Innovation, creativity, and strong partnerships, including with civil society, can help Member States to get closer to their defined priority goals. Partnerships have been critical for our successes, and we intend to continue to strengthen productive partnerships, and seek new alliances and collaboration.
Dr. Carissa Etienne
Director of the Pan American Health Organization, September 2018
PAHO is utterly committed to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals health targets. Part of the everyday work is to engage in partnerships with civil society organizations, international agencies, the private sector and universities to promote technical cooperation with and between countries.
Partnering with PAHO supports the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, through Goal number 3 and Goal number 17.
PAHO offers its partners a unique opportunity to improve health in the Americas. As a recognized leader in health, it works at the regional and country level, providing both technical cooperation and influencing health policies. PAHO has a deep understanding of countries’ context via its 27 permanent country offices and 3 specialized centers. It serves as the Regional Office for the Americas at the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and is part of the Inter-American System.
These valuable assets, combined with its convening power and successful record in diseases elimination since 1902, positions PAHO as a partner of choice.
Some of the ways these collaborations may be materialized include the implementation of technical cooperation projects by signing agreements, establishment of official relations with PAHO and designation as a Collaborating Center.
Non-State actors that are non-governmental organizations, international business organizations, or philanthropic foundations may apply for official relations status.
Non-State actors in official relations with PAHO help extend the reach of the Organization’s actions by, among other things, disseminating and mainstreaming PAHO’s policies through their own activities and networks. Collaboration with nonState actors in official relations also strengthens PAHO’s advocacy actions, leading to the exchange of knowledge and expertise to advance PAHO’s objectives and health goals.
There are currently 27 NSAs in official relations with PAHO. A complete list of entities in official relations with PAHO can be found here.
A video of NSA official relations is available here.
More information about official relations with PAHO, including how to apply, can be found here.
Academic institutions are entities engaged in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge through research, education, and training, including think tanks, which are policy-oriented institutions. International associations of academic institutions are considered nongovernmental organizations.
Partnering with Academic and Research Institutions
Academic and research institutions add an important independent and innovative component to PAHO’s work, from the construction of critical thinking to the development of technical expertise through capacity building. Research is also paramount to evidence-based policymaking.
The modalities of these partnerships may include site visits, training programs, study tours, or professional missions that encourage information exchange, promote inter-regional dialogue and the exchange of experiences. Such initiatives are key to establishing critical linkages and creating cooperative relationships within the global scientific community.
PAHO has 35 Member States in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, four Associate Members (Puerto Rico, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten), three Participating States (France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom), and two Observer States (Portugal and Spain).
Government organizations include governmental official bodies, Ministries of Health, government aid agencies, health authorities, and other governmental agencies, networks and institutions (from the Americas and beyond) that cooperate with PAHO in pursuing countries’ national health strategies and plans, as well as the Organization’s public health goals.
Partnering with Government Organizations
PAHO’s success has largely depended on its ability to build strong, trusted long-term partnerships with its Member States through cooperation with the Ministries of Health and other governmental agencies. PAHO also cooperates with a broad range of aid and development agencies, both from the Member States and non-Member States, whose support and funding are crucial to formulate and implement technical cooperation programs.
PAHO’s sub-regional and country offices foster close relationships with the health sector within each country, thus increasing PAHO’s presence and ability to act at the local level, enhancing our engagement with sub-regional integration mechanisms (including CARICOM, SICA, MERCOSUR), and scaling-up initiatives and results at a continental level.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are non-profit entities that operate independently of governments. They are usually membership-based, with non-profit entities or individuals as members exercising voting rights, or are otherwise constituted with non-profit, public-interest goals. They are free from concerns of a private, commercial or profit-making nature.
They include a broad spectrum of entities, such as international, national and local NGOs, grassroots community organizations, civil society groups and networks, faith-based organizations, professional groups, disease-specific groups, and patient groups.
Partnering with Nongovernmental Organizations
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are seamless partners for PAHO given the nature and reach of their work in promoting common interests aligned with Universal Health. Their increasing “footprint” in the region facilitates efforts at the broad and local level for improving the quality of life for individuals and communities through joint planning, programming and other mechanisms that result in successful actions and important outcomes.
Philanthropic foundations are non-governmental non-profit entities whose assets are provided by donors and whose income is spent on socially useful purposes, or on the provision of funds and resources to other organizations, institutions or individuals dedicated to social work. They are clearly independent from any private sector entity in their governance and decision-making.
Partnering with Philanthropic Foundations
Philanthropic foundations are important partners due to their commitment to serving families, communities and vulnerable population groups. PAHO and philanthropic foundations work together to carry out joint projects, share information, generate evidence, advocate for mutual objectives, and strengthen networks, supported through financial resources or contributions.
Private sector entities are commercial enterprises that are intended to make a profit for their owners. The term also refers to entities that represent, or are governed or controlled by private sector entities. International business associations are private sector entities that do not intend to make a profit for themselves but represent the interests of their members, which are commercial enterprises and/or national or other business associations.
