SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Reports find GAVI Alliance has room for improvement

Reports launched on Tuesday by Save the Children and ACTION found that the GAVI Alliance can improve in multiple areas during the second half of its five-year strategy.

Save the Children, a child rights organization, and ACTION, a global health advocacy partnership, launched the reports on the eve of GAVI's mid-term review to assess GAVI's progress during its current five-year strategy, which runs through 2015.

"One of civil society's roles is to be a watchdog and raise our voices where we think that things can be improved and I hope that both reports contribute to that process," Simon Wright, the head of child survival at Save the Children, said.

Save the Children's report found GAVI was successful in its efforts to accelerate access to rotavirus, pneumococcal and pentavalent vaccines. The report found GAVI could make improvements related to vaccine prices and government funding programs.

"We call for more attention on driving down vaccine prices and the cash-based programs which provide funding to governments to improve (health system) delivery platforms," Wright said. "That's an area where we think GAVI has struggled a bit."

ACTION's report found that while many donors are on track of fulfill their commitments, several must commit to extend their pledges through the end of the five-year plan.

Seth Berkley, the CEO of GAVI, welcomed the reports for holding the organization, its partners and its donors accountable.

"These reports are excellent examples of what civil society can do as thoughtful but independent interlocutors," Berkley said.

More than 150 GAVI partners gathered in Stockholm on Tuesday for the start of a two-day meeting co-hosted by Ghana and Sweden.