USAID’s Global Health Supply Chain-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) works in partner countries to establish delivery systems of life-saving health commodities, ranging from malaria and HIV test kits to essential medicines to treat tuberculosis (TB), that reach the most remote and vulnerable populations. Health commodity delivery in the developing country context presents its own set of obstacles, such as inadequate infrastructure to store and deliver goods, under-resourced health systems, and unpredictable supply chains. Key to successfully navigating such complexities is leveraging technology and the power of data.

Panagora, a woman-owned small business that works to solve global health and other development challenges, is providing crucial program support to this end.

Contraceptive Procurement Planning and Monitoring (PPMR) Database: Data to Maximize Benefits

Data- and technology-based solutions are central to Panagora’s development activities. As a small business primarily supporting USAID, our teams in countries worldwide leverage data and technology to improve systems and processes for our projects and clients, as well as our internal business.

Through GHSC-PSM, we support USAID’s Contraceptive Procurement Planning and Monitoring (PPMR) database tool, which corrals large volumes of dispersed data into manageable, user-friendly formats. Better data visibility and reporting helps countries improve and sustain a consistent supply of reproductive health commodities where they are needed most.

Panagora has distilled four takeaways as key to PPMR’s successful deployment and use:

Involve data users from the beginning

Whether designing data instruments or technology platforms, involving end users at the outset is crucial. Not only do they know the problems you’re trying to solve, they also know how and why people will use – or not use – your product or service.

The PPMR tool, which provides monthly reports on contraceptive commodity stock status and expected demand to purchasers, facilitates direct interactions among the people who work within health ministries and pharmacies, and other supply chain players. These interactions have led to continued data collection, reporting improvements, refinements in and improved data accuracy, and increased use of the tool itself.

Coordinate data use broadly to maximize benefits

The PPMR tool also supports collaboration and communication between countries and donors to avoid stockouts and related health crises. By integrating appropriate communication products, discussion points, and data reviews among key stakeholders, countries have been able to work together, further ensuring that people can access contraceptives when and where they need them.

Communicate data regularly for local action

Data users also need regular access to data results and findings to take action. PPMR monthly reports are shared with the people who are responsible for ordering and ensuring adequate contraceptive supplies. Because PPMR data cut across multiple levels – local, regional, and national suppliers – these users have access to the information they need to fulfill their responsibilities, while gaining insight into broader contextual realities. Countries using this tool can better target resources and reduce waste from overstocks and expiries.

Communicate data to key decision makers for global action

PPMR is putting data into the hands of people who can use it to make key decisions about funding or strategic health targets in their country. Globally, PPMR also helps donors like USAID, the Global Fund, and UNFPA to better coordinate efforts to strengthen both the global contraceptive supply chain and the capacity of national, regional, and local health systems to manage their supply chains.

As we’re learning, having strong health systems that can effectively manage commodity demand is important not just for day-to-day health maintenance, but also to mitigate the impacts of rare but potentially devastating events such the past Ebola epidemic or the current COVID-19 pandemic. At Panagora, we prize harnessing data and technology in pragmatic ways that better people’s lives and make our world a better place for good – doing good and making it stick.

More than 65 global and national programs now use PPMR data and analyses to help ensure citizen access to contraceptives, and the PPMR tool has improved contraceptive access for more than 1 billion people worldwide.