UNITAID has established itself as a pioneering innovative financing mechanism with a successful business model to improve product markets for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries, according to UNITAID’s first independent Five-Year Evaluation.
The full independent evaluation report was endorsed at the 17th UNITAID Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
“This positive evaluation comes just a few months after French President François Hollande acknowledged the success of UNITAID during the United Nations General Assembly,” said Dr Philippe Douste-Blazy, Chairman, UNITAID Executive Board. “I would like to thank France and other countries for their strong commitment to this innovative endeavour to save lives. As the evaluation states: ‘This success would not have been possible without strong leadership from France and other early partners including Brazil, Chile, Norway, and the UK.’”
According to the evaluation: “UNITAID has been doing the right things to contribute to significant positive outcomes in the fight against the three diseases. The evaluation finds that over the course of the evaluation period, UNITAID has validated its business model of identifying, selecting and funding market-shaping interventions carried out by implementing partners.”
These market interventions have achieved UNITAID’s stated goals of improving market and public health outcomes. Moreover, the evaluators found that “there are strong indications that many of these projects achieve better outcomes than those of traditional investments in public health service delivery because of a multiplier effect”. In an increasingly difficult economic context, “these market-shaping approaches could provide important lessons to other agencies and countries seeking to increase programme effectiveness”.
The evaluation also analysed UNITAID’s multilateral membership, with countries contributing through the air ticket levy or through multi-year government contributions. “It is highly likely that the successful market and health outcomes could only have been achieved by a multilateral agency – indeed, it is hard to imagine that any bilateral agency or private entity could have achieved what UNITAID has achieved in this time frame”, the evaluation found.
The evaluation team issued a set of recommendations to UNITAID to increase its market and public health impact. “If UNITAID succeeds in delivering on its full promise, over time and through much hard work, it could even help inform and inspire other efforts to deploy innovative financing and market-shaping approaches to tackle global development challenges beyond the three diseases,” concluded the evaluation summary.
EP News Bureau