New Research Underlines the Importance of Cost Evidence in Country Planning and Budgeting

February 28th, 2022 | Research


Governments need to understand the economic and operational costs required for vaccine introduction and delivery. Prior economic planning helps governments meet coverage goals, advance health equity, and ensure efficient use of resources. Yet, in many low- and middle-income countries, planning cycles and policy decisions are not informed by available cost evidence. JSI, Thinkwell, and country partners researched this in “Open Access Key Factors Influencing Use of Immunization Cost Evidence in Country Planning and Budgeting Processes: Experiences From Indonesia, Tanzania, and Vietnam.”

The article discusses data derived from the Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN) project, a research and learning community designed to strengthen country capacity to generate immunization cost evidence and improve evidence-to-policy linkages. The ICAN project team identified eight factors that increase the likelihood that health policymakers will use cost evidence. Based on these factors, the team developed and applied a  6-step evidence-to-policy-and-practice-facilitated process in Indonesia, Tanzania, and Vietnam from 2016 to 2019. The experience yielded several insights about country priorities related to cost evidence and factors that determine its use in policy making.

This article indicates that: 

  • Researchers need to provide a clear use-case for cost evidence. This can progress by engaging a small multidisciplinary stakeholder group to develop and implement costing research, and later champion the research for updating policy and programing.
  • Researchers should make cost evidence available within windows of opportunity required by policymakers and practitioners, even if it occasionally requires sacrificing rigor. Researchers need help from local stakeholders to tailor, package, and deliver key messages.
  • Researchers need to support potential users of cost evidence by translating data for use and should build this time into project and funding cycles.

Authors: Annette Ozaltin, Kelsey Vaughan, Kassimu Tani, Fatuma Manzi, Vu Quynh Mai, Hoang Van Minh, Soewarta Kosen, Lora Shimp, Logan Brenzel, and Laura Boonstoppel.

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