Through the Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN), ThinkWell helps country planners and decision-makers access, understand, and use evidence on the cost of delivering vaccines. The ICAN is building country capacity around generation of cost information that has program and policy relevance. The ICAN is also working with countries to improve interpretation and translation of cost information so that it is used in country decision-making processes and informs routine planning and budgeting.
The ICAN is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is a four-year project focused on increasing the visibility, availability, standardization, understanding, and use of evidence on the cost of delivering vaccines.
As more low- and middle-income countries transition to self-financed immunization programs, country governments need accurate and reliable cost information to ensure they mobilize adequate resources to meet coverage goals, address challenges of health equity, effectively manage the introduction of new vaccines, and achieve efficiencies. However, cost data is often of variable quality and is difficult to access and use by policymakers, program planners, and other global and country-level stakeholders.
ThinkWell is addressing these challenges through global analytics and methodology development, and country-specific research and capacity building.
ThinkWell conducted a systematic review on the cost of delivering vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, and developed a cost catalogue to make the data globally accessible and easy to interpret. The Immunization Delivery Cost Catalogue (IDCC) and companion analytics and reports present the most comprehensive, current, and standardized global evidence on the cost of vaccine delivery through a variety of immunization delivery strategies and in a variety of contexts. The cost catalogue can help a variety of stakeholders compare costs, understand cost drivers, and create performance benchmarks.
ThinkWell is developing methodological guidance and a costing tool to improve evidence generation on what it costs to conduct an immunization campaign, to ultimately lead to more accurate financial planning and successful campaigns. ThinkWell is developing and testing the methodology and tool through four campaign costing studies. ThinkWell is engaging a broad group of costing experts, campaign implementers, and vaccine constituents on the development of the methodology and tool.
ThinkWell, along with partner John Snow Inc. (JSI), is supporting countries to generate and use cost information to address priority domestic health and immunization financing challenges. The countries included in ICAN are India, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Vietnam, and will be expanding in 2019. The country teams, which include health economics researchers and immunization managers and planners from Ministries of Health, are conducting research that explores the cost of delivering vaccines through different delivery strategies to diverse geographies and to distinct target populations. ThinkWell is working with these country teams to improve interpretation and translation of cost information so that it is used in country policy processes, in addition to guiding fundraising and advocacy efforts and informing routine planning and budgeting.
ThinkWell is facilitating a cross-country research and learning community to encourage knowledge sharing and co-production of effective strategies for generation of cost evidence and its policy translation.
See this video for a brief overview of the ICAN, and check out our resources at immunizationeconomics.org/ican.