Planning and Risk Management

To ensure that right commodities arrive at the right time and place. Programme and Supply staff needs to work closer together, rather than sequentially and in isolation of each other, in a number of key areas during the programme cycle, when information exchange and involvement of both specialist areas is particularly important for optimized results.

Poor integration may lead to waste of financial and human resources. It can impact achievement of planned programme results and may even negatively reflect on the organization’s reputation.


The objective of programme supply integration is to do the right things right the first time around, to ensure delivery of right products and services in right quality, quantity and cost to the intended beneficiaries in a timely manner, to enable achievement of the intended results.

Through the eyes of Programme staff, integration can minimize potential blind spots outside their expertise as the work plan is expanded to consider the full chain of interdependent activities that must succeed to enable results achievement.

Supply chain is service oriented supports for programmes to allow them reach their goals.

Through the eyes of procurement and supply chain staff, integration can provide an opportunity for programmatic involvement and more meaningful context for commodity needs, rather than procurement staff merely administering what may appear to be a random stream of requisitions.

Planning plays a key role in all key areas of supply chain operations (in procurement, warehousing & inventory management, transport and distribution). Determining the needs and specifications early on will allow the activities to be implemented successfully and cost-effectively.

When the programming intent is clear to the integrated team, the most appropriate cradle-to-grave strategy can be agreed on and applied against the back-drop of known and anticipated possibilities and challenges.

In its most basic form the relationship can be expressed in the following manner:

Programme needs from procurement and supply chain:  

  •  The right product, at the right place, at the right time –consistently
  •  A flexible supply chain that can respond to changed requirements.

Procurement and supply chain needs from Programme:    

  • Long term and reliable demand forecasts;
  • A good understanding of the operational landscape in-country to better manage costs: purchasing; inventory and logistics.


Examples of key risks to commodity  flow in-country includes the following examples which can to be offset proper by mitigation strategies and planning including both operations and programme staff:


“We had 50% stock out across the country cause the

government hadn't put money aside for distribution”

                                                      – Africa, UNFPA staff

Operational procedures

“Orders from lower down the supply chain are not

fulfilled despite urgent need as regulations require

consumption reports for release of goods”

                                                           – Africa, external


“The public sector distribution often breaks down and

it is better to give it to private players in countries

with an advance private sector”

                                            – Latin America, UNFPA staff

Information flow

“Nobody fills out issue forms at the local level so its

very hard to get data”

                                                       – Africa, UNFPA staff


Resources for procurement planning, programme-supply integration and risk management

  1. A case study from UNICEF in Bangladesh describes a workshop where all the stakeholders involved in procuring and delivering supplies to a workshop where invited and gave all parties the opportunity to listen, and to understand the concerns of each other in a broader context. The outcome of the workshop was commitment to work more closely together and do joint plannning to achieve a smooth supply chain and a steady flow of commodities. Organizing a national supply stakeholder meeting.
  2.  The Reproductive Health Interchange (RHI) provides access to harmonized data on contraceptive orders and shipments for over 140 countries. The data currently reflects over 80% of contraceptive supplies provided by donors over the last several years, worth more than $1.6 billion.
  3. Procurement planning and tools  
  4. Tracking shipments by sea
  5. Risk management in the supply chain
  6. Coordinated Supply Planning