Methodology

The June 2013 report of 2012 investments was prepared by Emily Donaldson (AVAC), with contributions from Kevin Fisher (AVAC), Reuben Granich (UNAIDS), Thomas Harmon (IAVI), Polly Harrison (AVAC), Naomi Saelens (IAVI) and Mitchell Warren (AVAC) of the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group (herein referred to as “the Working Group”). The Working Group developed and has utilized a systematic approach to data collection and collation since 2004. These methods were employed to generate the estimates of funding for R&D presented in this report. A detailed explanation of the methodology can be found on the Working Group website (www.hivresourcetracking.org). The two sets of categories used to describe different R&D activities—one for HIV vaccines and one for HIV microbicides—were derived from those developed by the US NIH and are shown in the following tables.

Data collection by the Working Group involved accessing both public information and collecting information through direct appeals to funding agencies. The Working Group: 1) identified key funding agencies; 2) collected publicly available information; 3) contacted the funding agencies identified and 4) reviewed, checked and analyzed the information collated.

Data Collection Process

Step 1: Identifying key funding agencies

A list of all organizations involved in funding preventive HIV vaccine, microbicide or HIV prevention R&D was drawn up based on funders identified in previous resource tracking efforts and supplemented by discussions with key individuals working in the HIV vaccine, microbicide or HIV prevention R&D fields. As new funders were identified, they were added to the list.

Step 2: Collecting publicly available information

For each of the funders identified, the publicly available information was reviewed for data on annual investment levels. Information sources consulted included: government reports, annual reports, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, published studies and articles, scientific presentations and website postings.

Step 3: Contacting the funding agencies

Public sector:

  • Description of the projects or programs funded;
  • Duration of grants/ contracts/ awards;
  • Total funding committed;
  • Funding disbursement by year; and
  • Projected disbursement or future funding commitments by year.

 

28 Microbicide Funding Categories
 
29 Vaccine Funding Categories

 

Requests were made to the public sector funders identified asking them for information on funds disbursed since 2000 and future commitments in their local currency. Information requested included:

Agencies contacted included national research funding agencies (e.g., Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le Sida (ANRS) in France and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)), overseas development agencies (e.g., the Department for International Development (DFID) in the UK and the Agency for International Development (USAID) in the US) and multilateral organizations (e.g., UNAIDS, the World Bank and the World Health Organization). Each national agency was also asked to suggest other national agencies that should be contacted.

Philanthropic sector:

Requests were made to all philanthropic funders known to have awarded more than US$100,000 to HIV vaccine, microbicide or HIV prevention R&D.  Requests were similar to those sent to public sector funders and asked for the same information. For smaller funders, disbursement estimates were based on information collated from intermediaries and internet searches and, where no information was readily available, the organizations were contacted directly.

In the case of corporate donations, data were only collected on cash donations. No attempt was made to include in-kind support such as goods, services, and donated staff time owing to the difficulties in valuing these contributions.

Commercial sector:

Requests were made to all phrameceutical or biotechnology companies known to be  involved in HIV vaccine, microbicide or HIV prevention R&D in writing, in person or by phone. These requests asked these companies to provide information on its own internal funding (i.e., they were asked not to include funds received from external sources such as research agencies or intermediary organizations).

Step 4: Reviewing, checking and analyzing the information collated

The financial information received from each funder was reviewed against the project inclusion criteria and cross-checked. Any issues or questions were followed up with the funder. In the case of US agencies that track HIV vaccine or microbicide funding explicitly, we have made use of their self-reported figures rather than examining each grant individually.

For those organizations that did not respond to information requests even after repeated follow-ups, annual disbursements were estimated based on publicly available information, supplemented by discussions with experts working in the field.

The estimates for each sector were then reviewed for consistency to ensure that similar definitions were used and to eliminate double counting.

The categories used to describe different R&D activities for vaccines and microbicides were derived from those developed by the US National Institutes of Health with the addition of a category for policy and advocacy.

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