Supply Chain Management Workforce

© 2013 Arturo Sanabria, Courtesy of PhotoshareA competent, motivated, and supported workforce is needed to ensure that medicines and other health commodities reach the people who need them. It is the supply chain workforce – pharmacists, logisticians, supply chain managers, data managers, and warehouse and transport personnel – who are tasked with ensuring the appropriate product selection, forecasting, procurement, storage, and distribution of health commodities. Key personnel such as doctors, nurses, and other clinical and administrative staff also contribute a portion of their time and function within the system to provide the appropriate medicines and commodities to improve health.

However, the supply chain workforce is not often on the health workforce radar. Under-recognized cadres such as supply chain managers face unique challenges including the absence of clearly-defined educational pathways that result in recognized credentials; lack of professional councils; under-representation in the Ministry of Health; incomplete or lack of job descriptions; limited opportunities for continuing professional development; and indistinct career paths. It is crucial that supply chain workforces be planned, financed, developed, and supported with the aim of ensuring equitable and sustainable access to life saving commodities and medicines.

This section of the Toolkit provides guidance, videos, and other informational and advocacy materials to learn more about the supply chain workforce. Here you can also find case studies, briefs, and other resources sharing various countries' experiences managing and developing the capacity of the supply chain workforce. Have a suggested resource or comment about this section of this Toolkit? Please fill out our feedback form.