Strategic Training Executive Programme (STEP 2.0)

Professional development for health supply chain managers

What is STEP 2.0?

The jointly coordinated STEP programme, also known as STEP 2.0, is a professional development tool specifically tailored to the needs of health supply chain leaders and managers. Crucially, it blends elements of self-paced learning, facilitator-led training, on-the-job application of leadership skills and coaching support. What makes it particularly unique is that it pairs public sector supply chain managers – the delegates – with private sector supply experts – the coaches.

Who is behind STEP 2.0?

Managed by People that Deliver (PtD) – a global coalition hosted by UNICEF Supply Division – STEP 2.0 is jointly offered by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

By uniting to offer STEP 2.0, Gavi, the Global Fund and USAID will increase supply chain efficiency and improve health outcomes for many in lower- and middle-income countries struggling to access medicines or other health commodities.

PtD is working closely with donors, implementing partners and other key stakeholders to oversee and coordinate the rollout of the STEP 2.0 program.

Where did STEP 2.0 come from?

STEP 2.0 builds on Gavi’s original model, developed in 2015, which enhances the management capacity of immunisation supply chains through a structured training programme. In fact, STEP 2.0 leverages the technical strengths of each organisation’s supply chain leadership programs, including USAID's Lead Lab Initiative and the Transformational Leadership Program (a change management programme for supply chain executives).

What is the challenge?

Health supply chain leaders and managers play a pivotal role in ensuring the availability of critical vaccines and health commodities but all too often these managers and workers lack the appropriate skills and training. The human resource training prevalent in low- and middle-income countries tends to emphasise technical and operational-level competencies (hard skills) over strategic competencies (soft skills). As a result, health supply chains are often limited in their ability to meet existing demands. This jeopardises the health of individuals, the health goals of countries and the major investments in health supplies made by governments and partners.

What is the solution?

A well-performing health system relies on well-trained and motivated health workers. The health supply chain worker is often overlooked, but it is precisely this worker that is responsible for ensuring that health commodities reach patients.

This is where STEP 2.0 comes in. STEP 2.0 combines traditional learning with on-the-job training to give health supply chain managers guidance in people management, problem-solving, communication, project management and professional development competencies. It is these kinds of skills that could hold the key to many health supply chains reaching their potential and becoming well-oiled machines.

Who is STEP 2.0 for?

STEP 2.0 has been designed for health supply chain managers and leaders, many of whom face the same challenges, including the need to mobilise supply chain staff and the need to lead during times of uncertainty or ambiguity. STEP 2.0 provides an opportunity for delegates to connect, lead and learn from other public and private practitioners.

How to take part in STEP 2.0

STEP 2.0 is led by organisations. This means that if you wish to become a STEP 2.0 delegate, funding must first be granted by your organisation. As the hub for STEP 2.0, PtD provides support to organisations wishing to implement STEP, but the programme itself is not implemented by us. Once you have secured funding we can help you plan it.

There are two common routes to becoming a STEP 2.0 delegate:

  1. Individuals receive funding from their organisation and, assisted by PtD, are directed to a programme near them.
  2. Groups of individuals or organisations receive funding and PtD supports them to find a provider for STEP 2.0. In this case, STEP 2.0 comes to them.

Become a STEP coach

We are actively seeking STEP 2.0 coaches from the private sector who are looking for the opportunity to hone their leadership skills and contribute to their company’s corporate social responsibility mission.

STEP 2.0 coaches participate in every aspect of the programme. They coach a team of five STEP participants for a period of four to six months providing in-person and remote support as delegates work through their transformation challenge. Coaching provides opportunities for peer networking and to build public/private trust. Coaches have a lasting impact that serves to strengthen local health supply chain systems and equips them to handle the challenges of tomorrow.

STEP 2.0 coaches are supply chain professionals who have a strong willingness to share their skills, knowledge and expertise and are capable of motivating others by setting a good example. Coaches take a personal interest in the mentoring relationship and are able to develop rapport and a trusting and supportive environment. They exhibit continued enthusiasm, provide constructive feedback and are able to share pleasure in success and empathy in failure.