USAID - Click here to visit USAID's website IMMUNIZATIONbasics
JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc.
Strengthening routine immunization services and sustainable financing for immunization

Project Priorities

IMMUNIZATIONbasics was dedicated to the essential task of ensuring that every child in the developing world is fully immunized in the first year of life. Working with global, regional, national, and sub-national partners, the project provided practical, field-oriented technical analysis, made information about best practices in the field of immunization available and aimed to strengthen health systems by building local capacity to offer effective, timely, and sustainable vaccination services.

To achieve the goals of increased immunization coverage and reduced mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases, IMMUNIZATIONbasics focused foremost on two objectives:

Strong routine immunization services

IMMUNIZATIONbasics provided general support to enhance the policies, strategies, systems and skills required to increase and sustain the coverage of routine immunization services. Top priority was given to influencing policies and strategies with implications for routine immunization; to developing the capacity of ministries of health, USAID missions, USAID-supported projects, NGOs and others to introduce and scale up the Reaching Every District (RED) strategy and other effective approaches to strengthening routine immunization; and to ensuring that critical communications functions are part of all immunization programs.

Sustainable immunization financing

Immunization programs face serious financing challenges, as countries simultaneously work to expand coverage, introduce new and under-used vaccines, and meet accelerated disease-control objectives. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) has provided countries with time-limited funding for new vaccines, safe injection equipment and systems strengthening. If governments are to continue providing new vaccines and safe injections when GAVI support ends, they must begin to mobilize new sources of domestic and external funding.

To achieve these objectives, IMMUNIZATIONbasics:

  • Gave top priority to routine immunization
    Strong regular services must be in place if countries are going to reach and sustain immunization coverage and disease control objectives over time. Therefore, IMMUNIZATIONbasics focused, first and foremost, on assisting countries to strengthen and improve the sustainability of their routine immunization services. The project also promoted greater attention to routine immunization among the other global immunization partners.
  • Shared best practices and concentrated on the introduction and scaling up of proven approaches
    For over 30 years, developing countries have been working to make immunization more widely available, and there is substantial experience and knowledge about what works. IMMUNIZATIONbasics strove to ensure that this knowledge is systematically applied. The project worked with partners to understand their problems and objectives and promoted approaches that are practical, linked to country assessments, and developed and applied hand-in-hand with host-country counterparts. IMMUNIZATIONbasics helped countries adapt and scale up approaches, such as the Reaching Every District approach (RED), which have been successful in multiple settings. The project’s work also included the documentation and dissemination of successful projects and initiatives, through a mix of electronic, face-to-face, and print media. Guiding Principle: Strengthen immunization in the context of the overall health system
  • Strengthened immunization in the context of the overall health system
    Sustainable routine immunization services are dependent, over the long term, on sustainable health services and systems. IMMUNIZATIONbasics addressed immunization needs in the context of the overall public health systems in which immunization programs operate, never losing sight of the fact that the priorities, policies, financing and management of a health system are as important to routine immunization as any immunization-specific inputs that our project or partners might have provided.
  • Supported those who are already working to improve immunization
    Ministries of health, NGOs, USAID missions and projects, WHO and UNICEF country offices, GAVI sub-regional working groups, and others are actively engaged in efforts to increase immunization coverage in most countries. Likewise, ministries of health and of finance are already costing and beginning to seek new sources of funding for immunization programs. IMMUNIZATIONbasics worked hand-in-hand with groups that are already engaged in countries, offering evidence to inform their decisions and transferring skills, tools and proven approaches for their adaptation and use.
  • Built effective partnerships
    The project was committed to working in partnership at global, regional and national levels. IMMUNIZATIONbasics' expertise in routine immunization provided a unique perspective and a complementary niche vis-a-vis other global and regional immunization partners who focus on accelerated disease control (measles mortality reduction, polio eradication, NNT reduction) and the introduction of new vaccines and safe injection technologies.
  • Advocated not only for routine immunization, but also for the larger child health agenda
    At the present time, immunization is well funded by the international partners, particularly when compared to other child health interventions. Experience shows, however, that today's support does not guarantee adequate funding over time. IMMUNIZATIONbasics was committed to working with its colleagues in the larger child health community to achieve increased funding for child health, while also advocating that immunization receive the funding it merits as one of the most cost effective of all child health interventions.
  • Promoted a global and regional environment that support country efforts to strengthen routine immunization
    Governments are heavily influenced by the global and regional initiatives launched by GAVI, WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and other multilateral and bilateral organizations. IMMUNIZATIONbasics engaged with these organizations at global and regional level, both by advising USAID/HIDN on its interactions with and contributions to them, and by participating directly with them in working groups and commissions that advise on important global and regional policies.

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