Fact Sheet for the Region of the Americas

Over 100 institutions in 16 countries supporting PAHO/WHO programs 

  • WHO Collaborating Centres are institutions such as research institutes or parts of universities which are designated by the Director-General to carry out activities in support of the Organization’s programs.
  • All WHO Collaborating Centres in the Region of the Americas are known as PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centres since the Pan American Health Organization serves as a WHO Regional Office and because of its constitutional structure.
  • The designation is initially agreed for four years and can be renewed before it expires.
  • PAHO/WHO identifies eligible institutions that are capable and willing to be designated following at least two years of successful collaboration.
  • Spontaneous applications or self-nominations are not accepted.

A 100% win-win relationship 

  • The collaboration brings benefits to both parties.
  • PAHO/WHO gains access to top expertise worldwide as well as the institutional capacity to support its global health work, and to ensure its scientific validity.
  • Institutions benefit from enhanced visibility and recognition by national authorities, calling public attention to the health issues on which they work.
  • The designation also opens up improved opportunities to exchange information and develop technical cooperation with other institutions, in particular at the international level, and to mobilize additional resources from funding partners.


WHO Collaborating Centre Networks

  • Collaborating Centres are encouraged to develop working relations with other Centres and national institutions recognized by PAHO/WHO, by setting up or joining collaborative networks with PAHO/WHO’s support.
  • Examples of existing technical networks are the WHO Collaborating Centres for Influenza and the Network of WHO Collaborating Centres on Occupational Health.

Past and Present

  • PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centres have been designated since the establishment of WHO.
  • The first institution designated in the Americas was the Venezuelan Centre for Classification of Diseases (CEVECE), Simon Bolivar Centre, in 1955.
  • There are over 180 active Centres in 16 countries in the Americas, supporting PAHO/WHO programs and priorities with their time, expertise and funding.
  • The majority of designated institutions are departments or units of universities, laboratories, research institutes, hospitals, ministries, or national academies.
  • All Centres have a long and successfully history of carrying out jointly planned activities with PAHO/WHO prior to being designated.
  • Each PAHO/WHO CC cooperates with a specified technical area, according to terms of reference to carry out research, assisting in the development of PAHO/WHO guidelines, gathering and analyzing data, disseminating information, providing training courses, standardizing terminology, or providing technical advice to the Organization.


Find the Centres