Research policy

Research policy aims to strengthen health research systems, and to contribute to health-system development and health improvement, particularly in poorer countries, by:

  • disseminating and translating valuable knowledge or research;
  • creating ethical and evidence-based research policies, including norms and standards; and
  • promoting, monitoring and using high-quality health research evidence.

At the regional and global levels, several WHO bodies support research policy.

  • The European Advisory Committee on Health Research (EACHR) supports WHO in carrying out its constitutional role of promoting and coordinating research relating to international health work, and works in close cooperation with external institutions pursuing common goals and with the scientific community at large;
  • The WHO Ethics Review Committee (ERC) reviews all research that involves human participants and that is either funded or supported by WHO.
  • The WHO Guidelines Review Committee (GRC) develops and implements procedures to ensure that WHO guidelines are consistent with internationally accepted best practices, including the appropriate use of evidence.
  • The Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) was established in response to concerns that insufficient resources were being devoted globally to research and development to address treatments for diseases that principally affect developing countries.

To support CEWG’s work, WHO/Europe carried out a web-based consultation with Member States, in conjunction with the 2012 session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, and delivered a collated response to the global CEWG meeting in November 2012. It continues work in this area in close collaboration with WHO headquarters and other regional offices.