countries share experience and collaborate to improve immunization outcomes
context-specific, peer-reviewed action plans and other projects developed by Scholars
0 %
of Scholars routinely use what they learned from our programmes

"These findings offer strong evidence that the impact of these courses is significant and the courses have considerable potential to lead to the implementation of WHO standards and more effective immunization delivery."

— WHO Scholar programme impact evaluation (2016-2018)

What makes the WHO Scholar programme unique

Focus driven

Learners on a Scholar programme are producers rather than consumers of learning.


A new programme can be developed in three days. Only specific inputs are required from subject matter experts (SMEs). Scholars learn, collaborate, and lead, with no travel, accommodation or per diem costs.


There is no upper limit to the number of programme participants.


The programme can be offered in one or more of the six official UN languages, simultaneously. Participants can also work in their own national or local languages.

Knowledge sharing between countries

Over half of first-time Scholars volunteer as ‘Accompanists’ to share experience and help learners from other countries.

Peer learning

‘Accompanists’ become coaches and guides to support their peers and exercise leadership in new ways that challenge failed, conventional training-of-trainer and cascade models.

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Impact Accelerator

Being a Scholar does not end on the last day of a course.

In some countries, Scholars have spontaneously initiated informal, self-led and motivated groupings of professionals operating across agencies that may provide a different kind of lever for systemic change than traditional top-down approaches.

Building on these emergent dynamics, the Geneva Learning Foundation is running its first Impact Accelerator programme connecting Scholar graduates to collaborate with colleagues from around the world as they move from ideas toward collaborative project implementation.


Inspired by their own journeys, over half of first-time graduates, over 400 to date, have volunteered to serve as Accompanists; acting as coaches and guides to support their peers and exercise leadership in new ways that challenge the failed, conventional training-of-trainer and cascade models.

“As an accompanist, I have realized that I don’t need to be physically present to support someone in learning. With the use of technology I found it very easy and effective to support scholars and this I want to adopt even at work by using technology to enhance supervision of immunization services.”  –  Aliieu K Bah

Measurable impact

The WHO scholar methodology works. External evaluators measured learning culture using the best available evidence-based framework, demonstrating that over 90% of programme participants were able to use, apply, and build on what they gained. A surprising proportion implemented projects that began as course work.

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