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Dr David Nabarro promises World Health Organization transparency, technology and equality shape up

  • Nabarro to target 50% female representation including in senior roles at the WHO
  • “Countries should rightly expect to see a return on their investment”
  • WHO to have strong focus on technology and digital under Nabarro leadership

On day one in charge of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr David Nabarro will start changing the culture and the way of working in Geneva and across the world.

With a big drive on transparency and accountability, Dr Nabarro aims to improve trust in the WHO and ultimately performance. Dr Nabarro has outlined his changes:

  • More accountability for the WHO team;
  • Transforming human resources;
  • Embracing modern technology to improve transparency and create a truly digital WHO
  • A focus on catalytic partnerships.

The WHO supports the efforts of the 194 national Governments that are responsible for the health of seven billion people across the world. People's lives depend on the global standards set by WHO and the quality of the support it provides to countries.

Dr Nabarro wants a better geographical and gender representation across all levels of the organization. Many regions are under represented and Dr Nabarro is committed to improving that.

At last count, women accounted for 42.8% of staff in the professional and higher categories, representing a 2.4% increase in three years since December 2013. This is positive but Dr Nabarro, in a strong commitment to equality, will aim to have 50% of senior roles filled by women by 2022. To support this, he will take a fully transparent approach to roles, responsibilities and salaries.

Dr David Nabarro said:

I will make our goals public and transparent and ensure thorough reporting on progress and results. I will make use of technology, such as apps and other digital tools to demonstrate how health outcomes for people are improved.
Countries should rightly expect to see a return on their investment. Transparency and accountability builds trust and ultimately increases performance.
Staff will complete reviews of all activities with all work clearly benchmarked. I will sharpen lines of authority and if there is a problem I will know about it and fix it quickly.

Throughout the campaign, Dr Nabarro has championed a catalytic approach to working and is clear that investors including donors and governments, need to see value for money. This will pave the way for short term increases in WHO’s income as well as helping to improve its longer term financial stability.

Dr Nabarro intends to lead a collaborative organisation that works in partnership with governments, the private sector, professional organizations NGOs and health and scientific experts.

Notes to editors

  • Available for broadcast interviews, please contact Kathryn Dorrian
  • For more information about his campaign - www.davidnabarro.info or @DavidNabarro
  • Dr David Nabarro is the UK Candidate to be the next Director-General of the WHO. He has over 40 years of experience working in international public health as practitioner, educator and public servant.
  • His previous roles include:
    • Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change
    • Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Food Security and Nutrition
    • Chair, Advisory Group on Reform of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Work in Outbreaks and Emergencies with Health and Humanitarian Consequences
    • Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Ebola
    • Coordinator of the Movement to Scale Up Nutrition
  • Dr Nabarro was the first candidate to publish his campaign finances back in 2016 and it is with this transparent, accountable approach that he will lead WHO if elected.