Cold chain equipment management - technical resources

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A fully functional cold chain system must be available in country to ensure the uninterrupted availability of quality vaccines to service-delivery levels. Cold chain equipment is therefore of paramount importance, and require rigorous management at all levels. Resulting from thorough collaboration between technical assistance providers, this package of technical resources has been designed to ensure that in-country cold chain equipment managers and technicians, as well as anyone who will be involved or is interested in immunization supply chain, have access to concise yet precise information and guidance on key steps of the cold chain equipment management process. The package can also be used to develop the documentation needed to develop application to funding mechanisms to finance cold chain equipment needs, such as Gavi's Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform.

The resources in this package have been developed primarily to be used by country logisticians, Ministries of Health, district managers, and even frontline health facility employees; as well as civil society organizations, technical assistance providers and third party consultants supporting countries in the development of their cold chain equipment capabilities. For each of the CCE management steps outlined below, a set of guides, tools, and templates to enable the user to develop CCE management capabilities, in an intuitive and user-friendly way. Please browse through the documents available to find the key information needed to enhance your CCE management knowledge and capacity.


Inventory and facility segmentation

The documents made available below will allow users to conduct a successful CCE inventory, as well as establishing facility segmentation to identify the multiple technology options for both on-grid and off-grid facilities.

Cold chain equipment inventory data collection templates

In order to faciliate the data collection for inventory and facilities data collection templates and corresponding guides have been developed that can be adopted to country specific contexts. In addition, to facilitate the interoperability of data systems standardized data field definitions are provided.


In order to support the data collectors in the field to identify the equipment an equipment identification guide has been developed that has pictures of fridges and names the brand, model and PQS number.

How to establish a cold chain equipment inventory

The objectives of this guide are to:

  • Define the purpose of a cold chain equipment inventory data
  • Discuss how to prepare, plan, and budget for an accurate equipment inventory
  • Introduce inventory data standards, tools, and data collection templates
  • Introduce references to WHO/UNICEF resources on cold chain equipment standards
  • Discuss the use of data for decision-making and action

Link: This document will be available shortly.

Specifications for end-to-end CCE capacity planning and forecasting tool

This document provides technical specifications for an end-to-end excel based cold chain equipment planning tool that can guide experts that may want to develop a cold chain equipment inventory tool



Rehabilitation and expansion planning

These documents will help the user in developing a cold chain rehabilitation and expansion plan, which takes into account a coverage plan and capacity analysis, and determine the needs of countries to develop and/or restore their storage and outreach capacity, in terms of units planned for rehabilitation, replacement and equipment of new facilities.

How to develop cold chain rehabilitation and expansion plans

This guide has been specifically designed to:

  • Describe the purpose of a multiyear cold chain capacity rehabilitation and expansion plan
  • Introduce the overall process of developing a multiyear cold chain rehabilitation and expansion plan
  • Provide references to WHO/UNICEF resources to help planners estimate vaccine volumes and cold chain capacity
  • Demonstrate how to calculate a cold chain capacity gap
  • Describe a facility segmentation approach to support equipment planning
  • Introduce the requirements and format of Gavi CCE Optimization Platform applications

Link: This document will be available shortly.

WHO VMH Module: How to calculate vaccine volumes and cold chain capacity

The objectives of this module are to demonstrate how to:

  • estimate the volume per dose of vaccines provided by the immunization programme
  • estimate an annual vaccine volume and a maximum vaccine storage volume per supply interval for each vaccine
  • estimate the available vaccine storage capacity of cold chain equipment
  • evaluate whether the available cold chain capacity at a facility satisfies the maximum vaccine volume requirements
  • estimate transport and dry storage capacity requirements
  • identify potential solutions that can help address current and future cold chain capacity gaps

Link: This document will be available shortly.


Equipment selection and deployment

The documents below will guide the user in defining the quantity, type, capacity, and model of equipment to be purchased, a clear description of batching and sequencing for purchasing and installation, and the type of procurement channel (e.g., self-procurement, UNICEF SD).

Cold chain equipment Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) tool

This tool is designed to help users understand the costs of purchasing and maintaining CCE over time. The tool allows country-specific customization for modeling capital and operating expenses of World Health Organization Performance, Quality and Safety prequalified equipment via interactive worksheets.


WHO PQS Catalogue

The PQS Devices Catalogue includes details of all immunization-related products currently pre-qualified by WHO for procurement by United Nations agencies. The PQS Devices Catalogue website provides data sheets for all currently prequalified products. Users may also download a device catalogue in PDF format that includes a complete range of currently prequalified products and comprehensive guidance notes to help purchasers make informed choices. This catalogue is updated whenever a change occurs with regards to a product, a manufacture or a laboratory. The catalogue is produced and maintained by the Quality, Safety and Standards group in the Immunization, Vaccine and Biologicals Department of WHO, Geneva.


Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform - Technology Guide

This guide provides clear advice and a structured approach to CCE purchasing decisions. It will you help identify which devices comply with the requirements of the Gavi Cold Chain Equipment Optimization Platform, and choose the cold chain solutions that match the needs of your country’s health facilities. Intended for use in health facilities and lower levels of the cold chain.


Cold Chain Equipment Support Package

The Cold Chain Support Package (CCSP) provides commercial and technical information to enable an efficient and effective procurement process for Cold Chain products and services - thus contributing to the success of immunization programmes.


"Essential elements of cold chain equipment deployment: top 10 things to know"

(Note: usually referred to as Deployment guide to assist countries in planning key elements.) As the deployment of newly procured cold chain equipment requires careful planning and coordination to avoid unnecessary delays or damage to devices, this guide aims at provide an overview of key actions and considerations that should be taken into account by government officials and other stakeholders to ensure an effective deployment. It is designed to:

  • help in-country logisticians adequate plan for timely, safe deployment of cold chain equipment (e.g. movement of equipment from port of entry to final sites, site readiness)
  • identify and avoid risks or common errors in deployment and deployment planning

Link: This document will be available shortly.



The documents below will help defining the cold chain equipment maintenance plan based on an overall maintenance strategy and structure, and the needs for both corrective and preventative maintenance.

Guidance on developing a national maintenance policy statement

e.g., put into EVM, national budget line

Link: This document will be available shortly.

1-pagers for key maintenance tasks across devices

Those one-pagers have been specially developed to allow in-country cold chain technicians to get at a glance a summary of key maintenance tasks across the various types of cold chain equipment they are handling.


Standards for manufacturer training materials and manuals for users and technicians

Based on an analysis of existing manuals this document provides manufacturers with some insights on how to best structure their training material and manuals for users, by describing how to structure key content elements that should be featured such as model specification, installation and operation and maintenance needed.


WHO VMH Module: How to develop a repair and maintenance system for cold chain equipment

The specific objectives of this module are to:

  • introduce equiment maintenance and repair system terminology and service models
  • describe the benefits of equipment maintenance and repair systems
  • highlight the policy, human, financial, and material resources requirements of good maintenance and repair systems
  • reinforce the essential implementation and managment commitments needed to run effective maintenance and repair systems;
  • recommend the essential content of equipment maintenance and repair plans

Link: This document will be available shortly.