The AgResults Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Challenge Project is an eight-year, US$17.68 million prize competition that encourages the development and uptake of high-quality FMD vaccines tailored to meet the needs of Eastern Africa. The prize is structured as a cost-share that reduces the cost-per-dose for buyers, enabling public and private sector actors to better combat FMD through more consistent purchases of the new vaccines. In this way, the project can create a market around an effective solution that will improve animal health and strengthen farmer livelihoods. GALVmed serves as the Project Manager.
For more detailed information about the FMD Vaccine Challenge Project and resources for competitors, visit the FMD Project page, managed by GALVmed.
FMD control in East Africa is hindered by two interconnected challenges: a need for a high-quality solution and for stronger distribution networks. First, FMD strains vary significantly in the region, making it difficult to develop an appropriate vaccine. Neither of the two vaccines currently available in East Africa are tailored to these strains; furthermore, they are poor quality and too costly.
Second, the private sector has struggled to establish distribution networks. National governments currently control FMD vaccine purchases and are often reactive, creating unreliable market demand and hinging on political priorities. These factors combine to limit profitability and discourage investment among potential private sector players to manufacture and distribute vaccines.
The project’s Theory of Change hypothesizes that by creating an attractive market for FMD vaccines tailored to East Africa, private sector manufacturers would be encouraged to develop a regionally specific FMD vaccine. To create this market, AgResults will work with private and public sector buyers to increase regional purchases and develop a stable market around FMD control. To start, announcing the prize will spur manufacturers to create FMD vaccines for use in East Africa.
Once vaccines are developed and approved, the focus will shift to boosting purchases among public and private sector buyers via a cost-share mechanism to reduce the price among buyers. A subset of these vaccines will be earmarked for private sector purchase; at the same time, the project will work via donors to encourage government reform to liberalize the vaccine market. The combinations of these actions will further enable private sector distribution, driving up sales and reach of effective FMD vaccines, particularly among smallholder farmers. As sales volumes rise and prices fall, access will continue to climb, improving animal health and strengthening farmer livelihoods.
The project is expected to incentivize manufacturers to support long-term efforts to control FMD by showing them the economic benefits of investing in the development and distribution of an effective vaccine. By developing a stable market around FMD control, smallholder farmers should more easily access the vaccine, in turn reducing losses in productivity and livestock among smallholder farmers.
The project should impact vaccine users as well as public and private sector buyers: Demand for the vaccine among smallholder and commercial farmers is expected to rise as they see the merits of an effective solution. Similarly, both public and private sector buyers are expected to invest in developing distribution networks to reach the growing market.
This section shares our learning from FMD project design and implementation. Further details can be found in the Learning Library.
The evaluation for the FMD vaccine prize competition, led by IDinsight, uses a mixed-methods approach. This mixed-methods evaluation will assess the degree to which the cost-share incentive stimulates the introduction of high-quality FMD vaccines to Eastern Africa, increases vaccine uptake by public and private sector entities, and influences government policy. This analysis will draw on interview and survey data collected every six months from vaccine manufacturers; vaccine purchasers and distributors; government policymakers; multilateral and non-governmental organizations; the AgResults implementers; and other expert sources.
The Evaluator is conducting the first round of data collection and plans to share a preliminary report in early 2021.