Who we are
The GIS Working Group for COVAX Innovation is a joint effort of WHO and UNICEF born out of the COVAX Innovation Working Group. Since its inception in January 2021, the Working Group has provided global coordination and technical guidance and support for the use of geospatial data and technologies in support of vaccination microplanning (“geo-enabled microplanning”) for COVID-19 response, one of the areas of digital innovation identified as a priority by the COVAX Innovation Working Group.
The Working Group operates as a global level coordination effort involving core partners and a direct country advisory effort through WHO and UNICEF structures. While working to support COVID-19 response efforts in the near-term, the Working Group's mission is also to facilitate sustained geo-enabling of integrated microplanning of COVID-19, routine immunization and other Primary Health Care programs.
What we do
Technical Assistance to Countries
Support identification of needs and assessment of geo-enabling environment
Support creation of informed costed workplans and fundraising of activities through review of technical documents
Advise on technical solutions and providers, and support contracting
Alignment of deployment with geo-enabling environment principles
Facilitate coordination between donors and in-country partners to align existing capacities and activities
Coordinate and align efforts between donors and development partners on COVAX geospatial efforts
Strengthen availability of geospatial “global goods” for geo-enabled microplanning
Technical advice to bilateral and multilateral donors
Knowledge exchange and Dissemination
Monthly Community of Practice
Development of technical guidances and tools for planning, costing and implementation
Global and regional information webinars
Geo-enabled microplanning involves the application of geospatial data and technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS), to support the planning and monitoring of last-mile service delivery at the local level (health facility and district levels). The geo-enabling of microplans, largely driven by experience learned in microplanning for polio, has shown considerable impact on immunization programme coverage, reach, accountability, and efficiency.
Using spatial data on the location of populations, health resources and the surrounding environment in a GIS environment, geo-enabled microplanning can support programs ensure all populations are accounted for, identify gaps in population equitable access to care, and optimize planning for outreach activities to ensure equitability and reach of services. Given the cross-sectoral nature of the data involved, investment in geo-enabled microplanning also holds significant potential to strengthen health systems and improve coordination across programmes, such as EPI, surveillance, broader PHC, and community health systems.
The WHO & UNICEF GIS Working Group for COVAX Innovation is working under the auspices of the COVID Digital Health Centre of Excellence (DICE). The multi-agency COVID-19 Digital Health Center of Excellence (DICE) is co-led by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide coordinated technical assistance to national governments and partners on COVID-19 vaccine delivery. The Working Group Core Partners include: The Global Fund, Gavi, The World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CDC, and FCDO.