World Health Organisation NSA Engagement Committee
Prof Kathy Pritchard-Jones
Chair (SIOP Immediate Past President)
Dr Venkatraman Radhakrishnan
SIOP became a non-state actor (NSA) in official relations with the WHO in January 2018. Since the launch of the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) (September 2018), the work expected of SIOP as a non-state actor (NSA) in official relations with the World Health Organisation (2017) has increased in both volume and complexity (Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors [FENSA] guidelines).
The FENSA categories of engagement include:
- a) participation in meetings organized by WHO,
- b) providing resources (financial and/or in-kind),
- c) providing up-to-date information and knowledge on technical issues,
- d) advocacy, and
- e) technical collaboration.
To date, SIOP’s WHO engagement has been managed through a monthly call between the SIOP leadership and the WHO Cancer technical officers and supported by the SIOP Advocacy Committee. However, due to the growth of SIOP’s engagement and opportunity for in-person engagement, in the fall 2022, the SIOP President (Guillermo Chantada), in consultation with the Advocacy Chair (Alan Davidson), requested the immediate past-President, (Kathy Pritchard-Jones), to focus on WHO-related engagement within the Advocacy Committee, and she accepted.
In late January, following the WHO Executive Board meeting attended by the SIOP Past President, it became evident that the increasing scope of engagement required with the WHO extended beyond advocacy and was consuming the majority of the SIOP Advocacy Committee’s time and effort. Therefore, the SIOP President and Advocacy Chair proposed to the Governance Committee that a new provisional WHO Committee be established, chaired by SIOP’s Past President, and exist for two years at which time a review would be conducted to determine its status. The Governance Committee endorsed this proposal and forwarded it to the Senior Management Team, which also endorsed the proposal
 FENSA guidelines available here
The purpose of the provisional WHO NSA engagement Committee will be to coordinate all aspects of SIOP’s activities related to our non-State actor status with WHO. This is needed because WHO engagement goes beyond advocacy and includes other important areas of work (e.g., importance of WHO’s work globally such as the Covid-19 response in all countries and collaboration among non-State actors and WHO collaborating centres).