WHO Transformation

“Our goal is clear - a modern WHO, working seamlessly to make a measurable difference in people’s health at country level.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, Executive Board, January 2018



In mid-2017, WHO embarked on what has become most ambitious and far-reaching transformation of WHO since our organization was established over 70 years ago.

Our mission – to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable – is at the heart of our Transformation.

Our WHO Transformation reflects the ambitions and ideas of WHO’s workforce who, together, have shaped the major initiatives, new ways of engaging, working and communicating.

And throughout, our Member States have provided direction on our strategic priorities, goals and shifts needed to deliver on our mission.

Our Transformation approach

WHO Transformation is designed around 3 strategic objectives and supported by 7 major areas of work.

First, we are focusing WHO's work on driving impact at country level and embedding our mission and strategy in our day-to-day work and organizational culture. This work includes the workstreams focused on establishing and operationalizing an impact-focused, data-driven strategy and a new results-focused, collaborative culture.

Second, we are establishing a fit-for-purpose organization to deliver our mission and strategy, anchored in new ways of working that are enabled by “best-in-class” processes and an aligned, 3-level operating model.

And third, we are leveraging our partners and the global community to drive health outcomes, including through new partnership and resource mobilization initiatives.

Underpinning all of these objectives is our work to ensure that we have a diverse, motivated and fit-for-purpose workforce.

The WHO Transformation Agenda is being rolled out in 4 phases, with the 4th phase focused on implementation and continuous improvement. This reflects our approach to regularly adopt new ideas, monitor, adapt and act on feedback. As a result, Transformation will continuously evolve as we incorporate new learnings to ensure we stay ‘ahead of the curve’ and provide the best possible service in support of our Member States.

To learn more, the additional publications, documents and reports on this page provide a chronological documentation of the WHO Transformation journey and highlight how this work is being taken forward in WHO regions.



Publications and documents

The WHO Transformation: 2020 progress report

The pandemic has been an important test for our Transformation – it has shown that we are changing and that many of the changes introduced are...

Publication cover of The WHO Transformation Overview January 2020

Director-General’s detailed update on the status of Transformation at the end of the design phase. The report provides an overview of progress, examples...

Publication cover of WHO Transformation Plan & Architecture

Key document of WHO’s Global Policy Group which lays out the vision, major areas of work, and deliverables for the Transformation, setting the scope...

Governing Bodies reports and documents

Transforming for enhanced country impact, Report by the Director-General

EB 148/32 - December 2020

Provides an update on how WHO is transforming across the three levels to deliver enhanced impact in countries.

The WHO Transformation Agenda

A72/48 - May 2019

Describes the overall Transformation approach and its major areas of work and gives an update on progress.

WHO presence in countries, territories and areas

A72/INF./4 - May 2019

Complements the report A72/48 and provides an overview of the work and vision to establish a consistent, predictable, minimum WHO country presence.

News and speeches

Transformation in WHO’s Regions