Thinkwell Campaign Costing Methodological Guidance

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The Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN) and Thinkwell have developed methodological guidance to improve evidence generation on what it costs to conduct an immunization campaign, to ultimately lead to more accurate financial planning and successful campaigns.


Immunization campaigns are a vital delivery strategy to improve coverage and decrease morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases. Campaigns are used more frequently to administer a greater variety of vaccines and reach a broader range of target populations as integral parts of the immunization program. It is crucial that the costs of different immunization campaigns, including those integrated with the delivery of other health interventions, are accurately estimated to inform planning, budgeting, and resource mobilization.


With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ThinkWell has developed methodological guidance to help standardize immunization campaign costing methods.

Although various guidance documents cover the costing of health interventions and routine immunization programs specifically, none discuss the specifics of costing immunization campaigns. This new guide offers methodological advice for field researchers, country practitioners, and academics worldwide on costing an immunization campaign. This guide complements the literature on costing studies with specific methodological considerations for immunization campaigns, clear instructions fitting potential scenarios, and concrete examples. It is intended to improve the standardization of campaign costing processes and reporting, enhance the availability and comparability of evidence, and improve its use by country and global stakeholders.

The main guide is accompanied by supplementary materials for more tips on data collection, practical examples and tools:

  1. How to cost an immunization campaign? Methodological guidance 

  2. Key differences between routine and campaign costing (one-pager)

  3. Practical tips on data collection and reporting for immunization campaign costing studies

  4. Frequently asked questions about campaign costing

  5. Data collection and analysis tools for campaign costing studies and a user manual (forthcoming)

  6. Practical examples in Excel and R: annualizing capital costs, calculating unit costs, and calibration in R with a guide to the code. You can download R using this link.


To develop the methodological guidance, ThinkWell has conducted 3 campaign costing studies in various settings to test and refine the methodology and tools. The three costing studies were implemented in a phased manner so that learnings from each study could feed into the next:

  1. Measles-rubella catch-up campaign in India (forthcoming)

  2. Measles-Rubella catch-up campaign in Sierra Leone, co-delivered with oral polio vaccine nationwide, and vitamin A and deworming tablets in half of the country (forthcoming)

  3. Yellow Fever (YF) campaigns in three Nigerian states, co-delivered with meningitis A (MenA) vaccine in one of the states (forthcoming)

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