Panel Recommends WHO Adopt Information Policy

23 November 2015

A panel that examined the response to Ebola has recommended, among other things, that the World Health Organization should establish a freedom of information policy.

The FOI proposal is among a number of governance reforms made in a report issued Nov. 23 by the Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola, convened by the Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“Restoring credibility demands that WHO institutionalises accountability mechanisms, strengthens and clarifies how it works with other actors, and fosters strong leadership,” according to the report which contained 10 recommendations, including:

Recommendation 10: The Executive Board should mandate good governance reforms, including establishing a freedom of information policy, an Inspector General’s office, and human resource management reform, all to be implemented by an Interim Deputy for Managerial Reform by July 2017. In exchange for successful reforms, governments should finance most of the budget with untied funds in a new deal for a more focused WHO. Finally, member states should insist on a Director-General with the character and capacity to challenge even the most powerful governments when necessary to protect public health.

The broad report including other recommendation aimed at preventing major disease outbreaks, responding to outbreaks and producing and sharing information and technology.

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Filed under: IFTI Watch


In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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