On day 4 of the TechNet Conference, I facilitated a roundtable discussion on what it takes to generate political will for supply chain improvements. At each table, participants shared their experiences generating political will and discussed in detail what it took to achieve meaningful change.
Below are their observations, grouped into like categories. I am sharing this to remind TechNet subscribers of all the ways in which they can influence political will for supply chain improvements.
I also encourage subscribers to share experiences of communicating the importance of supply chain to non-technical decision makers within the Ministry of Health, Finance, Planning, or other. How have you been successful? How have you been unsuccessful? What can we learn from these experiences?
Seek global buy-in and funding for the issue
Global buy-in and funding can be critical for implementing something in a country
Collect local evidence and credible indicators of problem
Create new evidence to “change the story” about the issue
Bring in different content experts to validate and contribute to the evidence so its not just one-sided
Keep the momentum going (advocacy is a long process)
Find ways to amplify the evidence and have many different people sharing it
This process takes a lot of time. To maintain the focus, share small milestones and “wins” along the way. Give frequent updates on progress.
Document government and partner commitments so you can hold them accountable later.
Cultivate champions and key influencers--speak their language
Transform leaders from forces of resistance to the heros—show them the difference they can make and give them credit
Map key influencers at MOH and understand who influences the influencers.
Learn what interests your key influencers, what their priorities are, what their background is, and what skills they have
Speak their language—translate your message into something they care about, consider their point of view
Be ready to educate and sensitize people to your issue and explain it in a way that makes sense to them.
Seek perspectives from ALL parties affected by an intervention (e.g., district managers, health workers, patients) to anticipate and address confusion and possible resistance.
Seek government ownership even if it takes longer
Cultivate 1:1 relationships. A lot of political support must be cultivated this way.
Be clear and specific about the changes you want to see
Be aware of context
Understand the decision-making system, when are decisions made (e.g., what time of year are budgets decided), what committees and individuals are in charge of making decisions, who they report to and when they meet.
Target the right person and at the right time
Look for ways to lead in collaboration. Focus people on solving a problem together to get stronger buy-in and leadership.
Please add to this thread to describe any insights that I did not capture, but you felt were important. Thanks!