In October 2016, Barbara Lamphere, Gregory Roche, Harrison Mariki, and Wambui Waithaka supported a quantification training of reproductive health (RH) commodity security advisors from Eastern and Southern Africa country offices in Johannesburg, South Africa. This was one of the two trainings that JSI conducted for UNFPA country pr
ogram officers; the other training was conducted in Dakar, Senegal for French speaking countries.
The main goal of the five day workshop was to build the participants’ capacity on quantification and supply chain strengthening processes so that they in turn can fully support their government counterparts in ensuring commodity security in their countries. The sessions covered topics such as logistics review, forecasting methodologies, and how to reconcile the various forecasts to come up with final estimated requirements. There were also sessions on supply planning, pipeline monitoring, documentation and presentation of quantification results, and how to fill in the gaps. Lastly, the participants were taken through the various global coordination mechanisms regarding RH commodity security and supply chain strengthening approaches and innovations from around the world.
The workshop was interactive with minimal lecturettes and the majority of time was spent doing small group work and plenary discussion. This methodology enabled participants to learn from each other on successes and challenges and pick best practices that they could implement in their own countries. There were 23 participants in total; 21 from country offices and 2 from the East and Southern Africa Regional Office.
The overall feedback from participants was positive. Most felt that the training was timely and they are now ready to offer support to their own country quantifications going forward. They also appreciated a chance to get to know their other colleagues and learn from them.
“This was a very good learning process for RHCS managers as it has provided more insight as to how we can better support government and partners in quantification and strengthening supply chain” – one participant
“The workshop was very fruitful and I suggest for it to be done periodically. It has added much value to my experience and hope that it will have a multiplying effect when I share with my colleagues back home” – one participant
As a facilitator, I also learned tremendously from this workshop; from the preparation phase on planning the workshop, studying the curriculum in preparation to facilitate, and also during the training itself. I gained practical knowledge on how to facilitate sessions and discussions, how to communicate effectively, and made new friends and colleagues in the whole process!
UNFPA was pleased with the quantification workshop overall and this may lead to future support and collaborations with JSI.