Research, Publications and Library Services


The Research, Publications and Library Services (RPL) unit supports Member States of the Region to strengthen their capacity to generate information, evidence and knowledge, disseminate health-related literature, share and use evidence for policy and public health action.

The functions of the unit are to:

  • Support Member states to strengthen their national research systems, in order to generate knowledge and inform policy and action through better leadership and coordination, promotion of good practice in research, establishment of effective linkages between research results and policy and practice;
  • Promote and coordinate basic research, product development and operational research activities across the different Clusters in the Regional Office, as well as the provision of support for the strengthening of ethical review and regulatory capacity in countries;
  • Promote partnership between WHO AFRO and research initiatives and actors in the region, facilitating coordinated support to Member States;
  • Support the deliberations and functioning of the African Advisory Committee for Health Research and Development ;
  • Provide guidance and support the preparation and editing of WHO technical publications and statutory documents in the region, ensuring adherence to global organizational publication norms and standards;
  • Collect, process, organise, store, disseminate and promote the use of print and electronic publications produced by the Regional Office, WHO Headquarters, other WHO offices and other sources;
  • Strengthen the capacity of librarians and health information specialists, facilitate networking among health libraries and information centres in the African Region, as well as health knowledge sharing;
  • Promote and coordinate the WHO Literature Service Programme, to improve health libraries, documentation centres and literature services at country level;
  • Ensure the effective distribution of publications and working documents and display and health and communication materials during meetings of WHO regional governing bodies.