healthcare research

Submission on the 14th WHO General Programme of Work (GPW14), 2025-2028, November 2023

In October, The George Institute for Global Health participated in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) civil society consultation on its 14th General Programme of Work (GPW 14) that is being developed through a consultative process with partners and member states (MS) ahead of its adoption at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2024. The GPW is a medium-term strategy agreed by MS to set a broad health agenda for that period and so defines the direction of work for WHO (including the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of this programme), with the goal to promote, provide, and protect health.

The George Institute submitted comments on the draft GPW 14 consultation paper, which includes several strategic objectives and draft outcomes that we are engaged with and where we have considerable expertise.

We welcome the proposed strategic objectives under the GPW 14, and there are several priority areas we strongly support, including the renewed focus on improving the monitoring and evaluation of results, as well as the emphasis on preventing and treating non-communicable diseases (NCDs), addressing the issue of catastrophic out-of-pocket expenses for health, and the aspiration for transformative action at the intersection of climate change and health.

To strengthen the GPW14, we recommend the following:

  • We urge the WHO to enhance capabilities in research and innovation and prioritise research and building the evidence as a central objective of every goal of GPW14
  • We fully support the emphasis on prioritising health and well-being in policy agendas, but we believe that a stronger emphasis should be placed on involving communities in the development, implementation and evaluation of these agendas
  • We recommend a more ambitious focus on achieving equity within the GPW14. This should involve clear articulation of how rights-based and equity-centred approaches will be integrated into the GPW’s implementation
  • We fully endorse the focus on addressing the issue of catastrophic out-of-pocket expenses for health and recommend setting a measurable target for investment in health to reduce out-of-pocket spending in alignment with national disease burdens
  • The Commercial Determinants of Health (CDoH) should be a fundamental component of WHO’s efforts to attain the second strategic objective of GPW14, which is focused on tackling the underlying causes of poor health.

Lean more about the GPW14.