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Item 5: Norway's Intervention on WHO reform: Priority setting

Last updated: 26.01.2012 //

World Health Organization EB130. Agenda item 5, WHO-reform, Priority setting.

Norway’s intervention.


-          We thank the Secretariat for hard work and maturing documentation on the reform agenda.


-          We consider the challenge before the EB now, on priority setting, is to establish ToRs for the Member State driven process (MSDP) so that we as part of this process can elaborate more on the issues at hand.


-          We find that the document before us gives insufficient guidance on what may be the most important question for the MSDP; to propose a mechanism on how to set priorities for the WHO, including criteria and process. As part of this work, we also need to understand the current principles of priority setting in the WHO.


-          In order for the upcoming meeting in this process to produce the results we need, we would like the ToRs to;


a)      describe the current principles and arenas of priority setting in order to support the development of a new priority setting mechanism in the organization, including describing the relationship between global priorities and priorities agreed on regional and country level

b)      discuss the priorities of WHO’s normative and convening role relative to country support

c)      discuss how the governing bodies best can assure that WHO priorities are set in a democratic process and not by its donors

d)      discuss criteria for presenting resolutions to the governing bodies in order to develop a mechanism for resolution management. In doing so, the role of the Bureau of the EB should also be discussed with a view to more actively engage the Bureau in preparing for the governing body meetings




-          We notice the Secretariats statement in paragraph 27 of the report that the:” component for headquarters and regions was not based on any real analysis of the functions at each level or of their real costs”. We will encourage a process to take this carefully into consideration when discussing new proposals for resource allocation at different levels of the WHO.


-          Norway is sceptical of the ambition set out in paragraph 30 to spend at least 50 % of total revenues in any biennium at country level.


-          And we will underline the need to strengthen the normative work of the WHO (paragraph 35); and therefore the HQ should be sufficiently equipped with resources to be able to fulfil its normative function.


-          We find the seven prioritized categories are prematurely described in the report. Rather than describe priorities, we should at this stage focus on a concrete discussion of criteria and process for priority setting.


-          Norway supports a February meeting so as to allow for the process to move forward and we would ask that the Secretariat hold a web based consultation for on the outcome of this meeting in good time before WHA.


-          All the reform documents are closely connected and we therefore look forward to one new consolidated reform proposal before WHA.







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