Addressing Public Health Procurement Bottlenecks: Lessons from the Field. (July 2013, USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, Task Order 4)
(2013; 4 pages)


Effective procurement is a critical component of a strong supply chain. Bottlenecks in the procurement process can result in supply chain failures, such as stockouts and shortages of essential commodities. However, successful approaches have been applied by practitioners to address short-term and long-term problems that create bottlenecks in the procurement process.

This brief is intended for public health practitioners and other concerned parties who may be impacted by bottlenecks in the first mile of public health medicine supply chains. Drawn from a collection of 14 short case studies from various developing countries, this brief summarizes key elements of successful strategies that practitioners have used to address such issues, and synthesizes lessons learned that may help those in other countries solve their own first-mile procurement bottlenecks.

Common first-mile procurement bottlenecks result from issues and activities that occur both inside and outside the purchasing office’s control. This situation points to the importance of considering the people, issues, and factors outside of the procurement office when diagnosing bottlenecks in the procurement cycle, as well as the technical capacity, staffing levels, and management in the procurement office itself.

The case studies revealed that simple and short-term solutions are often the most feasible for procurement practitioners to use to address immediate problems. Long-term undertakings, such as reform and restructuring, require high-level government commitment.

The full report, Addressing Procurement Bottlenecks: A Review of Procurement Bottlenecks in Public Sector Medicine Supply Chains and Practical Approaches Taken to Resolve Them, which includes the case studies, can be found on the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT website here:

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