HLSP analysis finds IFFIm transformative and a 'strong case for further investment'
IFFIm saves many additional lives and money, and has helped "transform GAVI from a niche actor into a major player in international health." That's the conclusion of a well-respected, independent health care consulting firm in a new, independent evaluation of IFFIm, noting that the programme should be expanded.
"This evaluation positively affirms what we have long known: IFFIm is a success," says Alan Gillespie, Chair of the IFFIm Board of Directors.
"IFFIm raises capital efficiently, makes good use of frontloading and is a strong vehicle for further donor investment."
This evaluation positively affirms what we have long known: IFFIm is a success.
Alan Gillespie, Chair of the IFFIm Board of Directors
Low-cost, efficient model
The evaluation, by London-based HLSP and commissioned by GAVI at the request of the IFFIm board of directors, describes the model under which IFFIm operates as "proven" to be a low-cost, efficient way to help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals by improving global health and achieving predictability in global health funding.
The report also notes that IFFIm can be credited with saving at least 2.75 million lives.
Case for further investment
"The case for further investment through IFFIm is strong," HLSP notes, adding that IFFIm's funding and liquidity have been "managed extremely well" by its treasury manager, the World Bank.
"IFFIm funds have been spent on activities which have delivered, or seem likely to deliver, extremely good development returns," HLSP adds.
HLSP estimates that - under the most conservative analysis - IFFIm's benefit-cost ratio is at least 3.5:1, meaning that it delivers more than three times the value of each dollar spent. And given that GAVI has achieved this under "extremely difficult settings" in the poorest nations, HLSP notes that the benefit-cost ratio could be as high as 19.5:1.
Force for innovation
"GAVI has been a force for innovation with IFFIm, cost-effectively delivering additional funding for immunisation," Gunilla Carlsson, the Minister for International Development Cooperation for Sweden, said at GAVI's 13 June 2011 pledging conference.
Sweden is one of IFFIm's donors, who collectively responded to the evaluation. Others that provided responses were the IFFIm board, GAVI and the World Bank.
The HLSP evaluation is highly complimentary of the IFFIm model, which significantly increases aid flows through frontloading. This gives IFFIm the ability to "time shift" funds, offering GAVI flexibility in its programming and recipients predictability that spurs the scale-up of widespread immunisation.
"IFFIm provides developing countries with predictable aid flows for immunisation," explains Susan McAdams, who oversees the World Bank's relationship with IFFIm.
HLSP commends the World Bank's involvement in as treasury manager for IFFIm and its contribution toward keeping funding below the weighted average of rates paid by IFFIm's donors.
"Overall, IFFIm has traded at a small premium to the World Bank and, in recent times, below the spread for the EIB and KfW - an impressive achievement," the consulting firm says, referring to the European Investment Bank and the large German development bank.