Over the past few decades,USAID has supported strengthening the supply chain management system in Bangladesh to ensure reproductive health commodity security. To ensure that patients receive medicines and commodities when they need them, the pharmaceutical supply chain must be both efficient and effective. While advances have been made, problems still hinder the continuous availability of reproductive health commodities.
Since the fall of 2009, the USAID-funded Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program has provided technical assistance to the Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP) and other national stakeholders to improve procurement management for reproductive health commodities, build up the existing distribution and management information systems, and increase local capacity to strengthen health systems overall. This support has resulted in the Bangladesh government streamlining their procurement, which led to the World Bank’s approval of commodities amounting to $63 million US dollars.
The DGFP’s new Supply Chain Information Portal (SCIP) received two prestigious awards at Bangladesh’s Digital Innovation Fair in July 2011.
The DGFP team stand with SCIP awards from the Digital Innovation Fair. (Photo Credit: MSH.)
The SCIP strengthens the supply chain by making web-based tools available to the Bangladesh DGFP and registered public users. For example, the Logistics Management Information System and Stock Status Report provide information on the availability of government-owned contraceptives and raise an alert regarding possible shortages or overages.
The Procurement Tracker allows government officials to track the status of the procurement process every step of the way, which helps prevent delays while also promoting transparency. The SCIP also provides information on current DGFP tenders and procurement opportunities, tender documentation, results of past tenders, a news page, and a photo gallery. The portal is unique in the government sector for its ability to allow users to manage data and create presentations using web-based dashboards.
The Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare accepted the Digital Innovation Fair award given to SCIP for the best e-governance initiative. The SCIP also won the runner-up award for national digital innovation in the e-health category, making it eligible for the World Summit Award — the global initiative to promote the world’s most innovative information technology applications.
Sixty-eight ministries, government authorities, and private organizations participated at the Digital Innovation Fair with over 100 digitally enabled projects and initiatives. The fair’s aim was to encourage government and private organizations to create innovative services and deliver them to peoples’ doorsteps.