We live in a world burdened with increasingly diverse and complex development challenges. As we begin the task of crafting a framework to respond to these challenges, the post-2015 development agenda presents an opportunity to rethink what makes development that is inclusive, innovative and applicable to all people. It provides us with a platform to introduce new ways of delivering smart development.
Photo credit: Gavi/2012/Sala Lewis.
Health is central to the post-2015 development agenda
Health is at the centre of sustainable development - as a beneficiary, contributor, and key indicator of what development seeks to achieve. This was CEO Seth Berkley’s key message when he addressed the United National High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 (HLP) agenda in September 2012. Development is about improving people’s lives. A population cannot progress if it is burdened with ill-health. Good health is the foundation on which communities and nations can and do flourish.
Health is an interactive goal. Vaccine preventable infections such as rotavirus diarrhoea or pneumococcal can have a direct bearing on a child nutritional status as well as cognitive abilitiy. Recognising this relationship between development sectors, Gavi has contributed to post-2015 discussions on health and education and nutrition.
At the High Level Dialogue on Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda held in in Botswana in March 2013, CEO Seth Berkley chaired the session on inter-sectoral linkages in health, The recommendations from the meeting will inform a report by the HLP on the post-2015 agenda which will be submitted to the Secretary-General in May 2013.
In March 2013, Gavi was one of seven global health and development agencies to jointly publish an article in the Lancet calling for the HLP to ensure that health remains central to advance global prosperity in the post-2015 era.
Promoting bold and ambitious new indicators
In order to advance global health, the post-2015 agenda must include robust indicators to measure our progress. In November 2012 Gavi Board members began discussions on an indicator which would embrace the concept of a fully immunised child.
The number of children receiving three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) has been long considered the best indicator of the reach of routine immunisation programmes and a proxy measure of the strength of a health system. However the World Health Organization now recommends 11 antigens for universal infant use.
It is time to move beyond DTP3 as the standard measure and to introduce a new and ambitious indicator in the post-2015 agenda – a fully immunised child. In his paper entitled “Initial views on the post-2015 development agenda”, Gavi CEO, Dr. Seth Berkeley states that “real success will be measured when all 11 antigens universally recommended for all infants everywhere in the world become part of routine immunisation programmes worldwide.”
For Gavi, the post-2015 agenda provides an opportunity to ensure that children everywhere (irrespective of geography, wealth or gender) receive all the universally recommended vaccines as part of routine immunisation programmes therefore providing each child with a better shot at living up to their full potential: intellectually and physically.
The value of innovative partnerships
In order to ensure real change in a post-2015 world, we need to forge new solutions and build alliances across all geographical levels. We need to leverage the comparative advantage of a wide partner base including private sector, civil society and government expertise. We need to ensure country ownership while looking to sustainable change in the way that markets serve development. We also need to continue to innovate to ensure predictable and sustainable financing for development.
This is a tall order, an impossible task for one organisation alone. Public-private partnerships, such as Gavi, are effective and appropriate mechanisms to manage the complexity of 21st century development challenges.
The post-2015 agenda can catalyse transformative change by calling for 21st century development models that encourage creativity and innovation in the pursuit of inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development.
The last 1000 days of the MDGs
The MDGs have been critical to galvanise support around health. On 5 April 2013 there will be 1,000 days left to achieve the MDG’s. Gavi is committed to working with all its partners to accelerate progress in order to save lives by supporting:
- Accelerated new vaccine introductions, particularly rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines in approximately 50 countries by 2015
- Two for one – combined measles and rubella vaccine - children in 49 countries between 9 months and 14 years of age are expected to be immunised by 2020.
- Routine immunisation - ensure the capacities that have been developed in the success in polio and other campaigns are captured as the immunisation community prepares for the post eradication period