Supply Chain Curriculum for Sustainability in Ethiopia

Lead Paragraph/Summary

Health centers rely on smooth supply chains for the lifesaving medicine they use to treat patients. And to run smoothly, supply chains need highly trained professionals to manage them. That’s why the USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project partnered with Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Ethiopia to deliver a new graduate-level supply chain management course. Through three months of close collaboration to create the course content, GHSC-PSM imparted enhanced teaching and curriculum design techniques to the university staff and left them with relevant curriculum for future use.

This approach goes beyond the traditional development model of increasing the knowledge and skills of individuals. Partnering with in-country universities considers the needs of the whole labor market. By improving institutional systems and performance — rather than just training individuals — GHSC-PSM is equipping Ethiopia to build and support its own supply chain workforce.

Work with the AAU faculty began in September 2017. After three months of weekly meetings, GHSC-PSM, together with the faculty, delivered an eight-session module on public health leadership, management, and governance to 54 graduate students. Moving forward, AAU faculty will teach the module independently.

The sessions in the supply chain module covered topics including organizational change, monitoring and evaluation in supply chains, and health resources management. For more interactive and engaging sessions, GHSC-PSM and AAU used lectures supplemented with audiovisual materials, poster presentations, self-reflective report outs, and in-classroom interviews with industry leaders. Most of these teaching methods were new to AAU’s School of Pharmacy, which primarily relied on lecture-focused teaching.


"Our school has benefited a lot from the support of GHSC-PSM in the delivery of a public health leadership, management and governance module for students pursuing master’s degrees. It was a great capacity building opportunity for us. We learned how to make students feel at ease and stay motivated throughout the session with proper time management and new pedagogic techniques,” AAU lecturer Dawit Teshome said.

In addition to new teaching methods, GHSC-PSM introduced curriculum development methodology to the AAU faculty. Using the methodology, faculty were able to set clear learning objectives and administered an assessment at the end of the course to see if students achieved those objectives.

Finally, the module culminated in a professional networking day to link students and faculty with supply chain professionals from government agencies, consulting firms, and pharmaceutical manufacturers and importers. Students presented posters on supply chain topics in the Ethiopian context and mingled with AAU alumni and others working in health supply chains to hone their public speaking skills and make professional connections.

The varied teaching methods and systematic approach to curriculum development helped faculty to broaden their scope of what is possible for effective teaching. These methods are not only being implemented in AAU’s School of Pharmacy, but faculty are also sharing this knowledge with colleagues from other disciplines within the university.

GHSC-PSM is exploring opportunities to provide similar support to Ethiopia’s Jimma University and plans to develop another supply chain module for AAU in the coming years.

Workforce Development Worldwide

In Fiscal Year 2018, GHSC-PSM is providing workforce development technical assistance in 19 countries. In Mozambique and Ethiopia, we’re developing career pathways for supply chain professionals and in Angola, we’re helping launch the country’s first master’s degree program in supply chain management. Learn more about our approach to workforce development here.