Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs)
Launched in 2005, the Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs) group was the Coalition’s flagship initiative to prevent and resolve contraceptive supply crises. At its monthly meetings, the group identified pending supply shortages or overstocks, researched their causes, developed solutions, and if possible, tried to solve them. Core member-organizations of CARhs included the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) New York, UNFPA Copenhagen, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the USAID Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management project (GHSC-PSM), West African Health Organization (WAHO), Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and the Coalition Secretariat. CARhs’ members coordinated closely with other donors and implementing partners including the World Bank, the KfW banking group, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Marie Stopes International, and Crown Agents.
In September 2020, the functions of the CARhs group were subsumed within the Consensus Planning Group of the Global Family Planning Visibility and Analytics Network. Information about the CPG and its work can be found at rhsupplies.org/gfpvan/
Coordinated Supply Planning
The RHSC’s Coordinated Supply Planning (CSP) group was launched in 2012 as an antidote to the growing number “supply exceptions” being addressed by the CARhs and the planning uncertainties that gave rise to them. Its solution was to improve supply chain coordination for family planning commodities through continuous, collaborative development of forecasts and supply plans amongst the major donors and the countries they support.
The CSP group focused on identifying and addressing potential stock imbalances 6-15 months in the future, while the Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies group (CARhs) focusing on imminent or current stock imbalances within a 6 month timeframe. The CSP group members included representatives of UNFPA’s Procurement Services and Commodity Security Branches, USAID, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), John Snow, Inc. (JSI), the Global Health Supply Chain - Procurement and Supply Management project (GHSC-PSM), and the RHSC.
In September 2020, the functions of the CSP group were subsumed within the Consensus Planning Group of the Global Family Planning Visibility and Analytics Network. Information about the CPG and its work can be found at rhsupplies.org/gfpvan/.
Harmonizing Stockout Indicators
This SSWG workstream revisited how the community define the concept of stockouts and gathers and uses stockout data.
Professional Development of Supply Chain Managers
Some years ago, the Coalition developed this workstream to respond to the need for greater professionalization in public health supply chain management in low- and middle-income countries. While this workstream has ended the Coalition through the last several years has built up the Learning and Professional Training Opportunities hub—LAPTOP for short, which focuses on educating and supporting new public health supply chain professionals.
Reproductive Health Supplies in Emergency Settings
The Coalition has long recognized that reproductive health (RH) needs are often overlooked or neglected in humanitarian settings. While a workstream on RH supplies in crisis settings is not currently active within the SSWG, RHSC remains highly engaged in this area along with the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on RH in Crises and with many Coalition members. One area of deep interest is the nexus between development and humanitarian settings.