Supply Chain Strengthening

Supply Chain Strengthening

The availability of quality-assured essential commodities at the point of use is hindered by weak and unreliable supply chains. Challenges often exist at all levels of the supply chain in a country and across all supply chain functions including quantification, procurement, distribution, storage, and inventory management. Left unaddressed, these challenges quickly erode the value of all other investments in health at the health facility level and in the community. The absence of a well-functioning supply chain contributes to poor quality of care, and ultimately poor health – and sometimes death – among women and children.    

Pooling expertise on supply chain

The Supply Chain Technical Resource Team (TRT), bringing together global health supply experts from 11 organizations has been advancing the UN Commission’s recommendations, working from 2012 to 2016 to address these supply chain challenges and barriers to ensure essential commodities are delivered efficiently and safely and available where and when they are needed.

The expertise of the TRT members as well as the knowledge resources they have developed during this period are captured in the Life-Saving Commodities Practitioners’ Network.

Progress to date


Promising Practices in Supply Chain Management series published by the TRT, for use by in-country stakeholders provides both proven and promising practices that may be used to address specific supply chain barriers faced by each country. They look into how to remove barriers in quantification, procurement, warehouse and inventory management, distribution, service delivery and utilization, data management and human resources

A toolkit on private sector engagement, which the TRT tested in Nigeria helps identify opportunities where public and private sector parties can work together to increase access to high quality life-saving commodities and the process for engagement to ensure a productive and smooth process for all parties involved

Improved management information systems: the TRT provided recommendations for the inter-operability of LMIS and HMIS, and supported the development of OpenLMIS v.1.0, for deployment in Tanzania and Zambia.

Expanded health management information system (DHIS2) : the group added logistics management functionality to an open-source health management information system to improve linkages between service delivery and logistics data, and has tested those new features in Nigeria.

‘Your South-to- South Network: Resources for Public Health Supply Chains’ held by the TRT in Copenhagen, Denmark on November 19-20, 2014, in conjunction with the Global Health Supply Chain (GHSC) Summit, provided the country planners, NGOs, logistics practitioners, donor representatives and academics attending the GHSC Summit with hands-on exposure to tools designed to improve public health supply chains. Specifically, the workshop introduced:  the Quantification of Health CommoditiesPrivate Sector Engagement: A Guidance Document for Supply Chains in the Modern Context, and data management tools (District Health Information System (DHIS2), CommTrack, and OpenLMIS).