Global Observatory on Health R&D

The WHO Global Observatory on Health R&D (hereafter called 'The Observatory') is a centralized and comprehensive source of information and analyses on global health R&D activities for human diseases.

It builds on existing data and reports from a wide range of data sources, and gathers new information (where needed and feasible) with the aim of enabling decisions on priorities in R&D.

Call for paper still open

In 2015, WHO announced a call for papers for a peer-reviewed journal series entitled 'Informing the Establishment of the WHO Global Observatory on Health Research and Development'. The call was launched in association with the establishment of the Observatory called for by WHO’s Member States in World Health Assembly resolution WHA66.22, as part of a strategic workplan to promote innovation, build capacity, improve access and mobilize resources to address diseases that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest countries. The first papers were published in Health Research Policy and Systems (HARPS) during 2015 to 2016. Additional papers will continue to be published. The Call is still open, and new contributions are welcome.

fact buffet

Health researchers

352 times more health researchers in high-income countries than in low-income countries

Health researchers per million inhabitants, by income group


–7%in R&D investments for neglected diseases from 2012 to 2015

R&D funding flows for neglected diseases

Products in the pipeline

352new products in the pipeline (as of May 2017) for neglected diseases and select priority pathogens

Health products in the pipeline

Featured news

Editorial on the Global Observatory on Health R&D and its thematic series

By Stephen Hanney and Miguel Gonzállez-Block, Editors-in-Chief of Health Research Policy and Systems (HARPS). The editorial notes how the WHO Global Observatory for Health R&D provides an opportunity to promote some of the lessons that England’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) may have to share with others following the Institute’s recent anniversary. It also discusses some of the other papers in the R&D Observatory HARPS series. A Call for papers for the series is still open.

Contact us:

Research, Ethics and Knowledge Uptake
Department of Information, Evidence and Research
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27