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The PAHO/WHO Secretariat views Technical Cooperation among Countries (TCC) as a powerful instrument to promote solidarity and horizontal cooperation, while strengthening the institutional capacity of countries to meet their health needs.

Technical Cooperation among Countries (TCC) is understood as the implementation of and participation in activities and development projects between countries.  In TCC experiences, knowledge and technical capacities are shared among countries as well as other resources.  This can be done bilaterally, between the countries directly, or with external assistance and financial support when necessary, which is known as Triangular Cooperation.

Technical Cooperation among Countries (TCC) is essentially a process whereby two or more countries work together to develop individual or collective capacity through cooperative exchanges of knowledge, skills, resources, and technologies. Ideally, TCC activities should be initiated, organized, and managed by the countries themselves, under the direction of the respective governments and with the participation of public and private institutions and organizations (UNDP 1998).


The mission of TCC is to contribute to capacity development in one or more countries, to strengthen relations between them, and to increase the exchange, generation, dissemination, and use of scientific and technical knowledge.  This is in addition to training the countries' human resources and strengthening their institutions.

TCC in the health sector, as a strategy to accelerate health development through countries' joint capacities and potential, originates with the concept of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC).  TCDC was officially endorsed by the United Nations in 1978, through the Buenos Aires Plan of Action.  
Among the agencies of the United Nations system, PAHO/WHO stands out for having created a specific budget allotment to support TCC as a concrete way of implementing the strategy outlined in 1978.

The Mission of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is: "to lead strategic collaborative efforts among the Member States and other partners to promote equity in health, to combat disease, and to improve the quality of, and lengthen, the lives of the peoples of the Americas" . Thus, TCC is one of the Organization's main instruments for accomplishing its mission.

For PAHO/WHO, TCC is a privileged modality of cooperation in health which has to be more intensely utilized in order to most effectively address new challenges and make progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Within the framework of the Organizational Change Strategy implemented by the Director of PAHO/WHO in 2004, five strategic objectives are established, among them: "Respond better to country needs" and “Foster innovative modalities of Technical Cooperation." Both of which clearly emphasize the renewed commitment of the Organization to TCC.

This strategy implies "working in close connection with all political, technical and social networks, mobilizing the available resources and partnerships or forging new ones…”  Thus, PAHO/WHO will be in a position to "continue serving Member States, proposing goals and the most successful strategies to ensure that the unfinished agenda is attended to, that the gains made thus far are maintained, and that new challenges are addressed."
Technical Cooperation among Countries constitutes an ideal mechanism for building lasting partnerships and developing collaborative networks with different sectors of society. 
Through TCC countries take concrete actions and develop consensus-based policies to address health challenges and move closer to attaining the highest possible level of Health for All.     
The PAHO/WHO TCC mechanism is continuously reviewed and constructive contributions and comments from Member States are most welcome.

  1. Text of original Buenos Aires Plan of Action can be found here
  2. Values, Vision, and Mission of PAHO/WHO. Website Pan-American Health Organization./World Health Organization.
  3. Annual Report of the Director 2003: Moving towards a New Century of Health, Pan American Health Organization, Message of the Director, page xiii.


TCC Seminar: The Role of WHO in Fostering Technical Cooperation Among Countries , 21 May 2008, Geneva, Switzerland

Message from the Director

TCC Projects Final Reports

TCC Manual

TCC Documents

Other Documents

For comments or suggestions, please contact the Country Focus Support Office

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 04:27

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