Workshops

Africa Resource Centre: Collaborative Workshop

The vision for the Africa Resource Centre (ARC) is to build a Supply Chain think tank and broker that can provide independent strategic advice to help countries meet their public health goals. ARC aims to work with actors across sectors and throughout the value chain, to broker, match and structure partnerships across private sector, civil society, academia, and public sector in Africa. This will leverage local and international talent and expertise to strengthen supply chains and improve availability of medicines & health commodities. Following on from the HHL conference in 2015 in South Africa, this convening represents an opportunity for the ARC to highlight the progress made in building out the ARC organization and share updates on its key focus areas and services.The workshop aims to break into groups to have collaborative discussion around several central themes/ key questions which would be facilitated by ARC Regional Leads from Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, with additional facilitation support from University of Michigan/ WDI and the Gates Foundation.

Agility in Action : UNICEF’s Response to the Yemen Crisis

On 26 March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes and imposed both aerial and naval blockades on the country. UNICEF's immediate problem was how to get shipments with relief items into Yemen. It was clear that its supply chain into the country needed to be completely reengineered.

Crazy Ideas: Building a System Design Mindset

Many countries face similar supply chain challenges including bottlenecks in stock management, distribution, and information systems. These challenges, in addition to system performance measurements on availability, quality, and efficiency, point to larger supply chain system root causes. In response, UNICEF, VillageReach, and other partners are developing materials to introduce a “system design approach” to improving supply chain performance. System design is a series of discrete and potentially iterative steps producing a plan or blueprint for how the end-to-end supply chain should operate, identifying how all of the components of the supply chain (transport network, distribution policies, inventory policies, storage locations, human resources, planning, monitoring, equipment, supervision, data, etc.) fit together and interact in the most efficient way. 

The workshop will begin by defining what a system design approach is, with examples. The rest of the workshop will include explanations of strategies, practical demonstrations of interactive, hands-on activities, and a brainstorming session to elicit ideas on barriers to using this approach to improve performance of supply chains across the world. 

Demand Estimation in the Humanitarian Sector

Fast-growing need for humanitarian assistance and the limitations on available resources to provide relief highlights the importance of strategic and efficient planning of operations in the humanitarian sector. In 2015, around US$ 25 billion was spent on life-saving assistance to 125 million people. While this amount is incomparable to the dedicated funds in prior years, United Nations discusses in its report to the Secretary-General the unprecedented inefficiency of fund utilization. Effectiveness of preplanning in humanitarian logistics and supply chain management rely on demand estimation. Good predictions of humanitarian relief and emergency response demand not only accelerates the time of providing assistance, but also increases the utilization of available funds. Humanitarian relief and emergency response demand is a function of multiple interdependent factors. Time, location, type of disaster, population, infrastructure, political issues, neighboring countries, financial circumstances, and countless other influencing factors might need to be taken into account in providing a reliable estimation of demand. On the other hand, scenario building takes into account various possible future realizations and introduces a range of estimations that embeds trends of uncertainties representing usual errors necessary for the process of decision making. While demand estimation is crucial for the efficiency of operations, detecting influencing factors and collecting relevant data is another challenging realm. Although several international organizations such as CARE, UN and INFORMS collect data on relevant subjects, they each use separate categorizations, indexing, or more importantly lack consistency and availability throughout the years, countries and categories. Merging available information, identifying significant factors, mapping data into usable format, and ensuring that factors considered are not redundant is a subset of the issues faced in the former stages of demand estimation in humanitarian sector. Today, available historic information help choosing the best statistical and computational predictive models for demand estimation and scenario planning. 

The goal of the workshop is to bring together various stake holders from academia, humanitarian agencies, and research organizations to discuss the state of the art in demand estimation and existing challenges.

