Working with partners, The Coca-Cola Company commits to expanding and replicating the Last Mile Project in additional African countries. Engagement has begun in Ghana and Mozambique as they are the two potential countries in which the project will be replicated in 2013 and 2014.
The Coca-Cola Company's specific contributions can be categorized in three clusters. The first is Individual Expertise, which involves tapping into both global and local individual experience and knowledge across a wide spectrum of the Coca-Cola supply chain. Practically, this means Coca-Cola associates donate time to share their experience and also to develop solutions for critical medicine supply chains. The second area of support can be categorized as Institutional Knowledge, where best practice tools, processes and technologies in planning and procurement, distribution and logistics and performance management will be shared. This sharing could also include confidential business information such as costings to assist with benchmarking. The final category of support would involve utilizing the Convening Power of The Coca-Cola Company. The experience from Tanzania has shown that the involvement of Coca-Cola has resulted in a willingness by stakeholders to approach their medicine availability issues in a different way. It has also attracted the attention of additional potential partners from both the private and development sector.
In addition to delivering on the Tanzania pilot commitment, the partnership has investigated replication opportunities in Ghana and Mozambique and has developed a comprehensive set of potential interventions that would harness both Coca-Cola's supply chain and marketing expertise. Additionally, the partnership specifically reviewed opportunities to improve vaccine delivery and uptake.
Work is also underway to explore how best to scale-up the Last Mile Project across Africa, with new and existing partners. Plans for this scale-up should be finalized by early 2014. Identification criteria for additional countries will be discussed and agreed with all partners with the goal of developing a list of potential additional countries by the end of 2013. The criteria for additional countries will include country need and level of Government interest. Coca-Cola's development sector partners will play the key initial role in country identification through their Government engagement.
A key aim of the continuing work in Tanzania is to build depth in capability within the Medical Stores Department of Tanzania to ensure sustainable use of the tools and processes that have been developed to date. Additional work is underway on planning and procurement practices, the development of an improved performance management system and support in further improving the efficiency of the country's logistics model.
In 2010, The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) committed to provide its supply chain expertise to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund) to maximize their ability to get vital medicines and medical supplies to the people who need it most as part of a pilot of the Last Mile Project in Tanzania.
The Company made this commitment because improving access to critical medicines is a priority for the development of the African continent. While donors have made significant investment to help ensure that these medicines are available for people in Africa, availability in a country does not always translate to delivery to the places where critical medicines are needed. Supply chain inefficiencies can ultimately lead to millions of preventable diseases and deaths due to restricted access to critical medicines.
Unfortunately, stock-outs of essential health supplies are still common due to fundamental challenges in supply chains in the public health sector. The Last Mile Project aims to address these challenges by taking clear lessons from an effective private sector supply chain.
The original pilot commitment focused on a specific need in Tanzania. Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP) played a role in the partnership as the facilitator of knowledge and expertise from the Coca-Cola System to the Medical Stores Department (MSD), and by assisting in the customization of tools and processes for the public health sector context. The Global Fund played a key role in the Government engagement process.
The partners in this initiative have seen clear evidence from Tanzania that this concept can be replicated in other African countries. This expansion and replication are the focus of this new commitment.