Mission and vision
IVR's mission is to accelerate the development and optimal use of safe and effective vaccines and related technologies, with a specific emphasis on serving the needs of developing countries. In this way, IVR contributes to the vision of a world in which all people at risk are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Core functions and strategic emphasis
IVR was constituted in 1999 as WHO's unified entity to support and promote vaccine research. The programme is also home to the HIV Vaccine Initiative, a joint effort of WHO and UNAIDS to promote the development of preventive HIV vaccines, and serves as the research unit of the WHO department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals.
Given their effectiveness and vast potential, vaccines and immunization have received unprecedented attention in the last years, as evidenced by major investments into immunization programmes by countries and the global donor community, as well as increased support to product research and development (R&D) by the private sector, academia and philanthropic institutions.
In an increasingly complex array of players, IVR maintains its distinct core functions related to vaccine research and development and implementation research, with the following mandate:
- identify and develop specific research agendas through a strong convening function and consensus building;
- develop best practices and standards in research;
- generate and assemble evidence to inform vaccination policy, and contribute to the swift translation of policy into practice; and
- strengthen, through dedicated projects, research capacity in target countries.
IVR supports the WHO vaccine priorities outlined in the Global Immunization Vision and Strategy, the Global Vaccine Action Plan of the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration, and is guided by the Strategic Advisory group of Experts (SAGE). In addition, IVR works with a number of dedicated technical advisory groups to advance its vaccine R&D and implementation research agendas.
The Programme’s core functions and global network of partners allow it to operate with a small secretariat, and frequently commissions research or background studies to inform its work. Calls for proposals are occasionally issued.