WHO collaborating centres for Nutrition

Collaborating centres are national institutions that have been designated by the Director-General to form part of an inter-institutional collaborative network set up by WHO and which cooperate with WHO programmes at national, regional and global levels. They play an important role in the development of WHO’s programmes, in particular, its research and training component.

The functions of WHO collaborating centres for nutrition include the following:

  • Promotion of WHO’s policies, particularly health for all with respect to nutrition.
  • Collection, collation and dissemination of information on nutrition;
  • Standardization of terminology and nomenclature, technology, diagnostic, therapeutic and prophylactic substances, and methods and procedures in nutrition;
  • Development and application of appropriate technology for nutrition;
  • Training, including research training, in nutrition;
  • Participation in collaborative nutrition research developed under the Organization’s supervision, including planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation of research, and promotion of the application of results;
  • Coordination of activities carried out by several institutions in nutrition.

Over the last decade, WHO has designated numerous collaborating centres for nutrition, which are part of a large network covering 5 of the Organization’s 6 geographical regions. Given their functions, collaborating centres are primarily regional in character, although a few enjoy collaborating status with the global Programme of Nutrition for particular components of their joint programme of work. This mainly concerns activities implemented outside the region in which a centre is located.

WHO is currently reviewing and strengthening its working relationships with its collaborating centres in order to exert its global nutrition leadership and fulfil its tasks in the twenty-first century within the framework of the new strategy for health for all.