GAVI on track, but reports show improvement is needed

Save the Children and ACTION released reports on Tuesday assessing the GAVI Alliance's progress at the midpoint of its five-year strategy.

"One of the 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.

The report from Save the Children acknowledged that GAVI has a successful history with accelerating access to pentavalent, pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines, but said it needed to increase efforts in two areas.

"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 Executive Director Patrick Bertrand used a mock-up immunization card to track the donations of 17 donors who account for more than 80 percent of GAVI funding.

"Many donors are on track to fulfill their commitments," Bertrand said. "But several must commit to extend their pledges through to 2015."

GAVI CEO Seth Berkley said the reports were "excellent examples of what civil society can do as thoughtful but independent interlocutors."