How transparency is helping Gavi to save lives

This is a guest post by Jonna Jeurlink, Senior Manager, Public Policy at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.  

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is a public-private partnership that was set up in the year 2000 with a mission to ensure that children in the lowest income countries have access to life saving vaccines. Since its creation, Gavi has reached half a billion children and prevented seven million deaths in the process.

Gavi is on the eve of an exciting replenishment conference to mobilise an additional US$ 7.5 billion. On 27th January 2015, Gavi donors will meet in Berlin to set out pledges which will enable the Vaccine Alliance to help developing countries immunise 300 million additional children between 2016 and 2020, leading to five to six million lives being saved.

In the process of raising the required funds, transparency proved an important principle. As stated earlier by Gavi’s CEO Dr Seth Berkley:

“Our commitment to transparency and openness are central to ensuring we deliver effectively on our mission to save children’s lives. Gavi remains a strong performer in this area and, as we ask donors and countries to dig deep to support immunisation, it is vital that they know we are an open and transparent organisation”.

I am proud to be part of one of the top performing agencies on the 2014 Aid Transparency Index. Transparency not only helps us to convince our donors, it enables our partners to hold us accountable and drive change through effective use of funding. Accountability is one of the core principles of Gavi’s strategy.

Transparency also provides taxpayers with accurate information about how their money is being spent. Additionally, transparency is vital to ensuring vaccination programmes are sustainable because it provides visibility and oversight to all key constituencies on the investments and impact being made by all parties towards the long-term success of immunisation.

But transparency is not a quick-and-dirty process and requires the will and drive of the whole organisation. Part of my job is to support the constant strengthening of information processes so we can gather and publish the relevant data in an easily accessible format that will help all partners involved to implement more effective and efficient immunisation programmes in order to save lives. Throughout this process we focus on the benefit of transparency without adding unnecessary workload for our staff and partners. Considering that Gavi is a partnership model, partners have to be made aware of our transparency policies and agree to publish joint data.

 For more information on Gavi, please visit www.gavi.org

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