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Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation

PROJECT 093: STRONGLABS 2.0 - Reducing biological risks by strengthening Public Health Laboratories


Timely and reliable testing of samples from the first cases of a critical disease is critical for the prompt implementation of public health measures to minimize the impact of any eventual outbreak. There is a need for strong political commitment to drive improvements of policies, infrastructure, workforce and operations of the laboratory sector and related systems. For WHO to advocate for countries to invest sustainably in their public health laboratory systems and reference laboratories, a type of recognition for high-performing laboratories with functional capacities could help.

Overall objective 

To enhance coordination at national, regional and global levels in building laboratory capacities for the detection of, and response to, pathogens with epidemic and pandemic potential.

Specific objectives

To establish a laboratory recognition programme for national reference laboratories that test for pathogens of high public health importance and provide a framework to drive and unify laboratory capacity building efforts globally.


  1. Consultation with global stakeholders (WHO and external) about the proposed objectives and proposed implementation model of a laboratory recognition programme;
  2. Essential tools and guidance documents produced for the implementation of the laboratory recognition programme:
  • Produce a step-by-step implementation manual that will guide countries and/or implementing partners on how to implement the laboratory recognition;
  • Produce tools that will help evaluate the progress of programme implementation;
  • Produce tools and materials to support capacity building activities.
  1. Initiate implementation of established frameworks:
  • Engagement with potential participants of the laboratory recognition programme;
  • Utilize developed tools and processes in context.

Achievements (expected)

  • A step-by-step implementation manual for Member States, and the parties involved (WHO, Laboratories, WHO Collaborating Centres and other parties);
  • A monitoring & evaluation framework for programme implementation;
  • New or updated capacity building tools and materials produced that complement the existing portfolio;
  • Sub-regional workshops held for prioritized countries to inform about the laboratory recognition programme;
  • In-country assessments performed in prioritized countries found to be feasible candidates for the programme.
CBRN areas
  • Bio-safety/bio-security
  • First response
  • Legal framework
  • Post incident recovery
  • Public health impact mitigation
  • Safety and security
CBRN categories
  • Biological
CoE Region
  • AAF - African Atlantic Façade
  • CA - Central Asia
  • ECA - Eastern and Central Africa
  • GCC - Gulf Cooperation Council Countries
  • MIE - Middle East
  • NAS - North Africa and Sahel
  • SEA - Southeast Asia
  • SEEE - South East and Eastern Europe
12 JUNE 2023
Project 093 Factsheet



United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute


This project is part of a pre-existing EU activity in the regions and has not resulted from the submission of a CoE project proposal. Due to the different origin of the project, not all countries involved are CoE partner countries.

** This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

*** This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.