January 09, 2020

Report by WHO Ombuds Responds to Organization's New Values Charter

This week, the World Health Organization's Ombudsman, José Martínez-Aragón, released his annual report on the activities of the WHO Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services. According to statistics for WHO in the Americas (regional WHO Ombuds for Europe and Africa report separately), the cases in 2018 increased 18% to 392 in 2018 from 333 in 2017. In addition, the WHO identified two systemic issues, including one directly tied to the organization's recent efforts to definite its core values.
The report summarized these issues:
Based on confidential interactions with visitors, a major task for the Ombudsman is to monitor trends with a view to identifying early on issues of potential significance for the Organization, and then to provide feedback and advice to senior management and other key partners. On the basis of the work undertaken in the past year, the key systemic issues that the Ombudsman has identified and brought to the attention of senior management include:
  • next steps for the successful implementation of the newly defined WHO corporate values as reflected in the Values Charter [adopted in early 2019];
  • the lack of an effective means of quickly reassigning staff members facing critical situations.
Martínez-Aragón noted that, "Including organizational values as key components of WHO’s day-to-day operations has been a focus of the Ombudsman’s work, as an integral part of the office’s mandate." He therefore suggested a number of actions that WHO might take to align its current culture with the aspirations set out by leadership. The report thus illustrates an Ombuds significant involvement in the life of an organization. (WHO Ombuds 2019 Report.)

Related posts: World Health Organization Names New Ombuds; UN Magazine Introduces New World Health Organization Ombuds; World Health Organization Ombuds Says Dysfunctional Management is Impacting Mission; World Health Organization Adds an Ombuds in Southeast Asia.

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