Communicating for health

Communications capacity building and training

Communications function at WHO

This is the on-going work to improve the communications skills and capacities of WHO staff to help them communicate WHO’s work, health information, advice and guidance effectively. The function includes face-to-face and online trainings, and developing tools to guide and support communications efforts.

Whenever possible, external partners (ministries of health and UN agencies) may also benefit from WHO-provided learning opportunities. The Global Staff Development and Learning Programme funds, via DCO, the training of different staff groups. This includes: a monthly communications induction for all new staff at headquarters; full-day, in-depth communications trainings for interested headquarters staff; and tailored training with continuous coaching for high-impact, high-responsibility staff (such as the leaders of WHO country offices and senior managers in headquarters).

DCO rolls out its capacity building expertise by using the Training of Trainers (ToT) approach – WHO communicators are trained to become trainers and then deploy trainings across the three levels of the Organization. Building communications capacities is regularly done by communicators at the regional offices. Many of the country-level communications staff can also provide communications training to peers in country offices and beyond, particularly when they have undergone trainings and ToT and are certified as qualified to deliver high-quality, adult-learning capacity building.

Resources for capacity building and training