Liliane Kandeh, 22, holds her son Giza Darboh, 2 months old, who suffers from malaria, as they pick up medication at the George Brook health center in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in September 2013. © UNICEF/Asselin



Public health supply chains require communication and coordination between numerous technical and financial partners, regional entities, and parastatal and government health programs. Effective communication and coordination between actors at all levels of a supply chain are essential for it to function smoothly and efficiently.

What is the problem?

Public health supply chains can suffer from a lack of synergies between technical and financial partners, in-country, regionally and globally, as well as poor communication and coordination among partners in general. Example of common communication and coordination challenges include:

– Lack of formal mechanisms for public/private sector engagement combined with fragmented or disorganized private sectors can make it difficult for the public sector to form beneficial partnerships with private sector actors.

– Poor communication between supply chain actors who are inadequately trained and/or not attentive to processes, procedures, quality or timelines. For example, if health workers at the health facility level do not follow or understand ordering procedures, this can cause delays in requests up the administrative levels and delays in deliveries back down

– Public sector programs are often siloed by disease category, leading to parallel supplies chains that are often financially and operationally inefficient.

Indicators to measure progress in communication and coordination

  • The recommended performance indicator for communication and coordination is the existence of an active commodity security coordinating mechanism for all life-saving commodities.

Read the full Supply Chain Performance Indicators Guidance here.