Attention has turned to supply chain, and the brightest focus on the leaders and managers of the chain. Global courier firm UPS and Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance) have developed a strategic training executive program (STEP) that is hoped will produced “skilled and competent individuals” to shore up supply chain for immunization in Nigeria. National Primary Health Care Development Agency has also requested Gavi to have STEP implemented in Nigeria. Chinenye Ekpemauzor, a deputy director at the agency, took the course to know “what leadership is all about”.
She said, “I have gained useful insights on how to become more strategic, efficient and accountable for my actions in my organization”.
Also the Africa Resource Centre for Supply Chain (ARC) advocated for it to impress on authorities the relevance of STEP to decision makers in immunization.
STEP presents a unique opportunity for countries like Nigeria to develop supply-chain leaders who will advance transformation in effective and efficient immunization delivery, explains Azuka Okeke, regional director for ARC.
The Gavi-sponsored STEP training isn’t restricted to Nigeria. It is based on an academic framework of professional competencies expected for supply-chain managers. It combines traditional learning with on-the-job training to help supply-chain leaders develop their “problem-solving skills and foster effective team-building approaches,” says Magloire Achidi, supply-chain consultant for Gavi.