Demand Estimation in the Humanitarian Sector - Part 2

This is Part II: to follow previous Demand Estimation Workshop

Following the presentations from the presenters in the first session, we will spend an hour on discussing new innovative ways for demand estimation and determine whether real synergies exist for collaboration between different organizations. Fast-growing need for humanitarian assistance and the limitations on available resources to provide relief highlights the importance of strategic and efficient planning of operations in the humanitarian sector. In 2015, around US$ 25 billion was spent on life-saving assistance to 125 million people. While this amount is incomparable to the dedicated funds in prior years, United Nations discusses in its report to the Secretary-General the unprecedented inefficiency of fund utilization. 

Effectiveness of preplanning in humanitarian logistics and supply chain management rely on demand estimation. Good predictions of humanitarian relief and emergency response demand not only accelerates the time of providing assistance, but also increases the utilization of available funds. Humanitarian relief and emergency response demand is a function of multiple interdependent factors. Time, location, type of disaster, population, infrastructure, political issues, neighboring countries, financial circumstances, and countless other influencing factors might need to be taken into account in providing a reliable estimation of demand. 

On the other hand, scenario building takes into account various possible future realizations and introduces a range of estimations that embeds trends of uncertainties representing usual errors necessary for the process of decision making. While demand estimation is crucial for the efficiency of operations, detecting influencing factors and collecting relevant data is another challenging realm. Although several international organizations such as CARE, UN and INFORMS collect data on relevant subjects, they each use separate categorizations, indexing, or more importantly lack consistency and availability throughout the years, countries and categories. Merging available information, identifying significant factors, mapping data into usable format, and ensuring that factors considered are not redundant is a subset of the issues faced in the former stages of demand estimation in humanitarian sector. 

Today, available historic information help choosing the best statistical and computational predictive models for demand estimation and scenario planning. The goal of the workshop is to bring together various stake holders from academia, humanitarian agencies, and research organizations to discuss the state of the art in demand estimation and existing challenges.

Developing Private Sector Capacity to Improve Public Health Outcomes

This workshop will include 3 sub-workshops; Unjani Clinics, Youth Employment Model, and Lulama.The first workshop, Unjani Clinics: Empowering Nurses to bring Healthcare to the Community, will cover areas such as how to work with the government sector to achieve health targets, use the private sector supply chain to maximize access to affordable medicines, meet the needs of patients, and create sustainable businesses with a social focus.

The second workshop, Youth Employment Model: Developing Human Resources through Practical Education of the Youth, targets employment opportunities for health logisticians across Africa, and the opportunity to develop young people in Supply Chain Management (SCM). The aim of this discussion is to present the possible evolution of the South African model into the rest of Africa, and to demonstrate the impact of future supply chain experts to improve both public and private supply chain expertise in all participating countries

The third workshop, Lulama: Community Pharmacy Development: Increasing Community Access to Quality, Affordable Medicines by Supporting Independent Pharmacies, focuses on the Lulama Pilot Project, a cross-functional collaboration of multinational companies, which aims to address the many constraints facing Independent Pharmacists by providing an integrated and scalable solution. 

Food aid supply chain cost effectiveness: a discussion of frameworks and models (Part I)

As humanitarian and development projects struggle to reach all populations in need of food aid assistance, maximizing food aid supply chain cost effectiveness has become an ever more salient issue. Economic decision-making around food aid policy and programming requires sound evidence in food aid commodities’ cost and cost-effectiveness. This goes beyond price per ton of food provided to understanding the total cost of an effective intervention in relation to defined outcomes among food aid beneficiaries. Two important issues need to be addressed: i) how to fill significant evidence and data gaps; and ii) what tools and frameworks could be used to improve prescriptive modeling.

The workshop seeks to address these issues by offering an introduction to several food aid supply chain cost effectiveness frameworks currently used by development and humanitarian organization decision makers at different levels. It will also feature an interactive discussion with session participants on how to address current information gaps and overcome barriers to implementing these tools and frameworks. By the end of the session, attendees will have a better understanding of (1) which sources of information could generate more timely and complete information on costs along the entire value chain; (2) how decision-makers make choices relating to food aid supply chain management;  (3) what is needed to make supply chain cost effectiveness frameworks, tools, and models more predictive; and (4) the steps that humanitarian and development programmers and policy makers can take to implement and improve these frameworks and tools in their own work.

