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Health Policy Plan. 2010 May;25(3):186-96. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czp047. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

Country-level governance of global health initiatives: an evaluation of immunization coordination mechanisms in five countries of Asia.

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Nossal Institute for Global Health, The University of Melbourne, 187 Grattan St, Carlton, VIC, Australia.



In recent years there have been innovations in immunization financing and new technologies, and the scaling up of investment by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in the Asia region. The main mechanism for coordination of this global health initiative (GHI) investment is country-level 'Inter-Agency Coordination Committees' (ICCs).


The aim of the evaluation was to determine the utility and future perspectives of stakeholders regarding the role of ICCs in improving immunization services in the Asian Region.


A literature review, documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews (n = 65) were undertaken in five countries (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia), with senior level members of Ministries of Health and the GAVI partnership.


The evaluation has identified that there have been significant changes recently in the strategic environment for immunization, including developments in new vaccines, increasing GAVI investment, trends towards health system integration and decentralization, and institutional development of the non-government sector. This evaluation found that ICCs are functioning well in relation to information sharing and GAVI application processes. However, they are performing less well in the areas of evaluation, strategic gap analysis and coordination of immunization technical co-operation.


There are high levels of institutional and contextual complexity at country level that require a more focused global response by GAVI to the governance challenges of institutions and partners implementing GHIs at the country level. ICCs should be maintained and strengthened in the more pluralistic context of an 'immunization coordination system' that is represented by the wider health sector, regulatory authorities, and civil society and private sector interests. Managing through systems, rather than being over-reliant on committees, will broaden participation in implementation and, in doing so, expand the reach of immunization and maternal and child health care services in developing countries.

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