By bringing the key stakeholders in global immunisation together around one mission, Gavi combines the technical expertise of the development community with the business know-how of the private sector
As a public-private partnership, Gavi represents the sum of its partners' individual strengths, from WHO's scientific expertise and UNICEF's procurement system to the financial know-how of the World Bank and the market knowledge of the vaccine industry.
As Dr Gro Harlem Bruntland, a former Director-General of WHO and first Chair of Gavi after its foundation in 2000, put it:
"Gavi is a merger of our comparative advantages that aims to deliver more than each of us can do if we go it alone.”
By maximising its partners' expertise, existing networks and facilitating collaboration to find new solutions, Gavi has brought a single-minded focus to its mission: to save children's lives and protect people's health by increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
Coordination, maximising existing systems
Gavi's 'lean' organisation model that works through existing in-country partners is largely unique and contributes to its efficiency.
First Gavi evaluation (2009)
Rather than duplicate the services of the many players in the field of health and vaccines, Gavi relies on country-based systems and works with partners with widespread field presence to deliver its programmes. This keeps burdensome transaction costs down for implementing country governments.
- Gavi is not present on the ground in developing countries. Instead health ministries take the lead working closely with WHO regional and country offices, who provide expert recommendations on vaccine use and appraisal of new vaccines;
- Gavi provides funding for vaccine procurement, but UNICEF's supply division makes the purchases;
- The World Bank gives strategic advice on capital market dynamics and plays a key role in innovative financing;
- Gavi-funded vaccines reach villages in the poorest, most remote parts of the world thanks to in-country health systems and civil society organisations that deliver the life-saving vials to health centres.
Collaboration: drawing on partners' specialist knowledge to find new solutions
Gavi is a merger of our comparative advantages that aims to deliver more than each of us can do if we go it alone.
Dr Gro Harlem Bruntland, a former Director, General of WHO and first Chair of the Gavi Board
Providing a single forum for each partners' unique perspectives has yielded a fertile ground for collaboration and innovation. Partners contribute to the Vaccine Alliance through participation in strategy and policy-setting, advocacy, fundraising, vaccine development and procurement, country support and immunisation delivery.
The different skills and experience mix has fostered new and better ways of improving routine immunisation, both in the programmatic and the financial spheres.
A true partnership has emerged stretching from the Gavi Board, where senior leaders set policies and principles, right down to the technical staff of partner organisations, who work together to support programme implementation at country and regional level.