Food aid supply chain cost effectiveness: a discussion of learning, adaptation, and capacity building (Part II)

As humanitarian and development projects struggle to reach all populations in need of food aid assistance, maximizing food aid supply chain cost effectiveness has become an ever more salient issue. Improvements in cost effectiveness through ongoing innovation rely on a process of learning from operational efforts, adaptation of strategies, and capacity building for sustainability.

The workshop presents case studies to stimulate discussion around learning, adaptation, and capacity building. WFP Ethiopia will share experiences from years of collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia on the Food Management Improvement Project (FMIP) and plans for the new Supply Chain Capacity Building Project aimed to reduce port congestion, centralise procurement, integrate railway transport, develop systems for road transport efficiency and safety, and improve coordination and emergency preparedness. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will share experiences in learning and adapting based on two research projects involving food packaging: with smallholder farmers in Uganda and in international supply chains from the United States to ports in Africa. Finally, World Vision International will share experiences learning and adapting in deployment of information systems. Participants are invited to share their own experiences in collectively improving our ability to learn, adapt, and build capacity.

Harnessing Capacity and Talent for Innovative Solutions and Research Through Academic Partnerships

Over the last decade significant investments have been made to change the nexus of addressing capacity building for supply chain system strengthening. These capacity-building strategies have focused on harnessing regional talent, increasing private sector engagement, building academic partnerships with the aim to increase long-term pipeline of supply chain talent.

The panel members will discuss the preliminary success, challenges and lessons learned in building connections and collaborations across academia to achieve a large-scale transformation of supply chain systems both in the public and private sectors. Based on their experiences of building academic partnerships, the panelists will outline the challenges of building a talent pool and the feasibility and sustainability of these partnerships in the longer-term. This workshop will provide an opportunity to have an in-depth discussion on the social and economic factors required to build supply chain talent through academic partnerships.

Integration of (Parallel) Supply Chain Management for Nutrition Products

In early 2015, UNICEF commissioned a multi-country review of supply chain management (SCM) for nutrition products. The main objective was to inform broader policy and strategic guidance for nutrition supply chain integration. The review consolidated key findings from individual studies conducted in nine countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Interviews with (inter)national stakeholders, literature review and an e-survey were conducted to supplement the findings from the country studies.This workshop will focus on key findings from the Consolidated Nutrition SCM review (UNICEF October 2015), the mobilization of partner consensus around key principles for nutrition supply chain integration (Copenhagen, UNICEF June 2016), GHSCS (Dar es Salaam, October 2016) and FFP funded Nutrition Deep Dive meetings (Nairobi, May 2017), and discussion around emergency response approaches versus long term resilience / system strengthening building. The aim of the workshop is for UNICEF team to present the above followed by panel discussion with country representatives who will be present at the conference.

Preparedness for Future Health Emergencies

Discussion about ongoing initiatives/projects and tools, and potential collaborations.

Private Sector Engagement in Health and Humanitarian Supply Chains

Increasingly public health and humanitarian operations engage private sector actors to strengthen supply chains for essential goods. Numerous presentations at the conference have highlighted specific experiences with private sector engagement. This session welcomes all conference participants for an open discussion of these and related experiences with an aim to identify better ways to leverage private supply chain capacity.

Reaching the Last Mile – Strategies and Experiences from the Front Line

Over the past decade, PFSCM has supported global donors (USAID, the Global Fund) and Ministries of Health to solve a variety of supply chain challenges – the goal being to ensure that critical health products reach the patients who need them. Of all the facets that this challenge has presented, solving the last mile has been, and continues to be, the greatest one. Developing the capacity of local private-sector service providers has enabled improved supply chain performance, and deployment of much needed infrastructure at the last mile has contributed to improved access to health products. Topics to be explored include; (1) improving the performance of local private-sector actors to support public health requirements, (2) providing compliant pharmaceutical storage capacity at the last mile, increasing patient access, and (3) leveraging private-sector warehousing capacity to meet public health program storage needs.

