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GAVI Update


Eighth GAVI Board Meeting, Paris, 19-20 June 2002

2. GAVI Review

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  • The GAVI Alliance faces a transition from its initial emphasis on the development of policies and procedures at global level to a focus on implementation at country level. While a looser alliance approach initially was instrumental to achieve the broad thinking and consensus building, the implementation stage requires more active management.

  • The Board welcomed the review of the GAVI Board, Working Group, Secretariat, as an opportunity to clarify relationships, functions, and accountability. This will be key as GAVI and The Vaccine Fund collect evidence of impact in quantitative, economic and social terms.

  • The Board agreed that GAVI should retain its current structure but adopt a more businesslike approach. The Board should focus on high-level strategy and key policy issues, delegating more responsibility and accountability to the Executive Secretary, supported by the Working Group and Secretariat.

  • One Board member suggested that a Vaccine Fund Board member, rather than its President, should be represented on the GAVI Board.

  • One Board member suggested that the Alliance will need to make a decision about whether to fulfill its global mission in the broadest sense, or continue to focus on a limited number of vaccines and immunization service strengthening in the poorest countries (which are a high priority, of course). For example, non-Vaccine Fund eligible developing and middle-income countries currently have no substantive consideration in the discussions, and programs like polio eradication, measles mortality reduction, and neonatal tetanus elimination not fully integrated into the GAVI "tent."


Regarding management processes (recommendations 1-13) the Board:

2.1 Approved all recommendations, except those referring to the creation of standing Board sub-groups (see point 2.3).

2.2 Requested the Secretariat to prepare a comprehensive, budgeted GAVI workplan for 2003-4, for presentation to the Board at its November 2002 meeting. The workplan should reflect the transition we are facing and be based on individual workplans of the GAVI mechanisms (task forces, Working Group, Secretariat, regional working groups). All GAVI workplans should align with relevant GAVI strategic objectives and milestones, and identify priorities, deliverables, human and financial resources, critical timings, key challenges and GAVI partner commitments and accountabilities.

2.3 Decided not to form standing sub-groups of the Board but agreed to form ad hoc, task-specific sub-groups as needed.

2.4 Adopted the recommendation that the Board should delegate authority and accountability for day-to-day operational decisions to the Executive Secretary, supported by the Secretariat and the Working Group, within the framework of a Board-approved GAVI Secretariat workplan.

2.5 Adopted the recommendations that Board documentation should be more concise, clear, provided on a more timely basis, and include more options, as appropriate.

Regarding Board composition and processes for selection of new seats (recommendations 14 - 22), the Board:

2.6 The Board will further consider Board composition at its next teleconference. (Board members have been asked to complete a questionnaire on these issues). In order to restrict Board growth, it may be appropriate to allow certain seats to be discontinued once the term of the current representative has concluded.

2.7 Requested that the Executive Secretary work with the Chair to solicit all board members' views on the recommendations concerning the composition of the Board. The Secretariat will provide a synthesis of the feedback in time for the Board to reach agreement during its next teleconference.

2.8 Requested the Secretariat to provide a summary of current procedures for selecting new Board representatives, including a description of members' responsibilities and requirements, and make recommendations for streamlining and increasing transparency of the process. Once the summary of the processes used for selection of new Board seats has been accepted and endorsed, it will be made widely available, including being published on the GAVI website.

Regarding the Working Group (recommendations 23 - 28), the Board:

2.9 Recognized the crucial role of the Working Group in the development and functioning of the Alliance.

2.10 Approved the recommendation that the Executive Secretary, by virtue of position, should chair the Working Group and be held accountable to the Board for its functioning.

2.11 Agreed that the composition of the Working Group will need to diversify to include more non-immunization specific expertise and more people with field-level immunization experience. Recognizing the importance of continuity and links to key implementing agencies, the Working Group should be kept small with a focus on necessary skills, as opposed to being strictly representational. The need for greater participation from developing country governments was stressed.

2.12 Requested the Executive Secretary to submit a concrete proposal for renewal and turnover of the membership of the Working Group in connection with the comprehensive GAVI 2003-4 workplan. Selection of individuals on the Working Group should be made in a negotiation/collaboration process between the Executive Secretary and the concerned agencies.

Regarding the Secretariat (recommendations 29 - 31), the Board:

2.13 Recognized that the staffing of the Secretariat is insufficient for current tasks. As the Secretariat's workload increases it will need to add a limited number of new staff; keeping the Secretariat lean is of high priority.

2.14 Requested the Executive Secretary to submit a skeleton workplan outlining the Secretariat functions, staff needs and staffing priorities in light of the current phase of transition into implementation, so that the Board can take a final decision on additional Secretariat staff at its next teleconference.

Regarding funding arrangements (recommendations 32 - 34), the Board:

2.15 Decided that the funding of the Secretariat, Working Group and Task Forces, and their respective activities, should be based on the comprehensive 2003-4 workplan and budget.

Regarding the Independent Review Committee (recommendations 35 - 40), the Board:

2.16 Approved the recommendations that the Independent Review Committee (IRC) should continue to report, and be accountable, to the Board and that its skill base needs to be expanded to include more health system wide expertise.

2.17 Requested that the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Working Group and the M&E sub-group of the Implementation Task Force, submit a proposal for a new mechanism to perform the monitoring and evaluation function of the GAVI review process, including assessing progress reports, financial sustainability plans, and mid-term reviews. This separation of functions would ensure that the monitoring and evaluation procedure is pristine and free of conflict of interest.

2.18 Agreed that in the future, the Board should only be requested to review and consider proposals being recommended for approval by the IRC. The Executive Secretary will handle IRC recommendations for resubmissions and conditional approvals.

2.19 Delegated authority to the Executive Secretary to approve minor changes in vaccine volumes, specifications, quantity or presentations, as long as the value of the award does not differ significantly from the financial ceiling originally approved by the Board.

Regarding the relationship with the Vaccine Fund (recs 41 to 45), the Board

2.20 Agreed with the recommendations that there should be close working relations between the Vaccine Fund, the GAVI Secretariat staff and relevant partners; that the Working Group should continue to include a Vaccine Fund representative; that the Vaccine Fund should be asked to invite the GAVI Executive Secretary to be a member of its Board and Executive Committee by virtue of office. The option of a GAVI Board member to sit on the Vaccine Fund Board was also suggested; and that the President of the Vaccine Fund should have a seat on the GAVI Board (see decision 2.7).


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