Linking Human Resource Investments to the Global Health Supply Chain: Lessons from the USAID|DELIVER Project and Other USAID Investments. October 2016
(2016; 99 pages)


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)|DELIVER Project involved over 30 years of technical assistance programming, funded by USAID and implemented by John Snow, Inc. Its goal was to strengthen the public health supply chain systems of developing countries to ensure that health commodities, particularly for family planning and malaria, were available for patients.

The objective of DELIVER’s Task Order 4 (TO4), which began in 2010 and ended in 2016, was to "increase the availability of essential health supplies in public and private services through strengthened supply chains and supportive environments for commodity security", as well as improving "essential health commodity supply chains by strengthening logistics management information systems, streamlining distribution systems, identifying financial resources for procurement and supply chain operation, and enhancing forecasting and procurement planning."

As TO4 ends, USAID has deemed it timely to assess the logic and level of success of its collective investments and interventions in human resources (HR) for supply chain management (SCM) in regard to overall supply chain performance. The aim is for USAID and the development community at large to be able to not only understand successes and areas for improvement from the TO4 portfolio to date, but also to design future interventions based on an evidence base and deliberative systematic thinking.

To this end this report aims to establish a theory of change (TOC) for TO4’s HR for SCM interventions, and then to use this TOC as a basis for determining: a) how the project might be evaluated in regard to its HR for SCM performance; and b) the degree to which USAID can perform a retrospective evaluation of TO4.

In order to establish a TOC for TO4’s HR for SCM interventions this report analyzed two main sources of data: a) notes from key informant interviews conducted in spring 2015; and b) a desk review of literature from the project, as well as literature from related USAID projects.

Using this data emergent themes were categorized around the following interrelated research questions:

  1. How did USAID supply chain projects define problems in discussions about human performance in SCM?
  2. What solutions did USAID supply chain projects suggest and/or implement?
  3. What did USAID supply chain projects define as a success in HR for SCM?

The overarching objective of TO4’s HR for SCM interventions was commodities being available at service delivery points (SDPs). TO4 aimed to achieve this overarching objective through individual interventions, leading to inputs, outcomes and impacts. The levers for change, of TO4’s interventions were identified as:

  • leadership;
  • collaboration and coordination;
  • organization optimization;
  • education and competency; and
  • performance management.

Future-facing indicators and metrics presented in this report are able to help program designers, activity managers, and researchers determine patterns of impact that interventions have on supply chain impacts. As such, this paper is expected to contribute to developing measurable and evaluable interventions for USAID’s future investments in HR for SCM. In addition, this report represents the first step toward making a business case which will enable the international development community to quantify the return on investment for investing in human resource interventions for supply chain management.

El Portal de Información - Medicamentos Esenciales y Productos de Salud de la OMS fue diseñado y es mantenido por la ONG Human Info. Última actualización: le 1 diciembre 2019