Country Focus

Regional Office performance assessment

In order achieve better results at country level, WHO is using evaluation to guide its reform process. The Western Pacific Region has launched initiatives to strengthen the evaluation culture and conduct assessments of how WHO is performing its roles and functions at the country level. The Regional Office for the Western Pacific has conducted self-assessments in its 10 major country offices and assessments aided by external experts in three countries, as a first wave of its evaluation efforts. This work is in-line with the reform programme for all of WHO— Reform for a Healthy Future—and is a response to input from Member States.

Country Office assessment

The Country Support Unit is coordinating the assessments of WHO's performance of its roles and functions at country level. In 2012, all its 10 major country offices did self-assessments initially at country level. This was followed by more in-depth assessments using external experts in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. The assessments entailed a process collecting external feedback from stakeholders, including Member State government officials and other implementing partners. This information will enable WHO at country level to adjust and adapt to countries’ evolving needs. A more detailed account of the purpose, methodology and overall findings of these assessments can be found in “Placing Countries at the Centre”, a publication dedicated to this process.

Subsequent waves of assessments are planned for other major country offices, including Philippines and Malaysia.


Findings and Action Points

Key findings
  • Staffing is WHO’s strength and weakness;
  • WHO is not sufficiently strategic at country level;
  • WHO needs to play different roles in different settings;
  • Health system support is still not strong enough; and
  • WHO productivity is hampered by its own culture and systems.
Areas for action
  • Place the best people in the most demanding jobs;
  • Make health systems the main focus in all country offices;
  • Be strategic: make tough choices to achieve real impact;
  • Assess whether the Regional Office is really country-focused;
  • Focus on value-for-money;
  • Beyond convening: be bolder in driving the policy dialogue; and
  • Communicate with purpose.