Inter-Regional Immunization Strengthening Workshop
April 9-13, 2001 at Centre des Pensières, Annecy, France
A set of six guides for workshop facilitators, developed for a workshop held in Annecy, France, in April, focus on strengthening immunization programmes and management systems. These practical guides can be adapted for workshops in different regions or countries. Key topics covered by the guides include the development of in-country coordinating mechanisms, immunization programme assessments, multi-year plans, and financing.
Objectives of Workshop
- Identify challenges to developing and implementing strong immunization programs
- Develop strategies for addressing them
- Come to a common understanding of GAVI and how to access new resources through the Vaccine Fund
- Generate ideas for future workshops
Participants and Technical Resource People
The 22 participants were a top-notch and diverse group of regional and national immunization experts representing WHO (7), Ministries of Health (6), UNICEF (3), the World Bank (1), PATH (1), Association Pour LAide a la Medicine Preventive (1), and consultants/other institutions (3).
The participants work as immunization professionals in Africa, Asia, the Newly Independent States, and the Middle East.
All the participants were nominated by their Regional Working Groups as persons whose involvement would best strengthen the region's immunization systems.
In addition to the 22 participants, an additional 22 technical resource people participatedin part or allof the workshop. Participants and technical resource people participated equally in the workshop. Many of the resource persons will likely be involved in future regional training initiatives.
The workshop was conducted over five days. The participatory methodology used in the workshop recognized the expertise of the participants and combined small group break-out exercises with plenary sessions. These sessions generally were rated very useful.
The workshop was facilitated by two training experts (Linda Bruce and Scott Wittet) who were teamed with various technical resource people and participant experts to manage the topic areas.
General Feedback on the Workshop
Participants were regularly asked to provide feedback during the workshop (so that course corrections could be made) and in a plenary session at the end of the week. They were also asked to complete anonymous evaluation forms.
Overall, the feedback received from the participants and technical resource people about the workshop was positive.
Based on participant comments, there is a clear mandate for this type of workshop at the regional and country-levels. In addition, there is a clear mandate to increase the number of technical consultants cognizant of the immunization program strengthening process and able to assist countries with organizing effective Interagency Coordinating Committees, immunization program assessment, and development and implementation of multi-year and annual plans.
Participants particularly liked the opportunity to gather in small groups, with representatives from many regions.
The week was a valuable testing ground for components of future workshops. The organizers and participants learned a lot during the week.
Results of the anonymous evaluations