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Final 20 Policy Paper 6: Delivering the Money: The Importance of Efficient Financial Flows for Vaccine Distribution

June 13, 2016
Delivering the Money: The Importance of Efficient Financial Flows for Vaccine Distribution

This policy paper from VillageReach and the William Davidson Institute (WDI) explores the impact of adequate and reliable flow of funding all the way to the point of care as a critical component of effective immunization supply chains (iSC). Vaccine programs face inadequate funding and bottlenecks in accessing funding, both of which contribute significantly to iSC underperformance and program delays. This paper illuminates the root causes of funding flow challenges and highlights case studies that offer promising tools and approaches for improvement.

next-generation immunization supply chain: change leadership

Final 20 Policy Paper 5: Change Leadership - The Making or Breaking of an Immunization Supply Chain

January 19, 2016
Change Leadership: The Making or Breaking of an Immunization Supply Chain

Change leadership and effective management are critical ingredients for modernizing immunization supply chains (iSCs) to withstand current and future pressures and ensure all children have access to vaccines. This paper, co-authored with Andrew Brown and People that Deliver, explores the necessary leadership qualities of people involved in the transition to next-generation immunization supply chains, and provides recommendations and resources to help ensure these qualities can be fostered and developed.

Final 20 Policy Paper 4: Data for Management: It’s Not Just Another Report

April 6, 2015
Data for Management: It’s Not Just Another Report

The fourth in this series, this paper addresses the many challenges in data collection and quality, and discusses the global shift towards data visualization and utilization for improved decision making. The informed push system for vaccines in Mozambique uses dedicated logisticians for improved data collection; introduced an information system built on the OpenLMIS platform for enhanced data visualization and analytics; and systematized processes for better data utilization. These changes have led to a more efficient supply chain and higher vaccine coverage rates. Read more about this as well as other global innovations in this paper.

Final 20 Policy Paper 3 - System Design: Repair or Replace?

August 1, 2014
Final 20 Policy Paper 3 - System Design: Repair or Replace?

Part Three of the Reaching the Final 20 Policy Paper Series. A new policy paper on the vaccine supply chain. This paper considers the broader concept of system design and how all components of a supply chain can fit together to be most efficient. This is the third paper in our Final 20 series that looks at the different components of the supply chain, addresses the challenges faced at the last mile for distribution and presents examples of innovative approaches to address those challenges.

Final 20 Policy Paper 2: Other Duties as Required

May 1, 2014
Final 20 Policy Paper 2: Other Duties as Required

Part Two of Reaching the Final 20 Policy Paper Series. This second paper in the series focuses on the role of human resources and the specific challenges facing individuals within the health system to adequately address the needs of vaccine supply chains, particularly in low resource communities. The Final 20 series looks at the different components of the supply chain, addresses the challenges faced at the last mile for distribution and presents examples of innovative approaches to address those challenges.

Final 20 Policy Paper 1: Keeping the Cold Chain Cold

February 1, 2014
Final 20 Policy Paper 1: Keeping the Cold Chain Cold

Part One of Reaching the Final 20 Policy Paper Series. This first paper in the series documents the challenges of the cold chain at the last mile of delivery and providing examples of new innovations and approaches to improve cold chain monitoring and maintenance. The Final 20 series looks at the different components of the supply chain, addresses the challenges faced at the last mile for distribution and presents examples of innovative approaches to address those challenges.

Blog

Supply chains: The lifeline for getting PPE to community health workers

Supply chains are the lifeline getting PPE to community health workers.

Reflections on the WHO Director General's Four Priorities for Health in a New Era

One of the highlights of University of Washington’s symposium celebrating ten years in global health was seeing the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan. Dr. Chan was charming as ever, with a spring in her step and a smile on her face. Perhaps it is because she is nearing the end of her term (her successor will be chosen during the upcoming World Health Assembly) that despite moments of levity, her words had a more sobering ring.

Dr. Chan painted a complex picture of the world in which global health professionals work.  We are confronting new diseases and old diseases, dealing with post-antibiotics and post-truth. She warned the attendees that some believe a long-standing social contract has been broken and “we are now living in a world that has lost its moral compass”. Before we could wallow in our collective struggle, Dr. Chan laid out four priorities to help guide health policies and programs.  Here’s what they mean for our work at VillageReach.

Tackle Inequality In collaboration with our partners, VillageReach strives to increase access to quality healthcare in the most underserved communities, where we have seen inequality impede our progress…

Getting the Tail on the Donkey: Financial Flows in Vaccine Supply Chain Distribution

At the very least, the flow of funding in vaccine distribution systems is uncoordinated. Not knowing where money is going, when it will be allocated, and how much money will actually be available prevents effective distribution. Ensuring financial resources are efficient and accessible is vital to the success of delivering vaccines to the last mile, yet immunization program managers face a variety of financial bottlenecks, many of which are symptoms of deeper, underlying financial management challenges. A new policy paper, from VillageReach and the William Davidson Institute, explores these challenges in detail. At the heart of the matter, financial flow challenges force decision-making processes into a guessing game, where accuracy is about as certain as a round of “pin the tail on the donkey.”
From the very start, immunization program managers are blindfolded – they are asked to budget and conduct their activities in the face of uncertain financing at the national level. They are given no advanced insight into their true budget limit, so they have to guess. Many LMICs have unreliable revenue streams, and donors are often unable to make multi-year commitments, so even at the national level it can be unclear what the budget limit will…

What do vaccines and vending machines have in common? Using data to improve vaccine delivery in Benin

A blog describing VillageReach work with AMP in Benin to implement OpenLMIS. In Benin, OpenLMIS collects critical supply chain data at the “last mile” of healthcare, where data visibility and accuracy is most important, providing a solid evidence base to inform decision makers on future national policies and support the data needs of Logivac+, an informed push distribution system for immunization commodities.

Leadership: The magic bullet of immunization supply chains?

A lot of attention is currently being paid to immunization supply chains (iSC) and how to improve their performance in order to absorb new vaccine introductions and leverage new technologies, all while being efficient and effective. It’s no small task. And generally, the conversation centers around the concrete components of the supply chain, such as cold chain equipment, shifting tasks to reduce the burden on health workers, or optimizing transport loops.

The one thing that is often left out of the iSC conversation is leadership and the political will to drive that change to have a more efficient supply chain that ensures every child gets those needed vaccines. As we have seen in Mozambique and in other countries, the importance of leadership and effective management cannot be underestimated.
…  “leaders must be the driving force to define a new vision for the iSC and empower others to get behind that vision”
To advance the change to a streamlined, dynamic and data-driven system for the iSC, leaders must be the driving force to define a new vision for the iSC and empower others to get behind that vision to move it forward. They must be willing to question the status…

You Can't Manage What You Can't See

Last week I was spending a lot of time with my colleague from UNICEF/Mozambique to create a distribution plan for the new cold chain equipment arriving soon for the vaccine supply chain. This is a great opportunity for the country to strengthen the cold chain to ensure vaccines are available and potent all the way to the last mile of delivery…

The Illusive “Other Duties as Required”

In the Mozambique health system, this has become the catchall phrase for health workers. They are tasked with numerous responsibilities including the supply chain function, resulting in a crisis for human resources for health…

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