Triggering public health supply chain improvements in developing countries

Public health supply chain networks in developing countries are complex and involve many stakeholders. There is an ongoing trend focusing on improving these supply chain networks. This trend is mainly driven from actors within this environment. To answer to an increasing number of requests from actors in public health supply chain management for knowledge sharing, HELP Logistics contacted Argusi Aid to develop a five-day workshop program together. The developed workshop program consists of several modules covering public health supply chain basics but also more specific topics as supply chain design and improvement. Over the last two months three workshops have been organized in different settings.

The collaboration between HELP Logistics and Argusi started in 2015. Since then, the collaboration has been intensified. HELP Logistics, providing supply chain and logistics consulting services and capacity strengthening programmes, has a very broad knowledge of supply chain management and of the humanitarian sector. Argusi is an expert in designing optimal supply chains in terms of minimized cost or time-to-consumer / beneficiary. The branch Argusi Aid, set up with the mission to enable availability of basic needs for everyone at all times by creating better and faster supply chains, focusses on the humanitarian and development sector. The combination of knowledge and experience of these two parties made it possible to develop an interactive and alternating five-day program in which the complete end-to-end supply chain is covered. The goal of the first two days of the program is for the participants to get familiar with the different steps and stakeholders within the supply chain and their mutual dependencies and interventions. The last three days are meant to gain knowledge on designing and improving public health supply chains and practice this.

First workshops

Over the last two months three workshops have been organized in Malaysia, Rwanda and Myanmar. Each workshop facilitated about 40 participants representing among others UNHRD, UNPFA, WHO, UNICEF, Save the Children, World Vision International, Mercy Malaysia, hospitals, NADMA and the Ministries of Health from Malaysia, Puntland, Somaliland and the South-Central Zone of Somalia. During each workshop, the interactive program giving room to discussions among participants was valued a lot and great insight was achieved by having participants discussing experiences and problems. Examples from the Malaria, TBC, HIV/Aids, Essential Medicines and Reproductive Health supply chains were processed. Real issues regarding stock-outs and overstock were challenged in group work. Intensive group work lead to innovative plans to shorten lead times and to increase the availability of products in the different health programs. After the workshop participants were armed with an improvement methodology they can use in their daily work.

After the first three workshops, the program was evaluated thoroughly with the goal to optimize the program in regards to participant’s needs and expectations. All participant and facilitator feedback was processed and developed into an improvement plan for the program. After all, also for workshop programs there is always room for improvement. After finalizing this first improvement cycle, a fourth workshop will be organized. After all, also for workshop programs there is always room for improvement.

More about Argusi Aid

Argusi is a research advisory specialized in supply chain optimization and collaboration. From the vision of a world where everyone has access to basic needs at all times, Argusi started Argusi Aid in 2015. Argusi Aid focuses on the humanitarian and development sector trying to achieve the vision by creating better and faster supply chains. The objective is to contribute to the improvement of efficient logistics and supply chain management in the humanitarian and development sector. This is done by offering consulting and knowledge sharing in the areas of expertise (supply chain design, optimization and collaboration) in a collaborative and respectful manner. Knowledge and experience of the private sector is translated so it can be used for the humanitarian and development sector.