Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Explaining Differential Immunization Coverage (SUM MEDIC) (completed)

A central aim of SUM MEDIC is to develop a methodology for identifying and addressing drivers and barriers to coverage, taking into account the social, political and economic context of the immunization system.

Foto: Kristin Alfsen.

About the project

The research team conducts empirical research in two countries - Malawi and India - and on global governance systems. In this way, the project approaches the system at different levels – establishing detailed empirical knowledge of the community level; and exploring the policy process from global agendas and agreements, through national policy formulation, to implementation at local level.

SUM MEDIC was developed with the participation and support of researchers from the Amsterdam School of Social Science Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, The World Bank, University of Witwatersrand, Univeristy of California SF and University of New South Wales. It is a strong intention of the programme to continue to work with this network for our mutual benefit.


The programme aims to make a significant contribution both to theory and policy by disseminating the results through academic publications, policy briefs, mass media and practitioners’ magazines and through communication with other researchers and policy-makers.

SUM MEDIC fouces on the health system. While holistic approaches to dealing with health systems are being espoused by all donors, little operational guidance exists on how to understand their complexity or how to configure health systems to improve health outcomes. Since a health system is open and adaptive and responds to interventions in different and often unpredictable ways, it is necessary to take into account a broader set of explanatory factors than is commonly the case. The aim is to contribute research based knowledge that can inform the development of global and local health policies, one of the main pillars in global poverty reduction strategies.


The office of the Prime Minister’s and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) focus their health efforts towards child immunisation and strengthening of health systems. Norway has committed strongly to the 4th development goal: reduction of child mortality by two thirds within 2015. To ensure that Norwegian policy has a good knowledge basis in this area, Norway has initiated a new long-term research initiative supporting projects within different fields of vaccination research. This initiative is administered by the Research Council of Norway (RCN), with an annual budget of 50 million NOK.

SUM – Centre for Development and the Environment received funding from the Global Health and Vaccination Research Program (GLOBVAC) at the call spring 2006. Funds were awarded on the prospect of developing a research program with an overarching theoretical framework and consistent methodology based on comparative case-studies across African and Asian regions.




Published Aug. 19, 2011 3:20 PM - Last modified May 31, 2016 10:09 AM


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