Cross-Sector Geographic Information Management Organizations Announce Partnership to support COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery
First-ever globally coordinated funding appeal for geospatial activities aims to support COVID-19 vaccine delivery
Press Release // March 23, 2021
“Rolling out a vaccine against COVID-19 is the most pressing challenge of our time – and nobody wins the race until everyone wins”.
– Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization – GAVI
A global COVID-19 vaccine deployment will require an unprecedented logistical operation to ensure accurate prioritization of people in need. In response to this, a group of leading geospatial and information management organizations is launching the first-ever globally coordinated funding appeal for Information Management and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to tackle geospatial data challenges in support of the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery.
On March 19, 2021, iMMAP, Alcis, CartONG, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and MapAction signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) forming the Geographic Information Management Initiative for COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery (GIM Initiative). This will leverage the power of each partners’ expertise to help strengthen the COVID-19 vaccine rollout through geographic data, systems, and analysis in 15 low-income countries with acute humanitarian needs, positioning the GIM Initiative as a technical support service to all actors engaged in COVID-19 vaccine delivery.
Global equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine, particularly protecting health care workers and at-risk populations, holds the best prospect of mitigating the personal, public health, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The urgency for a successful and equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution requires immediate financial support, engagement, and coordination among technical stakeholders to ensure adequate support to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ministries of Health, and UNICEF at the country level while ensuring streamlined coordination at the global level with all relevant stakeholders.
The GIM Initiative will aim to assist partners locally through information management services to tackle critical issues such as the selection of distribution sites when data is not always available, how to plan the journey of health care workers to remote locations when no up-to-date maps exist and no one can estimate accurate transit times, how to ensure the follow-up of vaccinated people when the required database management skills are limited locally, and how to access the most vulnerable communities, some living in undocumented settlements, when information is not available.
Specifically, all partners aim to achieve the following expected results:
- Improving the understanding of actors and stakeholders engaged in vaccine delivery, as well as of information and data gaps at the country level.
- Disseminating relevant information and data, filling identified gaps to ensure the efficiency of micro-planning processes and vaccination initiatives at the country level.
- Improving learning processes as well as local capacities around the vaccine implementation at the country and global levels.
- Mobilizing financial resources globally to enable the successful country-led implementation of the vaccination program.
The GIM initiative further aims to provide detailed capacity-strengthening support beyond the COVID-19 vaccination deployment for the future handover of project activities to national institutions, ensuring the project’s long-term sustainability.