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Evaluation of Gavi’s Support to Civil Society Organisations

The Gavi Alliance is a unique organisation that aligns public and private resources in a global effort to create greater access to the benefits of immunisation.


In many Gavi-eligible countries Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) – including non-governmental organisations, advocacy organisations, professional and community associations, faith-based organisations and academia  – provide a large proportion of health services and have a proven track record for working in partnership with governments to ensure the delivery of vaccines.

Gavi currently has two main mechanisms through which support is provided to CSOs. The first mechanism is through the current Partners’ Engagement Framework (PEF), whereby support is provided to increase capacity and strengthen civil society engagement for immunization through the Gavi CSO Platform model. The second is through the country Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) grant. The allocation of funds for CSOs is determined at the country level based on the national health strategy and scope of identified CSO activities and implementation.

Our role

Itad has been commissioned by Gavi to undertake an evaluation of the Alliance’s support to CSOs through these two avenues. The primary purpose of this assignment is formative: the evaluation will inform decisions on how Gavi will approach the way it engages CSO in contributing to its mission in the future. However, the evaluation also has a clear summative purpose: there is an evidence gap about how CSO support mechanisms have contributed to the achievement of Gavi’s mission to date and this evaluation will help address this lacuna. Finally, and perhaps more ambitiously, the evaluation will contribute to the broader evidence base relating to unpacking the role that CSOs can play as they interface with other multilateral organisations engaged in key global developmental initiatives.

Our approach

We are utilising a theory-based evaluation design which is centred on the refinement and use of an overarching Theory of Change (ToC) covering both the CSO Platform model and direct support to CSOs through HSS grants, and elaborates the expected causal pathways through which Gavi support to CSOs is / should ultimately contribute to increased and more equitable immunisation coverage and saving more children’s lives. Data collection to inform the evaluation questions has been structured around three workstreams which cover the CSO governance platform, the regional and country processes and outcome analysis respectively.

We have identified four main data collection methods which will generate a triangulated set of data to inform the evaluation questions. We are undertaking an extensive document review of Gavi documents and various external secondary data sources, semi-structured KIIs, in-depth country case studies in six countries and two remote country case studies which will generate evidence about how the ToC behind Gavi’s support to CSOs plays out in practice at country level, as well as a comparator analysis with other mechanisms in order to draw lessons from comparative contexts.


The evaluation findings and recommendations are intended to inform the decisions related to improving the way in which Gavi provides support to CSOs through the CSO Platform model and through HSS grants as part of its current Gavi’s 2016-2020 strategy, as well as in future strategies. Key target audiences for this evaluation include the Gavi Board, the Gavi Secretariat and Gavi-supported CSO Constituency.


Image © Post for measles vaccination, vitamin A and deworming tablet distribution. Photo credit: Julien Harneis, Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Team members
Giada Tu Thanh