African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
Vol. 10, No. 3, 2010, pp. 390-394
Bioline Code: hs10071
Full paper language: English
Document type: Special Article
Document available free of charge
African Health Sciences, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2010, pp. 390-394
© Copyright 2010 African Health Sciences.
"Basically a house of experts: the production of World Health Organization information"|
Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO) is widely regarded as the preeminent international authority on health and scientific matters. Its information mandate is a powerful one, for it enables the WHO to construct issues as legitimate ones for concern that should be addressed in particular ways.
Methods: Intensive interviewing of WHO staff was used to elicit writing and editing processes. Approximately 25 people were interviewed repeatedly from year 2004 to 2005 using the snowball sampling method.
Results: A core staff in headquarters dominates the selection of topics, writing and editing activities. The authority of senior management in headquarters emerges as more significant than that of country leaders and representatives.
Discussion: In contrast to sister UN agencies, WHO staff prioritize collaboration and input from science and health researchers over that of UN colleagues and its internal editors. Senior management participation ensures stability in WHO information over time and adherence to the WHO scientific mandate across documents.
HIV, AIDS, WHO, UN, information, publications