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News & insights

Date: September 2022 | Client: Unitaid | Sector: Global health | Expertise: Health economics & evaluation

Unitaid publishes CEPA’s reports on HIV Self-Testing and Covid-19

CEPA's Global Health team is delighted to have supported Unitaid, one of the world's leading agencies engaged in finding innovative solutions to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases more quickly, cheaply and effectively. Our team have provided their expertise in two areas.

HIV Self Testing (HIVST)

Knowledge of HIV status is critical for curbing the HIV epidemic and is the first of the UN 95-95-95 targets: for 95% of people living with HIV to learn their HIV status by 2030. HIVST has emerged as an innovative method to reach new people. Our work provides Unitaid with a joint end of project evaluation for grants in the area for intervention of HIVST, including lessons learned with a focus on Unitaid’s contribution to closing the testing gap through HIVST. Our findings will inform Unitaid’s future investments including where possible course correction for the ongoing grant implementation.

Mid-term evaluation of Unitaid’s COVID-19 portfolio of investments

When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic in 2020, Unitaid responded quickly to the crisis, with two initial waves of investments designed to enhance access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and supporting tools, including oxygen. Our mid-term evaluation covered Unitaid’s direct investments in response to COVID-19 from March 2020 to December 2021, with the objectives to:

  1. assess the extent to which Unitaid’s COVID-19 investments contributed to the COVID-19 response thus far, particularly in providing catalytic support, shaping market access and country preparedness for the adoption of COVID-19 diagnostics and treatment options; and
  2. draw lessons learnt and recommendations for Unitaid to apply to its existing and future COVID-19 investments.

The mid-term evaluation’s conclusions included:

  • Unitaid’s COVID-19 investments have largely been strategically relevant and responsive to the priority needs of the pandemic.
  • Unitaid moved with speed and agility at the start of the pandemic to identify niches and gaps where it could meaningfully contribute to the global response.
  • It made astute use of its network of partnerships and grantees to enable a fast and effective response.
  • It adapted its grant selection, approval and management processes to efficiently support grantees, although there are some areas for improvement.
  • In terms of effectiveness, there has been good progress across the portfolio to date, with the exception of therapeutics, where progress has been slower.
  • There has been some progress on sustainability and scalability of diagnostics and to some extent oxygen where there is a need to coordinate with longer term financing options.
  • Unitaid’s investments have been designed using equity principles and considerations, but widespread inequity in access to COVID-19 tools continues to strongly persist.

Our Joint end of project evaluation of Unitaid HIV Self Testing (HIVST) area for intervention and Mid-term evaluation of Unitaid’s COVID-19 portfolio of investments reports are available to download from Unitaid's website.

To find out more, please contact our experts listed below.