NCIRS recognises the ever-increasing opportunities to save lives and to better health through the equitable use of vaccines both in Australia and at regional and global levels. The impact of vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) on public health and the importance of immunisation are recognised in the Global Vaccine Action Plan and the upcoming Immunisation Agenda 2030 (in draft) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Historically, NCIRS has had a range of engagement with colleagues and programs across the globe. From 2019, we are aiming to increase our reach to support strengthening of immunisation uptake via regional and global collaborations. This applies particularly to the Asia-Pacific region and is articulated in our Strategic Plan 2019–2023. Under this plan we are undertaking a number of activities, including work in the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) support and in spearheading the formation of the Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA). 

Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) affiliate membership

NCIRS was awarded interim affiliate membership status by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) in July 2019, with endorsement of membership to be completed in October 2019. ACFID has over 130 member organisations, and unites Australia’s non-government aid and international development organisations to strengthen their collective impact against poverty.

NCIRS partners with WHO to support Timor-Leste NITAG

NCIRS has partnered with WHO to provide direct support to the NITAG of Timor-Leste. This partnership is funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, from 2019 to 2024, and forms part of Gavi’s post-transition plan for Timor-Leste as the country proceeds towards achieving a self-sufficient and financially sustainable national vaccination program. 

NITAGs are multidisciplinary groups of national experts responsible for providing independent, evidence-informed advice to policy makers and program managers on policy issues related to immunisation and vaccines. More information on the Global NITAG Network is available here. Established in November 2015, the Timor-Leste NITAG advises the Ministry of Health on the protection of the Timorese people from VPDs through immunisation.

NCIRS joins other key WHO partners that provide direct support to NITAGs globally, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ProVac Initiative and the Supporting Independent Immunization and Vaccine Advisory Committees (SIVAC) Initiative

Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA)

Following consultations with key immunisation experts and partners from multiple Australian universities and research institutes, NCIRS led the formalisation of ARIA in April 2019. 

Who are we

Representing over 20 individuals and 12 organisations, ARIA comprises Australia’s leading experts with a breadth and depth of experience in immunisation and VPDs, who are widely recognised for their regional and international expertise. ARIA’s immunisation experts have a proven track record of engagement with countries and key stakeholder organisations in our region.

Our goal 

The goal of ARIA members is to come together to work collaboratively with governments, global immunisation partners, non-government organisations and other partners to strengthen and expand immunisation to reduce the impact of VPDs in our region. 

Our guiding principles 
  1. Harmonisation: Harmonise efforts with and supportive of the regional work and normative standards of global immunisation partners
  2. Sustainability: Apply capacity building and systems strengthening principles to all of our work for sustainability at institutional, organisational and individual levels
  3. Collaboration: Prioritise inter-country learning and networks for mutual support, including recognition of the special needs of small island states
  4. Results-focused: Commit to measuring results, including metrics for policy and practice improvement, and increased strength of partnerships
ARIA steering committee members

For more information on ARIA or any of NCIRS's regional and global work, contact: SCHN-NCIRSGlobal@health.nsw.gov.au

Last updated September 2019