Leadership, management and coordination

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Achieving our goal of sustainably improving coverage and equity requires strong leadership, management and coordination of immunisation programmes.


Credit: Gavi/2015/Sean Hawkey.

Through programme capacity assessments, joint appraisals and other discussions with countries, Alliance partners have identified a range of challenges in the area of leadership, management and coordination of immunisation programmes.

In the past, this area has received limited attention and investment. To address this, we are investing more deliberately in strengthening in-country leadership, management and coordination (LMC) in the 2016–2020 strategy period.


Three elements, which have a catalytic impact on the sustainable delivery of immunisation programmes, are part of our approach:

  • strengthening government EPI teams at the national level (or subnational level where relevant) with the aim of improving their structures, capabilities, processes and practices; and
  • boosting national coordination forums, such as interagency coordination committees (ICCs) or health sector coordinating committees (HSCCs), to improve their functionality.
  • enhancing the ability of national immunisation technical advisory groups (NITAGs) to advise countries on their immunisation programmes.

We provide different types of support to strengthen EPI teams, national coordination forums, and technical advisory groups. These are applied and adjusted based on each country’s specific context, needs and requests for support.


Countries can request Gavi support to strengthen the capacity of their national immunisation teams.


Gavi offers a “menu” of interventions that countries can access to address their immunisation management challenges.


Gavi partners help countries to strengthen the managerial capabilities of their EPI teams. For example, a “management partner” can be embedded as a peer coach in the EPI team for one or two years.

In addition, Gavi is developing an innovative management training course for EPI managers and core staff members.


Countries can request support to strengthen practices related to performance management. This type of support , provided by Gavi partners, aims to create lasting behaviour changes and build a greater sense of accountability.

This may include helping EPI teams to use data-driven tools and hold high-level review meetings to ensure that programme implementation is on track.


Countries in the initial self-financing and preparatory transition phases can request Gavi funding for critical new government positions in their immunisation teams. To mitigate risk and ensure sustainability, countries must meet strict requirements to be eligible for this support.

National coordination forums, such as interagency coordination committees (ICCs), play a crucial role in overseeing immunisation programmes. To be eligible for new financial or vaccine support from Gavi, countries must show that their forums have a basic functionality.

Effective oversight and coordination of immunisation programmes are critical to achieving national immunisation goals as well as improved vaccination coverage and equity. National coordination forums, including interagency and health sector coordination committees (ICCs and HSCCs) play a critical role in this work.

They aim to ensure:

  • strategic direction, oversight and transparency of the Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI) and related health sector programmes;
  • a coherent view on strategy, planning, funding and performance of the EPI programme within the context of the broader health system; and
  • complementary activities and investments.

Eligibility for Gavi grants

To be eligible for new Gavi vaccine or financial support, countries need to demonstrate a basic functionality of their coordination forum. In order to do this, they should adhere to the requirements outlined in our guidance document (see box below). However, Gavi recognises that strengthening a coordination forum is an ongoing effort and can take time. We will therefore show some flexibility in approving new support provided the country clearly explains how it will address requirements that it has yet to meet.

Strengthening coordination forums

Our support for strengthening coordination forums includes guidance on their membership, mandate and governance. The guidance builds on existing ICCs and HSCCs, while ensuring government ownership and leadership. Countries can also access customised, country-specific technical assistance provided by Gavi partners.

In addition, we provide a range of tools, such as templates for terms of reference and meeting minutes, a self-assessment tool and a dashboard to track performance. These can be downloaded below and adjusted to the specific country context and needs.

National immunisation technical advisory groups, or NITAGs, guide policy and programme decisions at country level.

NITAGs play a critical role in ensuring sustainable immunisation programmes. They promote evidence-based decisions and enable countries to take full ownership of their policies and immunisation programmes. To be eligible for new vaccine support from Gavi, countries must explain how NITAGs are involved in their decision-making processes.

NITAGs provide objective recommendations based on scientific evidence in areas such as:

  • new vaccine introduction decisions;
  • specific product choices and characteristics; and
  • immunisation schedules and practices.


A wide range of tools are available here to support countries in creating, strengthening and evaluating NITAGs. Countries can also request technical assistance from Gavi to strengthen their NITAGs.

300 million

Between 2016 and 2020, Gavi will help countries to immunise another 300 million children against potentially fatal diseases, saving between 5 and 6 million lives in the long term.

WHO/UNICEF and Gavi 2018

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