Case study: World Health Organisation (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) “is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.” (About WHO)

The WHO is composed of the 193 members of the United Nations. Member delegations attend the annual World Health Assembly, the WHO’s highest decision-making body. The Executive Board, composed of 34 health experts, advises, supports and implements the decisions and policies of the Assembly. Daily operations are governed by the Director-General, who is appointed by the Assembly and supported by the staff (about 8000) of the Secretariat. (WHO Governance)

The WHO’s headquarters are in Geneva, and the WHO also operates regional and country offices. (WHO – its people and offices)

The WHO’s current agenda has six major aims: (The WHO agenda)

  1. To promote development
  2. To foster health security
  3. To strengthen health systems
  4. To harness research, information and evidence
  5. To enhance partnerships
  6. To improve performance

We selected the World Health Organization as one of our case studies because it is a key policy maker and standards setter in the domain of population dynamics and public health, factors which remain only partly included and reflected in national and global responses to climate change.

On the Publications tab above, we will release findings from this project about the WHO's accountability capabilities and how the WHO is preparing itself to tackle climate change. On the External documents and links tab, we will post key documents about these issues collected during the course of our research.