Now that you understand the key components of a strategy, you need to decide what your goals and objectives are. You must draw up a picture of where things are today, and where they need to be in the future. The difference between the two is the necessary change or the ‘gap’. Closing that gap will be your goal(s) and objectives.
A gap analysis will help you identify what change is needed.
How do you conduct a gap analysis?
This is where your research will be very useful to conduct your gap analysis. Look back at your landscape and stakeholder mappings to help identify where the possible challenges and opportunities lie to strengthen routine immunisation.
As you review your landscape analysis, the following questions will help you pinpoint the gaps in immunisation and vaccines. Use the worksheet provided in the resources section to log your answers:
- Have we introduced all the vaccines our children need?
- Are all children ‘fully immunised’, i.e. having access and able to utilise all the vaccines available to children elsewhere, or even in our own country?
- What is the coverage of vaccines nationally and sub-nationally? Are there large variations that need to be addressed?
- Are there clear inequities of wealth, geography, ethnicity or gender?
The immunisation delivery system
- How robust are: the health clinics and human resources; delivery systems and the cold chain; logistics and capacity; accessibility, affordability and utilisation?
- Are there variations in coverage and equity between and within regions, districts or communities caused by weaknesses in the delivery system?
Political commitment and decision-making
- Is the decision making process robust – does a NITAG exist?
- Do parliamentarians and politicians at every level understand the issues and are prepared to take action?
- Is there a comprehensive multi-year plan (cMYP) and national budget line for immunisation?
- What is the country’s Gavi co-financing status?
- Do sufficient funds exist for sustained immunisation? To support and strengthen routine immunisation? To introduce new vaccines?
- Is funding for vaccines and immunisation reaching and flowing through sub-national governments to where it is needed?
In short, the key questions you need to ask yourself as you conduct your gap analysis are:
- What is the current situation?
- What would be the ideal future situation?
- What is the issue that needs to be solved through a change to fill a gap?
- How do we get from here to there?
- What are the steps of change to bridge the gap?
- What is/are the ASK(S) to your decision-maker?