Client(s): UNICEF New York
Services: Technical Assistance, Training, Workshop Facilitation, Strategic Planning
Technical expertise: Immunization, Logistics Working Group
The Effective Vaccine Management (EVM) continuous improvement cycle is based on a thorough assessment of the supply chain performance to identify opportunities for improvement and to then leverage resources to implement those improvement. This process requires a long term engagement often involving several technical partners and stakeholders. In order to ensure a coordinated and focused approach World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommend to establish or to strengthen existing national logistics working groups (NLWGs). The NLWGs should be the custodians of the EVM improvement plan and ensure that its recommendations are implemented and thus also monitor implementation. The TechNet (http://www.technet-21.org) meeting in Bangkok, held in May 2015 also reviewed the role and successes that national logistics working groups have in different countries (e.g. Mozambique, Nigeria, India, Uganda, Ethiopia, #) to improve the coordination and implementation of national immunization supply chain priorities. Furthermore, UNICEF is engaged in several countries to establish and strengthen such working groups.
To establish or strengthen NLWGs which are of one of accountability and coordination mechanisms that several countries have successfully established in order to strengthen their immunization supply chains, WHO and UNICEF produced a toolkit and guidance note that includes a set of standardized ToRs. In addition, UNICEF performed a landscape analysis in over 40 countries to identify specific demands and needs from countries that request support to strengthen or establish NLWGs.
Key findings from this landscape analysis were the followings:
- The low interest and insufficient investment at the country level not only in immunization logistics, but also in professional logistics
- A poor understanding of the role and value of a formal and permanent NLWG
- A shortage of skilled human resources and capacities at the country level
- NLWG’s unstructured Mode of Operation
- Advocacy at the country level for logistics vaccinations and the formal establishment of NLWGs
- Strengthening national capacity in supply chain management
- Institutional integration and recognition of the added value of NLWGs
- Utilization of terms of reference and formal modes of operation
- Definition of indicators for monitoring and evaluating NLWG
- Creation of Regional Logistics Working Groups for small countries
In the framework of this consultancy, a further technical assistance has been conducted to support countries and regions to establish or strengthen the activities of NWLGs. This assignment will covers different activities including facilitating regional immunization supply chain strengthening capacity building workshops, visiting specific countries to support their establishment or strengthening of NLWGs, refining the toolkit, developing a short e-learning module on NLWGs and developing a resource page on TechNet on NWLGs.
The NLWG is a mechanism for coordinating national immunization logistics and supply chain activities as well as supply chain investments of government agencies and development partners. The NLWG provides guidance, expertise and technical assistance on all matters concerning supply chain operations and improvement initiatives. The NLWG engages key stakeholders in the process to share information, evidence and lessons learned; to identify and overcome program bottlenecks; to explore opportunities for innovation; and to make optimal use of resources.
For more information, please contact:
Technical Expert: Dorothy Leab, Health System Strengthening Specialist, tel: +84 4 32115770