Bill Gates, Sr. From Slate 60
"Focus" continues to be the mantra of the strategic framework for giving of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to Bill Gates, Sr. who was interviewed by Michael Kinsley, Founding Editor, Slate Magazine this morning at the Slate Conference.
According to Gates, Sr, focus improves effectiveness, even as it forces difficult choices. He acknowledged that the focus on preventative health issues internationally has meant that the foundation is investing in a problem for children in Africa that it is purposely ignoring for children in neighboring countries.
However, he noted that a stay-the-course mentality brought what he believes is one of the most significant innovations for leveraging the work beyond the vaccinations for the 115 million children the foundation has already reached. That's a pilot program called the International Finance Fund for Immunisation:
This innovative new initiative will use the frontloading principles of the main IFF to ensure the provision of an additional $4 billion over the next ten years in support of the work of The Vaccine Fund and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) - which comprises UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, Vaccine Fund, Gates Foundation and a range of donor and recipient governments - tackling some of the deadliest diseases in some of the world's poorest countries. In addition to increasing the overall funding available for immunisation, this mechanism has the added merit of providing a predictable flow of resources to the immunisation challenge - where historically, the lack of secure financing has impeded programme planning and product development efforts.