What makes the programme unique is that it pairs public sector health supply chain managers with private sector experts who provide training in the non-technical (soft) leadership, skills and competencies needed to enable supply chain managers to better fulfil their roles.
According to Dominique Zwinkels, PtD Executive Manager, “PtD brought together the donor agencies in 2019 to better understand the scope of their respective supply chain leadership training programmes and discuss the potential for collaboration and coordination and we are thrilled to now be playing an integral role in taking the STEP 2.0 programme further.”
A tool to increase supply chain efficiency and improve health outcomes
The STEP 2.0 programme is specifically tailored to the needs of health supply chain leaders and managers, blending elements of self-paced learning, facilitator-led training, on-the-job application of leadership skills and coaching support, over a period of four to six months.
Leadership skills are critical to supply chain management, yet often the leaders and managers of public health supply chains in low- and middle-income countries are not supported to develop these and other soft skills.
Multiple donors, including USAID, through its Transformational leadership for change management program, GAVI, through the original STEP programme, and the Global Fund, have developed approaches to bridge this gap. However, to-date, these efforts have only been minimally coordinated.
STEP 2.0, though, not only draws on the strengths of each of the partners’ existing programmes, but now the increased coordination added by PtD will see STEP 2.0 offered to more supply chain managers in more countries. This will help strengthen in-country supply chain systems and ensure lifesaving health products are delivered where they are most needed.
As Kevin Etter, private sector engagement consultant with Gavi, explained, “The success of the first STEP programme has increased the demand for course offerings and led to the development of the updated programme, which reflects the need for supply chain executives to share their experiences with the private sector and have the skills to transform supply chain systems.”
What is PtD’s role?
As the coordination hub, PtD will be responsible for donor coordination, oversight of the STEP 2.0 programme, monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge and content management. PtD will also support the institutionalisation and accreditation of STEP 2.0 into national and regional training institutions and universities to ensure the continuity of the programme.
PtD will ensure the coordinated delivery of the programme and will provide oversight of the different donor-funded STEP 2.0 training courses by tracking programme implementation and ensuring that subcontracted training partners adhere to program standards. As part of this, PtD will manage a common pool of facilitators, implementing partners and private sector coaches who can contribute to future STEP 2.0 offerings.
Additionally, PtD will undertake monitoring and evaluation activities to adapt and refine the STEP 2.0 approach, which will include evaluating the impact of the programme on supply chains and supply chain organisations, and a mechanism for documenting participant progress.
“By strengthening heath supply chains, STEP 2.0 can really make a difference to the health outcomes of many in low- and middle-income countries,” said Dr Lloyd Matowe, Chair of the PtD coalition.
“And now, with PtD ensuring the coordinated delivery of the programme there is every chance that STEP 2.0 will be rolled out to more and more health professionals in more and more countries,” he added.