WHO Collaborating Centers are designated by the Director-General, WHO, as part of an inter-institutional collaborative network of centers worldwide. They are established to provide concrete activities at the national, regional, and global levels, in support of the strategic plans of specific WHO areas of work. All WHO Collaborating Centers in the Region of the Americas are known as PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centers since the Pan American Health Organization also serves as a WHO regional office. Currently there are over 180 Centers in 15 countries in the Americas.
Collaborating Centers may be departments, laboratories or divisions within an academic or research institution, hospital or government. They cooperate with a specified PAHO/WHO Technical Area, according to mutually agreed upon terms of reference. This agreement is initially for a period of four years and in some cases may be renewed for an additional period of up to four years.
PAHO/WHO technical officers identify eligible centers that are capable and willing to apply. Then, these officers initiate a proposal for designation from either the regional or global WHO program. Spontaneous applications or self nominations by institutions are not accepted. Complete details about WHO policies, procedures and responsibilities are available in the Guide for WHO Collaborating Centers at this site.