A Global Partnership
The People that Deliver (PtD) Initiative was established in 2011 as a global partnership of organizations focusing on professionalization of supply chain personnel by advocating for a systematic approach to human resources (HR) for supply chain management (SCM) at the global and local level.
It is based on the global recognition that without trained professionals to manage the health supply chains, drugs and other health supplies do not reach the patients who need them.
PtD is governed by a board representing governments, international donors, multilateral agencies, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, professional associations, and private companies.
We envision a world where health supply chain workforces are empowered and equipped to optimize health outcomes by improving access to health commodities.
Promote global awareness, generate evidence-based approaches, and catalyze national capacity to plan, finance, develop, support and retain national health supply chain workforce through global partnership.
A Paradigm Shift
When the goals of PtD are achieved, the new paradigm for the supply chain workforce would be one where they have elevated status and empowerment within the health system, and access to relevant incentives and resources. In the desired paradigm, supply chain positions in health institutions are defined as such and require personnel with relevant qualifications and/or experience.
These supply chain workers have career incentives, including a career ladder within health supply chain management, that stimulate enhanced supply chain workforce performance, satisfaction and retention. Supply chain positions become attractive because of their formal status and appropriate career incentives, leading to a market of individuals who seek supply chain qualifications. National and regional institutions will provide such qualifications to meet the market demand. The national health institutions can then more easily fill their supply chain positions with qualified personnel.
Such a significant change in paradigm for how human resources for health supply chains are developed, recruited and retained will not be simple; it will require significant reform of perceptions, policies and practices regarding the supply chain workforce and a sustained effort by governments and development partners to support the development of a virtuous cycle.
However, the paradigm shift has a number of benefits which will make the effort worthwhile. The current paradigm has a short term focus: the significant expenditures made in training and technical assistance are ultimately lost from the workforce when trained personnel move to new positions. This is one explanation for the frequent observation that the health supply chain workforce does not show expected progress in overall capacity despite years or decades of training. The current paradigm is also typically dependent on donors to provide the resources for training and to fill human capacity gaps through external technical assistance.
The desired paradigm turns existing expenditures into a fruitful investment by offering incentives and career ladders that improve retention – ultimately leading to the accumulation of human capacity and providing highly experienced mentors and peers. Under the desired paradigm, the capacity to develop, recruit and retain qualified health supply chain personnel also becomes institutionalized within national institutions, reducing dependence on external donors.