GAVI Going Forward
July 1, 2011
Written by Matthew Pesesky
On June 13, 2011 the GAVI Alliance, the international public-private coalition focused on expanding access to new and underused vaccines in low-resource settings, held its first-ever pledging conference in London to secure financial commitments from new and existing donors. GAVI’s fundraising target was $3.7 billion, yet the alliance received commitments totaling $4.3 billion from national governments, corporations, individual donors, and NGOs. The conference succeeded in securing financial support to fund the record number of requests received by GAVI, but significant challenges remain as GAVI continues to expand its coverage. The “GAVI Going Forward” event, hosted jointly on June 27 by CSIS and the Center for Global Development (CGD), looked at how GAVI can mitigate its weaknesses and leverage its strengths to save and improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.
Lisa Carty of CSIS and Amanda Glassman of CGD moderated a panel discussion featuring Amie Batson, USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Global Health; Joelle Tanguy, Managing Director of External Relations for GAVI; Nicole Bates, Senior Program Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Claire Moran, Development Counselor at the British Embassy.
Joelle Tanguy described the vision and political will that made the GAVI pledging conference a success. Tanguy spoke of the importance of continuing to work with recipient countries to increase co-financing and contributions from first-world and emerging market donors. The challenge going forward, Tanguy noted, will be to quickly demonstrate that GAVI is a “best buy” by measuring and documenting expanded coverage and increased equity accomplished through GAVI initiatives.
Amie Batson said that GAVI’s superior track record justified additional spending despite large-scale fiscal challenges. GAVI’s extensive and unified bargaining power, Batson said, allows it to lower the price of vaccines and create markets for vaccines which might not otherwise be produced on a large scale. This influence on market shaping allows the U.S. to leverage its contributions approximately eight-fold. Investments in GAVI, she said, are not entirely altruistic, as increased vaccination abroad effectively prevents the spread of infectious diseases to the U.S. and other donor countries.
Claire Moran spoke to the motivation behind the UK’s $1.3 billion GAVI pledge. GAVI offers “value for money, transparency and results,” Moran said, as supported by GAVI’s high marks in the UK’s recent review of its foreign aid programs. Because of these assets, GAVI is a unique institution, difficult to replicate in other sectors. As a truly global alliance, Moran emphasized, GAVI was able to provide mutual benefit for its partners and mobilize the kind of unity that led to the pledging conference’s success.
Nicole Bates highlighted how vaccines improve economies and political stability, serving both national and international interests. A challenge for future GAVI funding is to broaden the donor base to incorporate more allies from around the globe and to turn recipient countries into donor countries. Finally, Bates said that insufficient funding is no longer an excuse for the 15 to 20 year gap between childhood vaccine access in developed and developing countries. GAVI’s difficult task is to overcome the other factors that impede access in developing nations, to ensure global vaccine equality.
The “GAVI Going Forward” event offered perspectives on the dramatic show of support for GAVI on June 13th. With increased funding in hand, pressure will be on GAVI to show measurable increases in vaccine access. To continue to make the dramatic impact that the alliance achieved in its first decade, GAVI will need to better tell its story, diversify and expand its donor pool, and work to increase levels of ownership and investment among recipient countries.
- Read the Brief: "GAVI's Future: Steps to Build Strategic Leadership, Financial Sustainability, & Better Partnerships"
- Podcast: Amie Batson on the U.S. Government's Committment to the GAVI Alliance
- Podcast: Joelle Tanguy on GAVI's Recent Success in Raising a Record $4.3b for Vaccines
- Podcast: Nicole Bates on GAVI and Vaccines