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Sara E. Davies and Jeremy Youde, ‘In Reform We Trust - The Challenge Before the World Health Organization: Comment’, in Patrick Weller and Xu-yi chong, eds, The Politics of International Organizations: Views from Insiders, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2015, pp. 240-52.
In 2011, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) created the WHO Task Force on Reform to undertake an independent evaluation of the wider, political, financial, and managerial challenges facing the organisation. The Task Force identified four broad reform challenges: internal governance, finances, management, and asserting its leadership within global health governance. Outside WHO, the reform debate has focused primarily on the existing processes that constrain and undermine WHO’s potential capacity to conquer its political, financial, and managerial challenges. The discussion revolves around why WHO is struggling to lead the global health governance project and how the World Health Assembly (the legislative body of WHO) should address WHO’s institutional and resource challenges. The repetitious discussion of WHO’s reform needs has inspired many reform suggestions but little discussion of political solutions required to address perceived or imagined member states lack of trust in WHO’s leadership. This chapter contends that any reform debate must address why WHO is treated with suspicion and mistrust by its members.
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