Forecasting Hope: Transforming Health Supply Chains with Advanced Analytics

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Supply Chain Management | Strengthening Capacity and Commitment in Health Programming

A modernized analytics solution for forecasting and supply planning for essential health commodities

Forecasting demand for essential health commodities is challenging in any context due to factors such as dynamic population health, disease patterns, and budget limitations, and further compounded by variable supply chain dynamics and data quality issues. Health practitioners and policymakers must estimate future demand for medicines, testing kits, and other medical supplies based on these factors. They must then manage procurement and shipping, optimize inventory management, and ensure the availability of essential health products so lifesaving medicine is available where it is most needed, at the right time.  

To address this challenge and improve the capacity of public health programs’ supply chain managers to better plan and manage the health commodities in their countries, the Chemonics-led USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project developed the Quantification Analytics Tool (QAT), a modernized solution for country-led forecasting and supply planning. The project trains and works with health supply chain partners to build a global user base for QAT to reinforce communication and knowledge sharing to inform supply chain planning amongst public health supply chain partners including QAT users from multiple ministries of health, the Global Fund, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, and the CDC. 

QAT has a user-friendly interface to support different user types and allows for advanced data analytics through recognition of patterns in data & prediction of future trends, events, & outcomes.

Rutendo Cirindo, Ministry of Health, Zimbabwe
Map of Africa and South/Southeast Asia
Countries Trained on QAT Forecasting and Supply Planning (As of February 2024)

Since QAT’s Supply Planning module was first launched in December 2020, GHSC-PSM has been training countries to utilize the tool as a modernized solution to legacy software. Funded by USAID, QAT leverages new technologies and builds on tools such as PipeLine and Quantimed. Compared to past tools, QAT features an enhanced user interface, greater analytical capabilities, and modernized forecasting and supply planning logic. In June 2022, QAT’s Forecasting module was ready for use and many countries adopted it for their routine quantification workshops. By March 2024, the project had trained 1,296 QAT users in 42 countries. Of those, users in 27 countries have been trained to use both the supply planning and forecasting module.

“Great tool! QAT captured the essence of previous tools and blended it into a robust multi-user platform with great analytical and data exchange capabilities. I see great potential and collaborating opportunities from the various procurement agencies in the future,” says Sérgio Correia, Global Fund in Mozambique.

Forecasting demand and supply planning for essential health commodities used to be challenging. Now, QAT helps countries design flexible forecasts, optimize procurement and delivery schedules, monitor the status of stock, and share data with external platforms and key stakeholders. The sustainability of QAT is assured as more and more countries adopt the tool and continue to see improved results from their forecasting and supply planning activities. GHSC-PSM continues to work with QAT users, building further capacity and expertise for delivering lifesaving health commodities efficiently and effectively. 

To learn more about GHSC-PSM’s work with QAT, please visit: https://www.ghsupplychain.org/quantificationanalyticstool  

Banner image caption: Becheny Caristil at the Quantification Analytics Tool workshop in Haiti. Photo Credit: Nadia Todres | Chemonics.