The first-ever globally coordinated funding appeal has been launched for geographic information management and GIS to support the COVID-19 vaccine delivery. Deploying the vaccine worldwide will entail an unprecedented logistical operation to ensure accurate prioritization of people in need. That is why iMMAP, Alcis, CartONG, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and MapAction have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) forming the Geographic Information Management Initiative (GIM Initiative) for COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery in order to tackle geospatial data challenges together.
The GIM Initiative will leverage the power of each partner’s expertise to help strengthen the COVID-19 vaccine rollout through geographic data, systems and analysis in 15 low-income countries with acute humanitarian needs. The GIM Initiative is positioned as a technical support service to all actors engaged in COVID-19 vaccine delivery.
Filling geospatial data gaps
Global equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine, particularly protecting healthcare 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 of 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 with all relevant stakeholders at the global level.
Through information management services, the GIM Initiative will aim to assist partners locally to tackle critical issues such as the selection of distribution sites when data is not always available, how to plan the journey of healthcare 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 programme.
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.
Note from the GIM International team: Despite the similarity with our own name, we are not involved in this project in any way.