and other key partners that we will be able to deliver on our ambitious goal of achieving health for all,” said Dr. Tedros.

The launch event featured keynote remarks from the WHO Director-General, announcing WHO’s plans for taking the Task Team’s recommendations forward, followed by a panel discussion with a variety of civil society voices represented.


  • To read the Task Team’s recommendations, visit (English and French versions of the report are available).
  • Join the conversation using #CivilSociety4Health or #SociétéCivilePourSanté.




Rachel Smidt

Global Health Communications Manager, United Nations Foundation

+1 (202) 765-8448


About the United Nations Foundation
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