About the African Advisory Committee for Research and Development (AACHRD)

The African Advisory Committee for Research and Development is a multidisciplinary, multi-sectorial body established in 1979, to provide advice to the Regional Director on matters of research related to health policies and development strategies.

The AACHRD has a consultative mandate to help the Regional Office contribute to the Organization’s second core function, i.e. “shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge.”

The Committee draws its membership from among members of WHO regional expert panels, Academia, WHO Collaborating Centres, and national professionals. Members of the committee, consisting of 15-20 experts, are appointed in their personal capacities by the Regional Director. They do not represent their respective governments of Associations. However, governments are informed of the participation of their nationals in the AACHRD.

The Committee usually meets annually to deliberate on issues related of their mandate.


The AACHRD comprises 15-20 members, who shall serve in their personal capacity and represent a board range of disciplines encompassing many aspects of research for health and development. more about the AACHRD memebrs

The terms of reference of the committee are to:

•    Examine, evaluate and propose relevant research related to improved health and development of the African Region within the context of the implementation of the strategic Directors of the Regional Office; 
•    Advice the Regional Director on policies for research for health and development in the Region, in accordance with directives provided by governing bodies (World Health Assembly, Executive Board and Regional Committees) and within the framework of the global WHO policy. This formulation includes recommendations for the attention of the Regional Director on national and regional priorities;
•    Advise the Regional Director on mechanism for coordinating research at national, intra-national and inter-regional levels;
•    Advise the Regional director on the development of research potential and capability, nationally and regionally as well as provide guidance on matters related to Health information systems, knowledge Management and eHealth;
•    Perform an advocacy role of the regional health research agenda and deal with any other issues related to research for health and development that may be brought to their attention by the Regional Director or identified by the committee as worthy of consideration.

Roles and responsibilities of AACHRD Members:

Members of AACHRD have a responsibility to provide WHO with high quality, well considered, advice and recommendations on matters described in the AACHRD terms of reference that will guide Member States in the WHO African Region accelerate progress towards regional and global targets for the implementation of research for health and development goals. Members play a critical role in ensuring the reputation of AACHRD as an internationally recognized advisory group in the field of research for health. In keeping with AACHRD’s mandate to provide strategic advice rather than technical input, members will be recommitted to the development and improvement of public health policies. Where necessary, focused technical input will be solicited from identified experts advisory scientific groups.

The Committee has no executive or regulatory function. Its role is solely to provide advice and recommendations to the WHO Regional Director, and includes providing advice and recommendations on urgent matters as needed.

AACHRD members may be approached by non-WHO sources for their views, comments and statements or particular matters of public health concern and asked to state the views of AACHRD. AACHRD members shall refer such enquiries to WHO.

Meetings and Operational Procedures

AACHRD members will normally meet once a year. The frequency of meetings may, however, be adjusted as necessary. Decisions or recommendations will, as a rule, be taken by consensus.

WHO may also invite other observers to AACHRD to AACHRD meetings, including representatives from WHO regional technical advisory groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international professional organizations, technical agencies, regional research networks, associations and funding partners.

Additional experts may be invited to meetings, as appropriate, to further contribute to specific agenda items.

AACHRD will work with WHO to develop its priorities of work meeting agendas.

AACHRD will be kept informed by WHO and partner agencies of progress in implementation of strategies and the attainment of objectives at country and regional level.

AACHRD will also be informed of policies and recommendations set by the WHO regional technical advisory groups. WHO, with advice from AACHRD, will determine which policy recommendations issues and information from other WHO technical advisory groups should be brought to te attention of AACHRD.

AACHRD Working Groups may be established as resources intended to increase the effectiveness of AACHRD deliberations by reviewing and providing evidence based information and options for recommendations together with implications of the various options to be discussed by the full AACHRD in an open public forum. These Working

Groups are established on a time limited basis in exceptional situations to help address specific questions identified by AACHRD when the use is particularly complicated and could not be addressed by existing standard WHO advisory committees. The need and charge for a working group is discussed and agreed during AACHRD meetings.

In addition to attendance of meetings, active participants will be expected from all AACHRD members throughout the year, including participation in AACHRD working groups, video and telephone conferences as well as interactions via e-mail. Review of documents may also be solicited. AACHRD members may be requested to participate as observers in other important WHO department or cross-department meetings.

AACHRD members will not be remunerated for their participation in AACHRD,; however, reasonable expertise such as travel expensive incurred by attendance at AACHRD or related meetings will be compensated by WHO.

AACHRD reports to the WHO Regional Director. The AACHRD chairperson will debrief the WHO Regional Director and the responsible cluster Director following each

AACHRD meeting. Minutes of AACHRD meetings will be taken and circulated among AACHRD members. The recommendations/conclusions of AACHRD meeting shall be translated and published, with the prior approval of WHO, and posted on the appropriate department website within two months of each AACHRD meeting.