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Regional bodies supporting national-level evidence-informed decision-making on vaccines

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Anne Buffardi, Samuel Sharp

Briefing/policy paper

A range of regional bodies support national decision-making processes related to immunisation and public health policy. This brief profiles five bodies in different geographic regions that vary in the orientation and breadth of their thematic scope: ProVac in the Americas, the Caribbean Immunization Technical Advisory Group (CITAG), South-East Asia Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group (SEAR-ITAG), Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Programme (HITAP) through its International Unit (HIU) and the West African Health Organization (WAHO).

Key messages

  • The relative advantage and transferable lessons that each can offer relate directly to their thematic and institutional orientation. This varies from direct links to policy-makers, to helping establish and grow new national immunization technical advisory groups.
  • All five groups grew out of established institutional structures and expanded over time. These histories have also shaped their accountability structures and current role in decision-making processes.
  • Individuals’ time is a major cost driver, both for staff working for these regional bodies, and the people and institutions with and for whom they work. Regional bodies may be able to leverage some economies of scale by providing resources that multiple countries can draw upon; however, using these resources and interacting with regional bodies will still require dedicated time from national actors.
Anne L. Buffardi, Rachel A. Archer and Samuel Sharp