2021 - Year in Review
Publication date: 2021
This year, we shared a powerful vision for the way ahead. We identified three major obstacles to commodity security that will frame our work over the next four years: money, markets and movement—our three M’s. This holiday season, we celebrate our achievements under each M—achievements that fly in the face of a debilitating global pandemic. MONEY The lifeblood of supply security. We delivered our donors a five-to-one return on their investment For every dollar spent by the RHSC, we generated more than five times that amount in new procurement, program scale-up, or cost savings. We drove over $27 million in new procurement, and helped two countries save $4.5 million by securing better prices. We also saw donors scale up more than $6.3 million in RHSC-inspired initiatives. We opened the world’s eyes to a groundbreaking public-private approach for reducing out-of-pocket expenditures on medicines We documented a public-private procurement program in Chile that lowered out-of-pocket expenditures by enabling private pharmacies to purchase medicines at volume prices. Two hundred pharmacies dropped their prices by 20 to 50% percent. Building on the lessons of our Benin dialogue, the international community invested $6M to launch a new regional safe abortion network for Francophone Africa In 2019, we organized the first-ever regional gathering to improve access to safe abortion products and services in Francophone Africa. The momentum generated by this effort led to the creation this year of a new network, Le Centre ODAS, which aims to coordinate and catalyze the safe abortion movement across Francophone Africa. MARKETS The glue connecting supply and demand. Greater insight into future demand for reproductive health supplies is making it easier for suppliers, procurers, and donors to plan ahead and think strategically Our landmark LEAP Analysis has empowered users to gauge future demand, approximate associated costs, and therefore plan strategically. The analysis also showed how the markets for contraception, maternal health, menstrual health, and safe abortion are inextricably interconnected, and how every health area impacts the others. We helped forge global consensus around the need for quality standards for disposable and reusable menstrual pads For the first time, we have in place a roadmap for enforcing quality standards in countries where they exist and for developing them where they do not. A new inventory of current standards provides technical benchmarks for menstrual pads that manufacturers, policy makers, and others can use to ensure the availability of high-quality menstrual pads. We exposed a wave of egregious price-gouging masked under the guise of routine COVID- related cost increases We supported research that uncovered opportunistic oral contraceptive price-hikes of more than 20% in Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay. Civil society partners named and shamed retailers in a widespread, hard-hitting social media campaign. By unearthing nuance and variability, we’re helping our members understand and better manage the realities of a COVID-19 world Our work this year has tempered earlier predictions of pandemic-related doom and, in its place, identified opportunities for engagement and, in some cases, even optimism. Our 2021 Family Planning Market Report pointed, unexpectedly, to unprecedented growth in the public-sector contraceptive market, despite the advent of COVID-19. Our Roadmap, which sought to assess supply- chain resilience, found similar cause for optimism, while our Compass initiative is offering members the financial assistance required to test new strategies for navigating the new reality. MOVEMENT The driver of product availability from manufacturer to the last mile. We brought fifteen young people one step closer to their dreams of a successful career in supply chain management We funded fifteen young scholars from around the world to pursue the course of their choice sourced from our LAPTOP course-finder. We produced a series of video guides on supply chain as a career, providing practical and academic tips for tomorrow’s supply chain managers. Despite dramatic funding shortfalls, critical data from the VAN drove additional contraceptive procurement sufficient to avert 1.8 million unintended pregnancies Substantial funding cuts earlier this year set in motion a tailspin of ever-widening funding shortfalls across the reproductive health community. By tapping our convening capacity and our ability to put to effective use critical data sources, the donor community mobilized an additional US$26.3 million in new procurements and product donations, making it possible to avert 1.8 million unintended pregnancies. Ten West African countries’ shelves remained stocked, thanks to greater supply chain visibility and the ability to expedite shipments Lack of insight to expected shipments and inaccurate estimates of consumption frequently result in supply stockouts. Fortunately, improved data visibility and more efficient data management are enabling our VAN to act faster than ever before. This year, it expedited 28 shipments and supported 8 needed transfers, valued at more than $8.6 million, thereby ensuring stocked shelves in more than 20 countries globally, 11 alone in West Africa. The West African Health Organization recently marked one such transfer of injectables from Niger to Togo at a celebration in Lome.
Looking for other reproductive health publications?
The Supplies Information Database (SID) is an online reference library with more than 2000 records on the status of reproductive health supplies. The library includes studies, assessments and other publications dating back to 1986, many of which are no longer available even in their country of origin. Explore the database here.