Global health partnerships, networks and alliances, and initiatives have been established to raise visibility of an unmet need, support coordination, provide financial support to countries, and/or provide common platforms for working together by combining the relative strengths of different stakeholders including the public sector, private sector entities, nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and academic institutions.
WHO's Policy on Engagement with Global Health Partnerships and Hosting Arrangements, endorsed by the World Health Assembly in resolution WHA63.10, provides a framework to guide WHO’s assessment of, and decision concerning, potential engagement in different types of health partnerships.
In accordance with the Policy, in all situations in which the Secretariat identifies a need for, or is asked to participate in a partnership it uses the following criteria to review such requests:
The term "partnerships" is used generically to include various organizational structures, relationships and arrangements within and external to WHO for furthering collaboration in order to achieve better health outcomes. These range from legally incorporated entities with their own governance to simpler collaborations with varied stakeholders. Diverse terms such as "partnership", "alliance", "network", "programme", "project collaboration", "joint campaigns," and "task force" may be used in the title of these partnerships, although this list does not represent a typology.
The term "formal partnerships" refers to those partnerships with or without a separate legal personality but with a governance structure (for example, a board or steering committee) that takes decisions on direction, workplans and budgets. WHO currently serves as the host organization for four formal partnerships which have not been established as legal entities, and which are known as "hosted partnerships".
As part of its core functions, WHO also manages several collaborative efforts that are fully under its managerial control and accountability and for which there are no separate governance arrangements. They are designed to provide a means to collaborate with multiple stakeholders.
When engaging in partnerships and other collaborative arrangements, WHO applies, as appropriate, both the Policy on Engagement with Global Health Partnerships and Hosting Arrangements and the Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors.
WHO is involved in a large number of other partnerships and collaborative arrangements. The following document provides an overview of these partnerships and collaborative arrangements and WHO’s role in them.