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Advocacy and governance

Stakeholder expectations of the advocacy process

In this section you will learn:

  • How advocacy is developed
  • The benefits of advocacy
  • Who the key stakeholders in advocacy and governance are
  • A framework to manage stakeholder expectations

Guiding principles for developing advocacy in outsourcing

A clear and well-articulated advocacy process is necessary to onboard stakeholders along the outsourcing journey. It is recommended that this process starts at the same time as the outsourcing initiative begins. The decision to outsource a supply chain function would be made by senior decisionmakers in the public sector. The resulting advocacy process for the outsourcing initiative would be led by the public sector. The process entails the establishment of governance structures for coordination and communication to guide, oversee, and implement the outsourcing initiative.

It is advisable to engage donors in the advocacy process as they often provide operational or financial support for outsourcing initiatives in their position as a high-level partner. Donor partners are able to weigh-in with constructive feedback that gives structure and legitimacy to the outsourcing process. Additional key stakeholders may be engaged to provide inputs where necessary. For instance, civil society can provide a voice from the public.

Benefits of an advocacy process include:

  • Establishing structures for public-private coordination, engagement, and communication
  • Certifying a mutual understanding of the benefits of outsourcing across stakeholders
  • Ensuring accountability metrics are instituted and maintained
  • Creating awareness through advocacy facilitates change management during project implementation
  • Contributing to the long-term success and sustainability of outsourcing initiatives

Key stakeholders and their role

Central government/ministry of health

  • Sets guiding policy and legal frameworks relevant to outsourcing initiatives

Central medical store

  • Establishes early public sector engagement and buy-in
  • Oversees implementation of the outsourcing initiative

Steering committee

  • On-boards key stakeholders with roles clearly outlined
  • Provides high-level project guidance and oversight

Provincial/district health office

  • Partakes in the daily management of vendors
  • Provides timeous feedback on project progress to technical working groups

Technical working group (TWG)

  • SMEs with specific strategy and implementation tasks
  • Meets periodically to review progress, challenges, etc.

Private sector vendors

  • Provide expertise, technical assistance, training, resources, other
  • Form meaningful partnerships with the public sector

Donor partners

  • Bring multiple value-adds to a project, including funds, goods, services, technology transfer, implementation capacity


  • The beneficiary of the outsourcing initiative
  • Provide important on-the-ground insights and experiences

A framework to manage stakeholder expectations

Stakeholder expectations can be managed using a framework based on interest in and power over the outsourcing initiative.

Hovland’s stakeholder analysis can be used to identify and assess all stakeholders involved in the outsourcing initiative. The analysis allows the public sector to organise stakeholders in matrices according to their interest and power. Power means the influence stakeholders have over the outsourcing initiative, and to what degree they can help achieve, or block, the desired supply chain changes. Interest measures to what degree stakeholders are concerned about the outsourcing initiative and how they are likely to be affected by the changes to the supply chain.

Source: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). January 2016. A Process Guide and Toolkit for Strengthening Public Health Supply Chains through Capacity Development

Source: Ingie Hovland, 2005. Successful Communication: A Toolkit for Researchers and Civil Society Organisations. p. 8.