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Advocacy and governance

Governance structure example: logistics working groups

In this example you will learn:

  • Why logistics working groups are helpful in multi-stakeholder governance
  • A step-by-step approach to setting up a logistic working group

What is a logistics working group?

Logistics working groups are multi-stakeholder governance structures that provide a central platform for communication and visibility, decision-making, and accountability to improve the effectiveness of outsourcing initiatives in the public health supply chain. In the typical governance structures for outsourcing, logistics working groups fall under supply chain coordination groups. They coordinate investments made by government agencies and development partners, share information and evidence, identify and overcome bottlenecks, and make optimal use of resources as the outsourcing initiative progresses. Multiple stakeholders relevant to the outsourcing initiative are able to receive and process consistent information, communicate with ease, and make decisions jointly through the logistics working group. Logistics working groups have proven successful in the expanded programme on immunisation (EPI) – vaccine supply chain – especially in Nigeria, DRC, Benin and Ethiopia, with assistance from UNICEF.

Logistics working groups promote consistent sharing and revision of information, communication among stakeholders and making joint decisions. Establishing logistics working groups requires terms of reference including membership, roles and responsibilities.

A common step-by-step approach to logistics working groups is described below:

Step 1: Set up logistics working group

Set up a logistics working group for an outsourcing initiative according to the need identified in the outsourcing strategy document (e.g. communication and project progress).

Step 2: Develop a work plan

Develop a workplan for the logistics working group including activities to achieve (e.g. hold progress meetings for the outsourcing initiative) and a timeline or frequency in which to achieve them (e.g. monthly progress meetings for the period of one year).

Step 3: Outline the members

Outline the members for the logistics working group with the expertise needed to achieve the workplan. Include members from a central medical store, relevant government departments (central/provincial/local), private sector partners, development partners, technical assistants, implementing partners and other organisations.

Step 4: Roles and responsibilities

Allocate members’ roles and nominate a logistics working group member lead. Ensure any commitment members are asked to make is reasonable and manageable. Ensure members clearly understand the commitment, time, and special actions required of them.

Step 5: Terms of reference document

Publish the workplan and membership roles and responsibilities in terms of reference document as a formal written reference document for the logistics working group’s role, scope and function. This terms of reference document will be received by the outsourcing initiative's high-level steering committee.

Step 6: Begin and end

The logistics working group’s action begins and ends when the outsourcing initiative begins and ends respectively.