September-November 2019
Quarterly Update
WHO, UNICEF and CHAI co-host 2 procurement workshops in South Africa and Tajikistan  
WHO launches open consultation for 27 assistive product specifications 
WHO and China CADTC sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Stakeholders convene in WHO to discuss assistive technology data collection for the Global Report
New commitment from Norway to support WHO’s work on AT 
Updates and Links
Upcoming Events

WHO, UNICEF and CHAI co-host two procurement workshops in South Africa and Tajikistan  

With support from AT 2030, funded by UK Aid, on 6-7 and 19-20 November 2019, WHO, UNICEF and CHAI co-hosted two assistive technology procurement workshops in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with over 140 participants from 12 African countries and eight Eastern European/Central Asian countries to raise awareness about assistive product specification (APS) and the procurement manual; discuss challenges faced in procuring assistive products; and to learn about procurement best practices that ensure appropriate, quality products can reach those in need in the most efficient manner.

Over the two days, product experts highlighted some key considerations when designing a tender for assistive products, national procurement officers, and assistive technology users about their experiences accessing and using their products. Participants shared procurement challenges and best practices in group discussions and worked together to find tangible next steps to improve assistive technology procurement. Some of the key findings from the procurement workshops were that there is a limited range of assistive technology being procured and limited capacity to procure quality products. Participants also identified clear ways WHO, UNICEF, and CHAI can support countries to address these challenges.

WHO launches open consultation for 27 assistive product specifications 

Twenty-seven APS were developed and reviewed with support from over 90 experts from 16 countries, the Swedish Institute for Standards (SIS), and China Assistive Devices and Technology Center for Persons with Disabilities (CADTC). We are pleased to launch the open consultation for 27 APS which aim to provide technical guidance when procuring assistive products, particularly in low-resource settings. The open consultation invites all relevant stakeholders (such as assistive product procurement specialists, product manufacturers and suppliers, service providers, etc.) to provide feedback for improvement. The open consultation is active from 1 November 2019 to 12 January 2020. 

For more information and to review the APS drafts and provide feedback, please visit this page
We encourage you to circulate this open consultation to relevant stakeholders within your network - to ensure that all voices are heard. The APS is a WHO publication, funded by the AT2030 program, which we aim to publish next year.

WHO and China CADTC sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)


China Assistive Devices and Technology Center for Persons with Disabilities (CADTC) and WHO Division of Medicines and Health Products signed a MoU during the Global Conference of Assistive Technology on 10 October 2019 in Beijing, China. Director-General of CADTC Mr Li Xi and Dr Clive Ondari, Director (a.i.) of Department Health Products Policy and Standards attended the signing ceremony. The MoU aims to strengthen the collaboration between CADTC and WHO on improving access to assistive technology globally.

The two organizations will combine their efforts to develop and promote good quality and affordable assistive products and appropriate training for service provision, especially for low-resource settings.

Stakeholders convene in WHO to discuss assistive technology data collection for the Global Report


In May 2018, delegates at the Seventy-first World Health Assembly adopted a resolution urging Member States to develop, implement and strengthen policies and programmes to improve access to assistive technology and requesting the Director-General to prepare by 2021 a Global report on assistive technology. The Global report will capture current population’s need and demand for assistive products, as well as recommendations to improve access.

WHO is developing a tool to collect in-depth information on a country’s capacity to procure and provide assistive technology (ATA-C); and a rapid tool to collect information on population need/unmet need for assistive technology (rATA). 
On 11 and 12 November 2019, representatives from WHO headquarters and Regional Offices, national governments, collaborating partners/agencies convened in Geneva with the objective to familiarize and finalize data collection tools and methods, develop an initial list of countries and focal person/s for data collection and draft a template for a country status page within the Global Report.

New commitment from Norway to support WHO’s work on AT

The Norwegian government have committed US$5 million over the next two years to support WHO to strengthen its work on AT for noncommunicable diseases (with a focus on diabetes and stroke). AT has also been included on the agenda of bilateral discussions between WHO and Norway for the first time, with Norway committing an additional and ongoing budget for AT within its yearly funding to WHO.
In addition, WHO is tapping into Norwegian AT expertise by building closer links to strengthen collaboration with several Norwegian institutions including Sunnaas (the National Rehabilitation Hospital), SINTEF (one of Europe’s largest independent research institutions), and Sophies Minde.

To support the work on AT for  noncommunicable diseases, the GATE team is hiring a consultant. Please see the request for proposal in the links section below.

Training in Priority Assistive Products (TAP) pilot report: the second pilot of the training package was held in June 2019 in Papua New Guinea. The report from the pilot is available here.

Assistive technology in emergency: WHO is conducting a survey to identify priority assistive products that should be accessible in emergency response. If you haven’t already responded, please complete this quick survey – your contribution is very important:
Survey link: English - French - Spanish - Arabic - Chinese - Russian


On 3 December 2019, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, WHO-GATE released a new video about the importance of providing assistive products through trained health personnel and services:

Consultancy with the GATE team – Request for Proposals

GATE website migrated to a new platform and can now be found within WHO Health topics

Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week 2020: 3-7 February 2020, Geneva, Switzerland.
Equipping, enabling and empowering
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