Why we focus on impact
When making an initial investment decision we think carefully about its potential impact. We define the scale of the public health problem and identify the key issues that may hinder an intervention by Unitaid. We also carefully weigh up the potential public health and economic impact of every investment we make.
We use this information to design optimal grants.
By carefully adapting the activities, outputs and mix of countries for each investment, we seek to create the right conditions for its “scale-up” – by which we mean the introduction on a large scale of new health products by partners such as the Global Fund, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and individual countries.
Assessing impact is critical to measuring our results. In order to be accountable, it is important to measure performance against our strategic Key Performance Indicators, and to demonstrate to our Executive Board how well their investment in Unitaid is contributing to a more effective global response.
Finally, understanding our impact helps to clearly articulate the added value of innovative products and approaches. This helps countries and scale-up partners make the best decisions on which products to use, where and when.
How we define impact
Unitaid’s role is catalytic. We make small, time-limited investments which aim to trigger broader, sustained changes to the way people access innovative health products and technologies.
Introducing a new product or technology is not an easy task. Many factors can prevent an innovation from reaching those who need it. Unitaid investments aim to overcome these barriers. In some cases, this means making a product available and fit for specific populations; in other cases, creating a robust supplier base of quality-assured, affordable products, or demonstrating the feasibility of delivery, and creating sustained demand.
The ultimate impact of our investments is that partners and countries can save more lives, prevent more infections, and improve the efficiency of their programmes – by using more effective products and technologies.
What our impact looks like in practice
Here are just a few examples of our impact:
- In December 2015, Unitaid, together with TB Alliance and their partners, launched the first specially adapted medicine for children with tuberculosis. Unitaid is now exploring how it can support acceleration of the demand and adoption of the adapted medicine to reach and treat the estimated 1 million children who get tuberculosis each year.
- In 2010, Unitaid created and invested in the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to negotiate voluntary licenses for HIV medicines. As a result of MPP’s work, Tenofovir is used today by a majority of people on HIV treatment, and US $195 million of savings have been realized between 2012 and 2015.
- In 2013, Unitaid, together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Stop TB, introduced TBXpert, a technology that diagnoses tuberculosis, including drug-resistant strains. As a result, 245,000 tuberculosis patients, including approximately 54,000 patients resistant to the drug rifampicin, were diagnosed in 21 countries in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. This was achieved by reducing the price of test cartridges by 40 percent.
Our Impact stories
Through careful analysis and clear, concise graphics our impact stories summarize the direct and indirect impact that our grants have had over time.
To design the best possible grants, Unitaid defines a problem, then investigates how our investment can work to solve it. We gather data to help forecast the health impact of a proposed grant, and identify obstacles that might get in the way. For every grant, we carefully weigh expenditures against potential returns, ensuring that every dollar is spent wisely.
Our impact stories provide a quick overview of individual grants across Unitaid’s portfolio. Problems and solutions are explained, with the impact of our investments displayed in graphics. The stories in this selection concern severe malaria outcomes, improved treatment for HIV with the optimal drug dolutegravir, early infant diagnosis and point-of-care technology, the Medicines Patent Pool, and improving the use of tuberculosis diagnostics.
You can read a selection of impact stories below:
- Paving the way to hepatitis C elimination
- Medicines Patent Pool
- Early-infant diagnosis of HIV using point-of-care technologies
- Improved treatment for HIV: Dolutegravir
- HIV Self-Testing
- Accelerating access to seasonal malaria chemoprevention
- Improving severe malaria outcomes
- Improving use of tuberculosis diagnostics
- Childhood tuberculosis
- Expanding access to next generation drug-resistant tuberculosis treatment