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(2012; 62 pages)
WHO’s strategy on research for health, approved by the Sixty-third World Health Assembly in May 2010, is based on the premise that policies and practices in support of health worldwide should be grounded in the best scientific knowledge. The strategy’s mission is that all partners should work together to harness science, technology and broader knowledge in order to produce research-based evidence and tools for improving global health. The WHO strategy builds on a number of WHO’s core features: neutrality and independence; global membership; unique and extensive experience in international public health; a global normative role; commitment to evidence; an ability to convene government representatives, scientific experts and other stakeholders; and a regionalized structure that facilitates cooperation with countries. Decision-making is to be guided by the principles of quality, impact and inclusiveness in order to achieve the strategy goals that cut across national, regional and global levels, and across all parts of WHO.
A plan is to be drawn up for implementing the strategy over a 10-year period. The strategy has already served as a framework for formulating workplans for the WHO regions, some of which are developing their own regional research strategies, and it is being incorporated into operational arrangements and workplans for WHO headquarters. In discussion with WHO Member States, implementation plans will also be integrated into country cooperation strategies. In addition, the strategy has been used to inform the creation of specific research agendas, including those on influenza, child health (in support of Millennium Development Goal 4), tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in resource-limited settings, radiation risk assessment in medical exposures, and the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.