The IFFS is a Non-state Actor (NSA) in Official Relations with the World Health Organization

As a Non-State Actor (NSA) in official relations with the World Heath Organization (WHO), the IFFS promotes and develops educational initiatives in the field of reproductive health in support of WHO aims and objectives, and the renewed focus and prioritization WHO has given to infertility as a disease. 


UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP)


Scientific and Technical Advisory Group (STAG)




The UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) is the main instrument within the United Nations system for identifying research priorities on sexual and reproductive health and rights; for promoting, conducting, evaluating and coordinating related interdisciplinary research; for collaborating with countries to build national capacity to conduct research; and for promoting the use of research results in policy making and sexual and reproductive health programmes. HRP is administered through the World Health Organization's Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR); more information about HRP can be found at https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/hrp/en/.


HRP is guided by a Scientific and Technical Advisory Group (STAG), which is the principal advisory body for HRP.  Specifically, STAG:

·         reviews, from a scientific and technical standpoint, the content, scope and dimensions of the Special Programme, including the research areas covered and approaches to be adopted

·         recommends priorities within the Special Programme, including  all scientific and technical activities related to the Special Programme

·         provides a continuous and independent evaluation of the scientific and technical aspects of all activities of the Special Programme

·         reviews the plans of action and the budget of the Special Programme during each financial period


Members of STAG participate in an individual capacity and not as representatives of their institution or country.  STAG meets at least once a year in Geneva in February. The working language of the meeting and documentation is English. No stipend is paid to members, however full travel costs are covered and an expense allowance is provided. STAG members serve a three year term, renewable once.



The following areas of expertise—relating specifically to sexual and reproductive health and rights—are of particular interest to balance the STAG composition for 2020 and beyond:

  • Digital health
  • Infertility
  • Health systems research
  • Maternal health
  • Other disciplines relating to sexual and reproductive health



In assessing applications, the following criteria will be used:

  • Track record within areas of expertise, including publications
  • Expertise and experience in cross-cutting issues, including research capacity strengthening, research ethics, research management, knowledge translation, collaborative partnership programmes (North-South, South-South)
  • Diversity of gender and geographical origin


Members of other HRP committees, principal investigators of HRP studies, and HRP grantees are not eligible for STAG membership.



A short letter or e-mail of interest indicating the potential contribution of the nominee to STAG (maximum one page), plus a curriculum vitae, should be submitted by e-mail to reproductivehealth@who.int.   Deadline for application is 4 October 2019.


World Health Organization Alerts

WHO, Human Reproduction Program (HRP) Policy and Coordination Committee

Global Health Emergency Alert: Zika Virus

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Standards and Practice Committee Updates

The IFFS resolved at its 2007 World Congress to establish a program of work to develop a series of Practice Standards relevant to Reproductive Health and appropriate to its global constituency. The purpose of this program is to support one of the key missions of the IFFS, namely to raise standards of medical care in reproductive health.

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