Working on improving universal health coverage and healthier populations, the WHO triple billion target will undergo a wide range of reforms – but can these changes drive targets?
The WHO triple billion target is essentially a 5-year plan ensuring 1 billion more people benefit from universal health coverage, 1 billion more are protected from health emergencies and 1 billion improve their overall health. On 6 March 2019 WHO announced the most wide-ranging reforms in the Organization’s history to modernise and strengthen the institution to play its role more effectively and efficiently as the world’s leading authority on public health.
The changes of the WHO triple billion target
The changes are designed to support countries in achieving the ambitious triple billion targets that are at the heart of WHO’s strategic plan for the next five years.
These changes include:
- Aligning processes and structures with WHO triple billion target and the Sustainable Development Goals by adopting a new structure and operating model to align the work of headquarters, regional offices and country offices, and eliminate duplication and fragmentation
- Reinforcing WHO’s normative, standard-setting work, supported by a new Division of the Chief Scientist and improved career opportunities for scientists
- Harnessing the power of digital health and innovation by supporting countries to assess, integrate, regulate and maximize the opportunities of digital technologies and artificial intelligence, supported by a new Department of Digital Health
- Making WHO relevant in all countries by overhauling the Organisation’s capabilities to engage in strategic policy dialogue. This work will be supported by a new Division of Data, Analytics and Delivery to significantly enhance the collection, storage, analysis and usage of data to drive policy change in countries. This division will also track and strengthen the delivery of work by monitoring progress towards the WHO triple billion targets and identifying roadblocks and solutions
- Investing in a dynamic and diverse workforce through new initiatives including the WHO Academy, a proposed state-of-the-art school to provide new learning opportunities for staff and public health professionals globally. Other measures include a streamlined recruitment process to cut hiring time in half, management trainings, new opportunities for national professional officers, and previously-announced improvements in conditions for interns
- Strengthening WHO’s work to support countries in preventing and mitigating the impact of outbreaks and other health crises by creating a new Division of Emergency Preparedness, as a complement to WHO’s existing work on emergency response
- Reinforcing a corporate approach to resource mobilization aligned with strategic objectives and driving new fundraising initiatives to diversify WHO’s funding base, reduce its reliance on a small number of large donors and strengthen its long-term financial stability.
The changes are more than new structures
“The changes we are announcing today are about so much more than new structures, they’re about changing the DNA of the organization to deliver a measurable impact in the lives of the people we serve,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“Our vision remains the same as it was when we were founded in 1948: the highest attainable standard of health for all people. But the world has changed, which is why we have articulated a new mission statement for what the world needs us to do now: to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.”