How HIFA collaborates with WHO to improve the availability of healthcare information worldwide

WHO and HIFA collaborate to build a world where every person has access to the information they need to protect their own health and the health of those for whom they are responsible, and to protect people from the harms of misinformation. This collaboration directly supports 'WHO's quintessential function to ensure access to authoritative and strategic information on matters that affect peoples' health' (WHO general programme of work, 2019–2023).

WHO has collaborated with HIFA since the launch of HIFA in 2006. Indeed, HIFA emerged as the main recommendation of a WHO commission, published in The Lancet in 2004: Can we achieve health information for all by 2015? 

The breadth and depth of our collaboration increases year on year, and WHO currently has three representatives on the HIFA Steering Group.


Specifically, HIFA works closely with Linguistic Collaborations at WHO Geneva through our Multilingualism project to promote:

1. communication, understanding and advocacy around the information needs of the public, health workers, researchers, representatives of civil society and policymakers in languages other than English
2. inclusive global health communication in multiple languages, including alignment (eg scope, moderation approach, branding), development and cross-fertilisation across the HIFA forums (English, French, Portuguese, Spanish…) to maximise their collective impact on global health
3. co-creation/co-development in health information sharing: integrating health information providers and users into the processes of mutual sharing, understanding and solidarity so that their unique perspectives and cooperation may ultimately support health for all.

We have formal collaborations for HIFA-French, HIFA-Portuguese, and HIFA-Spanish. HIFA provides training in moderation skills while WHO provides staff time, technical expertise and linguistic skills. 

We have collaborated with WHO on several successful projects including Empowering community health workers (2019-20): promoting global and country-level understanding, advocacy and engagement around the WHO Guideline on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programmes.  

Maintaining essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic (and beyond)

HIFA is currently (2020-21) collaborating with WHO to support the maintenance of essential health services during and after the pandemic, in a spirit of solidarity and codevelopment. This project aims to strengthen the dissemination, understanding and uptake of WHO guidance: Maintaining essential health services: operational guidance for the COVID-19 context interim guidance (June 2020), as well as promoting cross-country sharing of experience and expertise. More information.