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External review of Unitaid’s 2017-21 strategy

Insights from Itad's review of Unitaid’s 2017-2021 strategy enabled the organisation to capitalise on lessons learned from the strategy's implementation and Unitaid's contribution to the Covid-19 response.


Unitaid is a global health agency engaged in finding innovative solutions to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases more quickly, cheaply and effectively, in low- and middle-income countries.

Unitaid’s 2017-21 strategy was developed at a key moment in the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As the strategy period approached its end, Unitaid sought to identify opportunities and priorities for the next strategic period and to define its strategy for 2022-26, drawing on lessons learned from the strategy’s implementation, its Midterm Review and Unitaid’s contribution to the Covid-19 response.

Our role

We were contracted by Unitaid to conduct a review of Unitaid’s 2017-21 strategy. The work had two distinct elements:

  1. Reviewing Unitad’s progress in delivering it’s 2017–2021 strategy. This was a ‘looking back’ exercise focused on how well Unitaid has performed against its 2017–21 strategy which considered the relevance, coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of interventions chosen and implemented during this period.
  2. Identifying opportunities and priorities for their 2022–26 strategy. This was a ‘looking forward’ exercise focused on generating strategic lessons and formative recommendations to feed into the design and implementation of Unitaid’s next strategy, with a view to maximising the organisation’s value-add in an evolving global health landscape.

Outcomes and impact

Our evaluation provided important insights on the relevance, coherence, efficiency, and effectiveness of Unitaid’s operational model and strategy. It captured lessons learned, good practices, and generated recommendations from the current strategic period to inform the design and implementation of the next strategy (2022-26).

In their response to Itad’s evaluation, Unitaid said:

The Review provided a valuable external perspective and learning opportunity. It challenged the Secretariat to reflect on how Unitaid operates and is perceived and introduced ideas on how Unitaid can evolve in a dynamic global health arena.

This review came at a particularly important moment for Unitaid, as it provided not only an opportunity to capitalize on lessons learned from the organisation’s current strategy but also their recent contribution to the Covid-19 response in a rapidly changing global health system.

The Secretariat stated:

Many of the recommendations […] are already being implemented or are under consideration, and the Secretariat will continue to look for ways to take them forward within the next strategy, while carefully considering resource and operational implications.

We are pleased to have led this review and support Unitaid to develop a new strategy that positions the organisation at the heart of a global health response where it is proactively shaping the post Covid-19 world for the better.

Read the Unitaid Strategy Review Final Report

Read the Unitaid Secretariat Management Response to the Strategy Review