Supplying Health Professionals with Procurement and Contract Management Skills

Related Supply Chain Topics
April 16, 2020
Lead Paragraph/Summary

The journey to self-reliance for public health supply chain relies increasingly on effective engagement with private-sector partners. Many Ministries of Health are moving away from managing every aspect of their supply chain toward outsourcing key supply chain functions. Outsourcing to the private sector in turn requires having staff who can effectively manage bids, contracts, and ultimately service providers.

To strengthen this capacity, the Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project developed the Contract Management Training Course where participants learn to assess, manage, and solve complex challenges that may arise in all phases of the contract life cycle.


The course is geared to government agency staff who manage health commodity and service suppliers and is especially relevant for countries who manage procurement from national funds or who procure on behalf of donors. The five-day course focuses on the following themes:

  • Understanding Contract Management
  • Scope of Contract Management
  • Types of Contracts and Developing Contracts
  • Implementation of Contracts
  • Evaluating Performance and Supplier Relationship Management

GHSC-PSM and the International Law Institute of Washington, DC held the first course in Botswana for 20 staff from the Central Medical Stores (CMS) in May 2019. The course focused on:

  • Supporting sustainability of key PEPFAR initiatives: Since early 2019, the Government of Botswana took over funding for and procurement of all antiretroviral medicines and HIV test kits and supplies from GHSC-PSM. The course aimed to increase effectiveness and cost efficiency of the procurement process cycle and improve commodity supplier relationships to reduce delays and procurement lead times.
  • Private-sector engagement: One way the CMS is using the private sector for key supply chain functions is outsourcing warehouse operations. The course focused on best practices in administering and managing these service contracts.
  • Capacity building and sustainability for supply chain management: CMS and the Ministry of Health and Wellness senior staff recognize contract management as a skillset needed to better manage two very different types of suppliers – pharmaceutical suppliers and supply chain service providers.

Participants in the course usually include a mix of professional backgrounds, including supply chain, financial management, quality control and procurement staff. By building local capacity, countries are empowered in their journey to self-reliance to achieve locally-sustained results.

"The workshop was an eye opener to all of us. It was the first contract management workshop we attended hence very crucial. As we speak, I can strongly say I am able to distinguish matters that require legal consultation, quality assurance consultation as well as prepare logistics strategies."

Ms. Omphile Punie Ralenyena, Senior Procurement Officer, Central Medical Stores, Botswana