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Overcoming Supply Chain Bottlenecks at the Community Level

By Tara Newton, Communications Associate, BID Initiative

Feb 9, 2015

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A key component in the BID Initiative approach focuses on supply chain interventions. Interventions such as barcode technology, alerts for expired vaccines and using this data in supply and inventory reports will ensure each clinic has adequate vaccine supply, the district officials have visibility into and can better manage supply levels and the community health workers are trained in supply chain management. Today, we take a look at JSI‘s Improving Supply Chains for Community Case Management (SC4CCM), a five-year learning project.

In 2010, the SC4CCM project partnered with three countries: Ethiopia, Malawi, and Rwanda; looking for simple, affordable ways to improve the community supply chain. The SC4CCM project worked with the Ministries of Health to estimate the amount of medicines needed at the community level, developed processes like forecasting, and other country-specific solutions such as the following example from Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia, the SC4CCM project worked with partners to build basic supply chain management skills with one hour ready lessons and 30-minute problem solving sessions using supply chain manuals in local languages. In less than a year, more than 75% of community health workers were trained in supply chain skills compared to 11% previously and 74% knew when and how to report logistics data.

The project demonstrated that simple, affordable solutions can be used to overcome supply chain constraints at the community level, transform supply chain practices to strengthen and improve supply chain performance, and even significantly improve product availability when products are present in the overall system.

The following video from the SC4CCM project further discusses the interventions and country specific solutions to overcome supply chain bottlenecks at the community level. For further information, read the project’s findings report.

Do you know of other projects that have conquered supply chain issues? Please share with us in the comments!

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