Registered attendees can visit the BREAKOUT SESSION page to access the recordings of each session and related materials For information on the submissions process, please visit the Call for Presentations page.

Recordings made public to visitors can be accessed here:

Actualizing data use for more agile health supply chains needed in pandemics like COVID-19

In this interactive workshop, public health supply chain experts from government and NGOs will explore approaches to instill, sustain and scale data use for health supply chains (SC) to be more agile in pandemics like COVID-19. This session will include an overview of tools and frameworks that are not only critical for routine supply chain operations; but can also help countries mount appropriate, timely, and data-informed responses during pandemics. Participants will be able to interact with the SC data use team self assessment tool and hear on experience with Data-use teams (IMPACT Teams) in Tanzania.

Drug shortage: causes and interventions, pre- and post-COVID

Ensuring availability of essential medicines has for long been a challenge in low-income countries (LICs) and medium-income countries (MICs). Since several years, however, high-income countries have also been facing an “epidemic of drug shortages”, which appear to the result of a combination of worrying global trends. Governments are considering a wide range of measures to address this problem, but evidence is lacking about “what works” and what is the cost. Extant literature on medicine and vaccine supply chains has failed to conceptualize and model them as systems that must adapt from stable situations to crises and back to stability again. Existing models tend to exclude patients, treating demand as exogenous, and not accounting for market behavior. There is limited understanding of private-public-partnerships, procurement and contracting, and regulation for improving supply security. Based on this MIA (Measures for Improved Availability of Medicines and Vaccines) funded by the Research Council of Norway 2020-2024, was established. MIA is a collaborative project with universities in Europe and Ethiopia with the purpose to help key stakeholders make evidence-based decisions that sustainably reduce shortages ensuring future health and care services. Among others, MIA planned to simulate an epidemic to evaluate the effect of various interventions. Then came COVID-19. Will the pandemic be yet another reminder of the problems in health supply chains, will it be a wake-up call, or will it create too much focus on preparing for the next pandemic, rather than fixing the root-causes of the problem?  We invite you to a workshop to discuss these issues. 

Skills building workshop: Know your data for emergency cold chain planning, for Covid-19 and beyond.

In this workshop, the audience will gain the skills to read cold chain monitoring data. The participants will work in teams to discuss different case studies and how data can inform cold chain management decision making. The first exercise will allow the participants to learn how to read temperature monitoring data of cold chain equipment. In the second exercise, the teams will be given different Covid-19 cold chain planning scenarios. The aim is to get the teams to understand the logistical challenges of cold chain planning, and how data can play a role in scenario planning for emergency vaccine distribution. 

Supporting States and Cities in the US respond to Covid-19 Supply Chain Issues

The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in unique supply challenges. Uncertainty in demand and supply, budget constraints, and evolution in the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) required, have all happened while economies have been locked down and trade disrupted. Managers in the public and private sector have equally been affected by these challenges. In the USA, we have seen the emergence of innovative partnerships and development of novel solutions. This workshop will present the work of four groups who started independently but have increasingly coordinated to develop open source decision making tools to help states, cities and communities protect their health and their livelihoods. Restart Partners, a new NGO start up mobilizing volunteers, the Mitre Corporation through their leadership with the Covid-19 Healthcare Coalition, the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John Snow Inc and the International Association of Public Health Logisticians will present and share some of the models they have developed to support supply chain managers in the USA and internationally cope in the pandemic. These include increasingly complex PPE calculators that connect the epidemiological curve with health care capacity and staffing numbers to more complex stochastic modeling of demand and supplier uncertainty to pipeline planning based on different assumptions around supplier fulfillment.The workshop will include short presentations from the four organizations, followed by Q&A and polling of participants on how they are calculating demand, and their interest and willingness to volunteer to support their local jurisdictions access the available models

Universal Logistics Standards (ULS): Supporting Health and Humanitarian Logistics actors to incorporate a quality approach

The Universal Logistics Standards (ULS) are intended to be a key resource for local humanitarian actors and for the collaboration between all actors involved in the humanitarian response. The ULS project is developed and overseen via a collaborative process with professionals and organisations covering a wide range of supply chain and logistics fields and cross-cutting topics. It augments previous initiatives in the sector such as the Sphere handbook and the Parcel project among others. The session aims at providing an understanding of the value of developing universally agreed high-level principles and compile associated standards for humanitarian transport and logistics. It also bring the opportunity to engage in the Universal Logistics Standards project consultation process.

Utilizing Role Based Policies And Equipment To Protect Supply Chain Essential Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on essential workers – and the need to provide for their protection - extends beyond healthcare to all supply chains and all supply chain workers. This workshop will explore in additional detail the similarities and differences of providing appropriate protective gear based on workers’ roles in the supply chain. Also discussed will be the additional burden on organizations to create plans for what are now critical resources needed to keep their supply chains moving. The workshop will utilize examples from the United States, which have applicability across a range of geographies, to stimulate discussion about how to develop effective guidelines and policies for safety across the supply chain.

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About the Conference Series

The Health & Humanitarian Conference series is organized each year by the Center for Health and 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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