While national governments, United Nations agencies and other development partners allocate significant resources to strengthening the public health supply chains of developing countries, performance often does not meet the expectations of these stakeholders or of the end users of the health supplies. In large part, performance deficits are due to limitations of locally available resources (human, infrastructure, financial, etc.) and capacities (individual, organizational and systemic). To develop the needed capacities in a sustainable manner, a strategic and continuous country-owned approach with a medium- to long-term horizon is required.
This Process Guide and Toolkit for Strengthening Public Health Supply Chains through Capacity Development aims to support country governments, UNICEF country offices and other development partners to strengthen national supply chains through a comprehensive capacity development approach, improving both performance and sustainability of the supply chain. The Process Guide and Toolkit fills an important gap in the global health supply chain literature, supporting countries to implement a comprehensive supply chain capacity development process. The toolkit provides a framework for approaching the challenge, a process guide that provides suggested steps and recommended practices, and a resource guide with explanations of and links to key tools, guidelines and other resources that will support application of specific methodologies. The purpose of this toolkit is not to reproduce or duplicate existing resources, but rather to guide the user to the external resources that are best suited to support implementation of the Framework.
The Framework for Public Health Supply Chain Strengthening provides a structure and process for strengthening the public health supply chains of lower- and middle-income countries, including not only technical areas but also the other required policy and support systems and the enabling environment. The Framework can be utilized to plan and implement an overall national supply chain strengthening strategy, a more narrow supply chain strengthening programme oriented to priority areas or a specific supply chain strengthening project. The process can be adapted to different scales of implementation and different national contexts.