Recently Announced WHO Reform Strategy Lacks Specifics, Raises Questions Among Global Health Community

The Lancet: WHO reform continues to confuse
Editorial Board

“The content of a reform for WHO came as somewhat of a surprise to many in the global health community. After Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in his inaugural speech, said, ‘I do not believe in perpetual reform and I think WHO staff are reformed out,’ WHO’s Director General unveiled the result of a 20-month-long consultation for reform. Aimed to be ‘the most wide-ranging reforms in the organization’s history,’ according to the accompanying press release, this reform is a substantial top-heavy redesign of the internal structure of the WHO Secretariat. … A week after the speech was given, experts contacted by The Lancet communicated their continuing confusion about this reform. As we go to press, a marked lack of communication surrounds the announcement and a detailed report explaining the specifics of what the reform means for programs, oversight, funding, and staffing is not yet available. In the meantime, the global health community is still holding its breath, waiting to see whether this reform represents a transformational shift in vision for WHO or simply a shuffling of clusters and staff” (3/16).

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