Gavi’s exploratory Private Sector Engagement Approach (PSEA) 2016-2020 aimed to enhance immunisation programmes by leveraging private sector resources, expertise and innovation capacity. It was implemented through distinct modalities, namely, a Financial Contributions modality and a Leveraged / Operational modality. It also incorporated an ‘Innovation through Uptake, Scale and Equity’ (INFUSE) mechanism.
The independent evaluation of Gavi’s PSEA aimed to assess the delivery, results and sustainability of the approach over the period 2016-2020. Lessons learnt and recommendations will inform the design of the PSEA for the Gavi 5.0 strategic period (2021-2025). The evaluation findings are structured around three evaluation question areas covering: mobilisation of additional resources; PSEA fit to purpose; and lessons and unintended consequence
The evaluation used a theory-based approach to explore three evaluation Question Areas. To systematically address each of the three evaluation Question Areas, the evaluators incorporated each evaluation question into a standard evaluation framework to develop a triangulated mixed method approach. Data collection methods for this evaluation included: over 60 key informant interviews across key stakeholder groupings; document and secondary data reviews; seven in-depth project case studies; and comparisons with similar organisations.
FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
- The PSEA has succeeded in meeting its targets on additional financial commitments, funding diversification and leveraging private sector expertise for innovation at scale. The PSEA target for financial commitments was to raise US$150m of additional resources in new private sector investments over 2016-2020. Gavi has exceeded this target if new commitments of public and private funding for the approach are taken into account. The amount of funding mobilised/pledged during the years 2016 to 2020 totalled US$ 397m from both public and private sources.
- The evaluation confirmed the design of the PSEA, 2016-2020, was broadly consistent with Gavi’s 4.0 strategic goals and objectives. There was particularly strong alignment to Goal 2 health systems strengthening objectives. However, the principle of sustainability had yet to be fully demonstrated, and there was scope for increasing support to the strategic enabler on monitoring and evaluation (M&E).
- There is good evidence that the Gavi Secretariat’s structures, procedures and processes are functioning adequately to support transparency and sound administration of private sector partnerships. Only the INFUSE mechanism involves a competitive process for private sector partner (Pacesetter) engagement.
- Gavi has made good efforts to ensure PSEA projects address the VFM criteria of relevance at both global and country levels. However, since data on results, expenditure and costs are not generated until the end of projects, it is too early to draw definitive conclusions on the VFM criteria of effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and sustainability within or across partnerships. Recent efforts to cost innovation projects for Gavi’s Innovation Catalogue are a welcome development. This could be a useful first step towards the introduction of systematic ‘total cost of ownership’ assessments for innovation projects.
- From the seven in-depth case studies, the evaluators confirmed that some projects are demonstrating substantial benefits and have taken steps towards scale-up. In most cases, project start-up took considerable time – on average about two years. It was still too early to assess which of the technical solutions were likely to be sustainable over the longer term – although there were some good examples of skills transfer and contributions to infrastructure (e.g. the Zipline-UPS project).
- For INFUSE Pacesetters there was general acknowledgement that a partnership with Gavi could raise their international profile and facilitate entry into new product markets.
- Positive unintended consequences of the exploratory PSEA included strengthening of Secretariat expertise in working with private sector innovators and, potentially, enhanced COVID-19 readiness. Negative unintended consequences included the additional time demands placed on the Secretariat.
For the evaluation recommendations and Gavi Alliance management response please see the full report and Evaluation Management Response.