Hosted by ThinkWell and JSI, the first in-person Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN) cross-country workshop took place in early August 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The specific aims of the workshop were to: (1) Understand the country immunization programs, including their financing and delivery challenges and country experience in using cost information for planning, budgeting, and program and policy decision making; (2) Refine the country costing study designs and develop draft “evidence into action” plans for engaging stakeholders and disseminating the results; and (3) Identify a common product or publication for the ICAN community to collaborate on together.
The workshop was attended by country teams from three of ICAN’s four member countries (Indonesia, Tanzania, and Vietnam). Country teams consisted of health economist researchers, immunization program managers, and Ministry of Health (MOH) representatives from policy and planning departments.
The content of the workshop focused on highlighting some key challenges that immunization programs face, including increasing diversity of schedules, delivery, and financing for vaccines; decentralization and differences in financing and budgeting at various levels; and policy translation and advocacy. Country teams also refined their costing study designs and discussed cross cutting methods issues. ICAN members also discussed products and publications they would collaborate on to document both lessons and best practices from their research, and efforts to translate cost results and use them in country policy and planning. The country teams left the workshop with a better vision for how the costing study results will be used and a plan for ensuring the evidence gets put into action.
Moving forward from the ICAN cross-country workshop, country teams are currently finalizing their study protocols by incorporating methodological decisions made during the workshop and will start pre-testing and piloting data collection tools. Data collection is scheduled to begin in all three countries in the coming months. ThinkWell and JSI are planning for future cross-country engagements to facilitate ongoing learning about the costing studies and evidence to action processes in each country.
The Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN) is a 3-year project focused on increasing the visibility, availability, understanding, and use of evidence on immunization delivery cost. Supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by ThinkWell and John Snow, Inc. (JSI), ICAN aims to build country capacity around generation and use of cost evidence to work towards sustainable and predictable financing for vaccine delivery.
For more information, contact:
Michaela Mallow (mmallow@ThinkWell.global)
Analyst and Writer | ThinkWell