The 2003 work plan report has shown that positive and intensive collaboration between partners has not only ensured a clear picture of the on-going country immunization efforts, but also guaranteed appropriate support for countries to increase their immunization levels and improve their prospects for long-term financial sustainability.
Summarizing, the main achievements of the 2003 work plan were:
- The Proposal Review Team reviewed a total of 33 country proposals for 45 requests of support
- The Independent Review Committee reviewed the first 13 Financial Sustainability Plans, of which five reports with major revisions and eight reports with minor ones. Each country – if eligible – can apply for five different types of requests for support (Immunization Services Support, Injection Safety, Yellow Fever, Heb B and Hib).
- Regional Financial Sustainability Planning processes were strengthened and leveraged i.a. by the promotion of the Immunization Financing Database.
- The Independent Review Committee (IRC) met twice in 2003 and reviewed all of the 64 submitted progress reports.
- Out of the 11 Data Quality Audits (DQA) that GAVI was able to conduct in 2003, eight countries passed. The three countries that failed the DQAs have chosen to undertake a second DQA in 2005.
- Regional working groups put extensive efforts into ensuring country support from partners. Special focus was set on injection safety and waste management.
- The groundwork on capital market mechanisms was completed and will be further developed by the IFF for Immunization, a new funding source for GAVI and The Vaccine Fund.
- The Vaccine Procurement Project was established by the GAVI partnership to ensure timely provision and use of Vaccine Fund supported vaccines and associated products to low-income countries. The procurement strategies that were recommended in the Mercer report were applied and endorsed to a large extent.
The GAVI work plan experience has shown that partners had major difficulties in reporting back on total expenditures of partner contributions. According to the World Bank and WHO, requesting reporting on financial expenditures from agencies’ own partner funds is extremely complicated due different activity categories, accounting and reporting systems and financial years.
The structure of the 2003 work plan reflected the way the Alliance functioned in that year. Three of the task forces were discontinued in mid-2003 and the respective host agencies had to take the responsibility for the formal reporting for those areas (WHO for the Implementation Task Force (ITF) and the R&D Task Force (R&D TF), UNICEF for the Advocacy Task Force (ATF).
The experiences from the 2003 work plan were fed into the continued efforts of the Alliance. Thus the R&D task force efforts were continued in the form of the Accelerated Development and Introduction Plans (ADIPs), the regional working groups focused more on coordination and support to countries, the financial sustainability work is on its way to transition to partners. In advocacy and communications the GAVI secretariat and The Vaccine Fund management are taking on greater responsibilities.