Fact Sheet

Over 100 institutions in over 15 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.


A win-win relationship 100

  • 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 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.
  • Currently there are approximately 189 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.
  • Their activities include, for example, carrying out research for PAHO/WHO, assisting in the development of a PAHO/WHO guideline, gathering and analyzing data for a PAHO/WHO report, dissemination of information, providing a training course by request of PAHO/WHO, standardization of terminology, or provision of technical advice to PAHO/WHO.


Find the Centres 

  • The WHO Collaborating Centre global database is the official source of information about WHO Collaborating Centres worldwide.
  • The global database can be found at: http://www.who.int/whocc/


*Information updated: 12 February 2020