Partnering with the Private Sector
PAHO acknowledges the diverse value of working with the private sector, not only as an important funding source but also as a resource to complement technical expertise and increase the scale of PAHO’s work. PAHO can greatly benefit from private sector expertise, innovation, products and services, and other resources.
Partners can go far beyond the health sector, including areas such as telecom, media, tourism, transportation, banks and many others.
PAHO does not engage with the tobacco industry or non-state actors that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry. PAHO also does not engage with the arms industry.
The Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA) guides the Organization in its efforts to successfully engage with the private sector and other non-state actors.
The UN system is made up of the UN Secretariat, and affiliated programs, funds, and specialized agencies, all with their own membership, leadership, and budget. Funds and programs are generally established by a resolution of the UN General Assembly and have a focused mandate. They are funded either mainly or entirely through voluntary contributions.
Specialized Agencies are legally independent international organizations funded by both voluntary and assessed contributions, which coordinate their work with the United Nations through negotiated agreements. They have separate budgets, members, rules, and personnel. They are funded by both voluntary and assessed contributions.
Partnering with United Nations Agencies
PAHO serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System. As the specialized health agency of the United Nations in the region, PAHO coordinates and cooperates with the UN at country, sub-regional and regional level, to enhance synergies in order to maximize impact toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
PAHO is involved in several global and regional interagency initiatives, such as the Spotlight Initiative to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls and the Every Woman Every Child Latin America and the Caribbean (EWEC-LAC), which establish transformative partnerships to address some of the most complex health challenges, including the reduction of health inequities in key populations.
PAHO also participates in high-level policy dialogue through the High-level Meetings convened by the United Nations, ensuring that health has a prominent place in the global agenda.
Partnerships are “voluntary and collaborative relationships between various parties, both public and non-public, in which all participants agree to work together to achieve a common purpose or undertake a specific task and, as mutually agreed, to share the risks and responsibilities, resources and benefits”.
United Nations General Assembly
Resolution 62/211, 19 December 2007
Partnerships with PAHO can function at the regional, sub-regional, national and sub-national levels.
Partnerships involve organizations or institutions from any nationality (member and non-member states), as long as they generate an impact on the health and wellbeing of the peoples in the region of the Americas.
PAHO partners both with State and Non-State actors.
Government organizations, other United Nations agencies, academic and research institutions
PAHO relies on important partnerships with government organizations, especially among its own Member States, through cooperation with the Ministries of Health and other governmental agencies. Serving as the Regional Office for the Americas at the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), PAHO works closely with many with United Nations agencies. As part of the Inter-American system, the Organization is an active participant in many hemispheric initiatives and human development arenas. Other important State actors include academic and research institutions within the governmental structure.
Nongovernmental organizations, private sector entities, philanthropic foundations, academic and research institutions
PAHO engages with non-State actors in view of their significant role in global health, for the advancement and promotion of public health.
Nongovernmental organizations are nonprofit entities that operate independently of governments. They could include, for example, grassroots community organizations, civil society groups and networks, faith-based organizations, professional groups, disease-specific groups, and patient groups.
Private sector entities are commercial enterprises intended to make a profit for their owners. This group includes, among others, business associations, companies, and private sector foundations.
Philanthropic foundations are non-profit entities whose assets are provided by donors and whose income is spent on socially useful purposes, which are independent of any private sector entity in their governance and decision-making.
Academic institutions are entities engaged in the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge through research, education, and training.
In 2016, PAHO Member States adopted the Framework of Engagement with non-State Actors (FENSA).
This framework aims to strengthen PAHO’s engagement with non-State actors, defined as non-governmental organizations, private sector entities, philanthropic foundations, and academic institutions, while protecting PAHO’s work from potential risks such as conflict of interest, reputational risks, and undue influence.
Any proposed engagement with the private sector must follow the procedures established by the Office of the Legal Council under FENSA, including a due diligence and risk assessment.
Pursuant the Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA), PAHO does not engage with the tobacco industry or non-State actors that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry. PAHO also does not engage with the arms industry.
Tobacco /Arms Related Disclosure Statement for Non-State Actors
Information Requested from Non-State Actors for Engagement with PAHO/WHO
The External Relations, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization (ERP) Department enables the forging of partnerships and alliances for the achievement of PAHO’s strategic objectives. ERP guides and facilitates the development of new partnerships and supports partnership initiatives led by PAHO’s technical areas and country offices.
ERP also supports the positioning of PAHO as partner of choice for non-State actors, national and international institutions in the design and monitoring of health sector interventions.
ERP is the first point of contact of prospective partners who fill out the partnership idea form submitted online.
If your organization shares our vision and you are you willing to engage on a fruitful partnership that contributes to the well-being of people, families and communities living in the Americas, fill in the form below and share your idea with us.
We will get in touch at the earliest opportunity.
PAHO's online program and budget portal provides public access to review
details of the Organization’s work, financing and implementation progress. With quarterly updates, this portal navigates through a detailed breakdown of our work.
Using the “Contributors” section, one may access the list of those partners which provided financial support, and how their collaboration contributes to the different health outcomes in the Americas.