PtD and Johnson & Johnson maximise public-private partnerships to strengthen supply-chain leaders from Ghana and Kenya

Two health supply chain (SC) managers from low- and middle-income countries have just graduated from Johnson & Johnson’s STAR leadership development program.

People that Deliver (PtD) and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Supply Chain together devised the initiative to offer the program to professionals from low- and middle-income countries. It was the first time supply chain professionals from outside J&J were eligible to participate in the program, which is aimed at bolstering the health SC workforce.

Having made it through a competitive application process Douglas Omboga Onyancha and Claudette Ahliba Diogo, who work for government entities in Kenya and Ghana respectively, joined 20 J&J SC employees, all of whom are considered to have the potential to transform health SCs.

According to Jo Tierens, senior director, global public health supply chain, Janssen Supply Chain, the contribution of Douglas and Claudette was a textbook example of how to strengthen collaboration between the public and the private sectors: “This program was not only to strengthen them [Douglas and Claudette] as supply chain leaders but also to infuse the class with what global public health is about.”

The program, which adopts multiple learning techniques, including in-person residencies, is designed to equip the participants with the tools to lead the transformation of their supply chain environments with a focus on supporting the wellbeing of others. The program also includes an action learning project that tackles real SC problems.

Speaking during the group’s final project presentation Douglas said, “I have learnt about design thinking and innovation with a customer focus. This coupled with teamwork and diversity has made me a better leader.

“The program is solutions driven in the sense that we're looking at solving problems that affect the population. It’s a very good initiative and I believe that J&J can leverage this to transfer both knowledge and skills to countries on the African continent.”

Claudette also highlighted the benefits of the program.

“I'll be able to strengthen capacity among other supply chain mangers across the health system from the national through to the regional and down to the facility level.

“From the learnings of the sub programs we have realised it’s not just about having solutions for everyone; tailor-made solutions are the best: those where you try to identify the problem. When the public and private sector meet, a strategic fusion of solutions is achieved.”

Douglas and Claudette rounded off the program with an in-person residency from 13-17 June in Antwerp.

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