Proposals considered and evaluated by the former Expert Working Group on R&D Financing and Coordination (EWG)
Summary and conclusions
This overview briefly attempts to explain how the EWG compiled its inventory of 109 incentive proposals1 for promoting R&D financing and coordination, how it reduced these proposals from 109 to 91 (mainly by grouping similar proposals), and how most of these 91 proposals are reflected in the 22 grouped proposals that feature in Chapter 5 of the EWG report which the CEWG covered in its review. Because the EWG did not explicitly describe its methodology (particularly the last step), this is a subjective assessment performed by the WHO Secretariat and endorsed by the CEWG as a background document.
- The majority of the proposals found in the inventory of 109 have not been proposed by a Member State or other stakeholders, rather they have been gathered from the extensive literature search performed by the EWG (see # 2).
- Up to thirteen proposals of the 91 seem not to be accounted for within the 22 grouped proposals found in the EWG report (# 7). However, only one of these proposals was directly submitted to the EWG (Technology Transfer Agreements Between Countries, proposed by Mexico). The other 12 proposals were gathered from the other sources as listed in # 2.
- The EWG held two public hearings – the first to gather proposals from Member States and other stakeholders (# 1) and the second to gather feedback regarding the EWG’s evaluation framework, evaluation criteria and the inventory of incentive proposals (# 6). The inventory of proposals was not updated based upon the feedback gathered from the second hearing, however, most of the feedback was incorporated into the final report (# 6).
- The EWG did not specifically list or analyse proposals received during the IGWG process. Most of these submissions are, however, also reflected in either the final report of the EWG or in the consolidated inventory of 91 proposals (# 5).
The first step: An inventory of 109 proposals
1. Leading up to the second meeting of the EWG on R&D Financing and Coordination in June 2009, WHO contacted Member States to solicit proposals, and also set up a web-based public hearing between 7 March and 15 April. This was open to individuals, civil society groups, government institutions, academic and research institutions, the private sector and other interested parties. In response to both of these initiatives, WHO received the following contributions:
2. In order to increase the breadth and depth of analysis, the EWG then conducted research to identify additional R&D financing proposals. The following sources were identified as containing additional, worthy proposals:
- Proposals from EWG members
- Literature searches
- Proposals from related Working Groups, Commissions and projects:
- The Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH)
- The Taskforce on International Innovative Financing for Health Systems, co-chaired by the UK Prime Minister and the President of the World Bank
- The Brookings Institute analysis of evaluation tools: “Innovative Financing for Global Health: Tools for Analyzing the Options”
3. Proposals submitted to the Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (IGWG) were not specifically listed by the EWG in the inventory of 109 proposals. However, most proposals submitted to the IGWG are reflected in the inventory of 91 proposals (#5) and/or in the final report of the EWG. For example, PDPs, Patent Pools and Advanced Purchasing Commitments that were frequently referred to in the submissions to the IGWG are all reflected in the EWG's final report. In order to be as transparent as possible the Secretariat has extracted all references to proposals submitted to the IGWG in the "IGWG Public Hearing - Proposals Recommendation".
4. An inventory of 109 proposals was generated as a result of the proposals received from Member States and other stakeholders as well as the abovementioned other sources. Please find it in the inventory of proposals, see worksheet "All submissions alphabetically":
For each of these proposals, a write-up was prepared summarizing:
- The proposal
- Its source (s)
- Links to its reference materials
- Links to any other proposals.
The second step: From 109 proposals to 91 proposals
5. The inventory of proposals was then reduced from 109 to 91 proposals by grouping proposals that were essentially the same. For example: there were two items identified as “airline solidarity contribution”. Another example is the grouping of various prize funds (in the inventory of 109 see for example number 76 and number 79) into the more general category of "prize funds" (number 69 in the inventory of 91) or various proposals relating to fast track reviews (see for example number 12, 19, 20 and 73 in the inventory of 109) into one or two proposals on fast tracks (see for example proposals 32 and 33 in the inventory of 91).
6. The EWG then decided to hold a second web-based public hearing open to Member States, individuals, civil society groups, government institutions, academic and research institutions, the private sector and other interested parties and, in this connection, to invite comments on the evaluation framework, evaluation criteria and the inventory of incentive proposals being considered by the EWG. The intent of this hearing was not to receive new proposals but rather to gather feedback on the EWG’s inventory of proposals. However, the feedback received from 18 groups, such as WHO Member States, funders, civil society groups, private industry, Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) and regulatory authorities also included references to new proposals and restatements of proposals submitted during the first public hearing of the EWG or to the Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property (IGWG).
In order to be as transparent as possible, the Secretariat has extracted these proposals or references to proposals as received from the second hearing and listed them together with all other submissions received at this hearing in the "List of submissions to Second Hearing of EWG -Not in Inventory". This was done even if in some cases proposals were merely referred to in one or two sentences and even where no further explanation on a proposal was provided.
It should be noted that the inventory of 91 proposals was not updated based upon the feedback gathered from the second hearing, however, in many cases the feedback was incorporated into the final report. For example, the proposal related to UNITAID's Patent Pool was explicitly incorporated in the final report of the EWG.
- List of documents published as part of the second hearing
- Details of feedback from two Member States
- Details on contributions from 16 other relevant groups
The third step: From 91 to 22 grouped proposals
7. Most of the 91 proposals were then grouped into 22 broad groups of proposals (grouped proposals) mentioned in the EWG report and referred to in WHA resolution 63.28. There is no documentation regarding how the EWG performed this grouping nor a complete mapping of the 91 proposals categorized by the 22 grouped proposals. However, both the CEWG and the WHO Secretariat deemed that this mapping is essential to the CEWG’s scope. Therefore, the WHO Secretariat has analyzed the 91 proposals and grouped them under the 22 grouped proposals to the best of their knowledge and ability. The results may be found in the "Inventory of 22 Grouped Proposals".
Worksheet 1 (entitled "Grouped Proposals") demonstrates how the majority of the 91 proposals found in the EWG inventory can be mapped into the 22 broad grouped proposals in the EWG report. Column A gives the numbering of the proposal as found in the EWG inventory of 91 proposals, column B and C the name and description of the proposal. Column D marks whether a proposal was considered an Allocation (A) or a Funding (F) proposal. Column E indicates if proposals have been grouped under more than 1 of the 22 proposal-groupings. Numbers under the title "sources" in column F refer to the row of worksheet 2 (entitled "Reading List"), in which further reading material on a respective proposal may be found.
8. The “Inventory Proposals Not Accounted” lists all proposals in the inventory of 91 that could not be grouped into one of the 22 broad grouped proposals in the EWG report. It is worth noting, that these proposals not mentioned in the final EWG Report were almost entirely gathered from literature searches or other sources and not from proposals sent to the EWG by Member States and other stakeholders. Numbers under the title sources in column F again refer to the row of worksheet 2 (entitled "Reading List"), in which further reading material on a respective proposal may be found.
1 In this document the term proposal is used for all proposed, submitted or in other ways identified mechanisms that have been suggested to improve financing and coordination of R&D in this context since this term has been used in the previous EWG. The term "grouped proposals" refers to those 22 proposals analysed in the EWG report.