Enabling sustainable behaviors of data recording and use in low-resource supply chains

Authors:

Arun Ramanujapuram (Logistimo)
Charan Kumar Malemarpuram (Logistimo)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3378393.3402248

Session: 3.3. Data-driven sustainability

Abstract: Public services, such as public health supply chains, in low- and middle-income countries can be characterized as low-resource environments, where both infrastructure and human capacity are limited. There is no strong culture of data recording or use, with ad hoc reporting practices, poor planning and lack of coordination. All these lead to poor supply chain performance, thereby restricting access to medicines, and eventually resulting in poorer health and mortality.

We describe the ground-up design of Logistimo SCM, a supply chain management software, offered as a service, that has enabled a transformative change in public health supply chains, leading to improved performance. Our approach is rooted in bottom-up empowerment of the human value chain, based on the principle that higher self-efficacy amongst health workers and managers can lead to sustained changes in data recording and use behaviors. This is achieved through a service that optimizes data collection effort, maximizes supervisory bandwidth, promotes proactive and collaborative operations, and enables frictionless performance recognition. We describe the guiding principles of inclusive software service design and four mechanisms that enable the appropriate conditions for stimulating a behavior of data recording and use. We demonstrate their effectiveness in achieving good supply chain performance through case studies in India and Africa. The principles and methods discussed here are generic and can be applied to any low-resource environment.