The Power of Collaboration: Linking Countries, Procurers, and Manufacturers for Improved Family Planning Product Availability

This workshop will highlight how increased coordination to support availability and use of country-level supply data at the global level can facilitate improved access to family planning (FP) products, including accelerating market introduction of new and under-used products. 

Coordination of procurement at the global level requires improved visibility and timely sharing of critical country data, including stock levels, consumption trends, demand forecasts, supply plans, and funding from countries, donors, partners, and suppliers. The Coordinated Supply Planning (CSP) group is a cross-organizational forum that uses shared processes and tools as a common source for country-specific supply data, allowing donors to make decisions during the planning process to better distribute limited resources and avoid stockouts and overstocks. This group has been instrumental in supporting the widespread availability of contraceptive implants as a FP option for women around the globe, and is recognized by donors as an effective forum to reach shared goals around improved efficiency and continuous FP product availability. CSP is part of a continuum of support provided to countries at the global level, and complements the work done by the Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs) group to address emergency country needs.

This session will highlight key elements contributing to the success of the CSP group, its critical support to scale up access to new FP products (such as subcutaneous DMPA), and the future of this group as part of the broader Global Visibility Analytics Network initiative. The workshop will engage workshop participants to learn from this model and consider how it may be applied to other programmatic areas for global health. 

The Psychosocial Impact of Sport Development and Role of Offline Mobile Data Collection Tools in Conflict Areas

Ongoing war and conflicts have displaced many people around the world, and over half of those refugees are children. Those who make it to host communities still face steep challenges, including social isolation, ongoing trauma from conflict and displacement, discrimination, and complete disruption of educational and professional opportunities. Meeting vast humanitarian needs in this complex environment requires innovative approaches. Within these conflict zones, psychosocial tools such as music, movement, and sports development have emerged as a key tool for creating safe spaces for refugee children and youth to recover from the traumas of war, build social cohesion, and create transformational changes within their own communities.

This workshop will discuss the dual use of sports development and offline mobile data collection tools in low-resource humanitarian settings, particularly in the context of the Syrian refugee crisis. It will highlight how sports development, specifically the unique Afro-Brazilian art form of capoeira, is being used to improve the mental and physical health of conflict impacted children. Our discussions will consider how the utilization of offline mobile data collection tools can help small-scale NGOs combat cost and infrastructure challenges to promote effective and dynamic monitoring and evaluation of projects. Finally, our audience will get a real, hands-on simulation on data collection in the field.

Transforming Vaccines Supply Chains

This workshop will cover topics from three papers submitted as part of the Special Issue of Vaccine: Building Next Generation Immunization Supply Chains, Guest Edited by Lee, Schreiber and Rao. The first paper will be on Transforming Vaccines Supply Chains in Nigeria and will be presented by David Sarley. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and in 2012 was suffering some of the lowest vaccination rates in the World. A combination of factors had resulted in a dysfunctional immunization cold chain and supply chain. The second paper will be presented by Celina Hanson from UNICEF titled “Is Freezing in the Cold Chain an ongoing issue? a literature review. The third paper is “Root cause analysis underscores the importance of understanding, addressing and communicating cold chain equipment failures to improve equipment performance.” will be presented by Nithiya Ramanathan.

*Organizer's note: This "workshop" is a series of 3 contiguous oral presentations in the same room and block session.

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About the Conference Series

The Health & Humanitarian Conference series is organized each year by the Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS) at Georgia Tech in partnership with INSEAD, MIT, and Northeastern University, with generous support from corporate and other organizational sponsors.

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