National Supply Chain Assessment (NSCA)

The National Supply Chain Assessment is a comprehensive tool kit that assesses the capability and performance at all levels of a health supply chain or can focus on a specific level or site within the system. The results of the assessment help supply chain stakeholders develop their strategic, operational, and/or investment plans and monitor whether activities are achieving their desired outcomes.

Capacity building, Distribution, Inventory Management, LMIS, Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Planning & Budgeting, Policy, Procurement, Quality Assurance, Quantification, Storage

  • Sub-categories Assessments and Research
  • Commodities Diagnostics, Medicines, Mosquito nets, Reproductive health products, Supplements, Technologies, Vaccines
  • Latest update 01/01/2019
  • Version 2.0
  • Developed by USAID and the USAID’s Global Health Supply Chain Technical Assistance Project - NSCA Task Order
  • When to use The National Supply Chain Assessment is a comprehensive tool kit that assesses the capability and performance at all levels of a health supply chain or can focus on a specific level or site within the system. The results of the assessment help supply chain stakeholders develop their strategic, operational, and/or investment plans and monitor whether activities are achieving their desired outcomes.
  • Languages English
  • Level of use Central, District, Facility, Regional
  • Form
  • Amount of training / TA required Implementation of an NSCA 2.0 is a complex task and typically requires a management team with strong skills in supply chain management, project management, sampling, statistical analysis, data cleaning and interpretation, and writing. In addition, data collectors must be trained and the NSCA Toolkit provides the required training materials.
  • Inputs & outputs Inputs: An NSCA requires the resources within this Toolkit, financial resources (see "Cost"), human resources (see "Amount of training/TA required"), and time (the data collection typically takes 1-3 weeks). Outputs: The Toolkit includes several data analysis workbooks that will be standard outputs for every assessment; these include detailed assessment data as well as higher level data dashboards. The Toolkit also includes templates for technical reports, briefs and dissemination presentations.
  • Cost The NSCA Toolkit is free. The resources required for each assessment will be determined by the scope of the assessment, i.e., number of sites visited, supply chain functional areas assessed, timeframe, human capital and budget available. See more information within. A smaller "snapshot" assessment might cost in the neighborhood of $50,000, whereas a full assessment at all levels of the health system may cost several hundred thousand dollars.
  • Advantages Governments, health supply chain stakeholders, health care providers, NGOs, and donors alike can commission an NSCA to inform evidence-based decision making. The assessment results and recommendations provide the evidence to identify possible bottlenecks and gaps in public health supply chain systems, inform prioritization of government and donor investments in public health supply chain interventions, and improve system performance. Assessment findings may also reveal areas of under-performance where investment or technical intervention may be appropriate. The NSCA 2.0 can be used as a baseline, midline, or endline assessment to track performance progress and trends against national targets, as well as to monitor the impact and sustainability of system strengthening investments and efforts over time. The results can help inform country strategic planning, performance management, and evidence-based decision-making and policy-making. The results inform and educate users on functional capability level when benchmarked against best practices and requirements of more mature health supply chains, thereby indicating opportunities for improvement. Governments, the MoH, local stakeholders, and partners can collaborate in implementing the assessment to meet shared goals for more effective and efficient health supply chain systems with improved availability, quality, and access to health commodities at Service Delivery Points (SDPs).
  • Limitations The NSCA 2.0 is a strong resource for assessing national supply chains. However, it also has limitations. Other tools may be better for certain specific needs. The NSCA is not a rapid tool or a tool designed for self-assessment. The NSCA is not an audit. The data collected is self-reported by survey and are subject to errors typical of this type of data collection technique, such as lack of understanding, personal factors (fatigue, etc.), and social desirability, among others. NSCA 2.0 has no control over the quality of secondary data (i.e. data that was originally collected for other purposes and is now being used to inform the NSCA 2.0); any issues in the data at the time it was collected remain when examined for the assessment activity. NSCA 2.0 results are based on a sample, and the findings therefore carry the limitations of sample-based work such as representativeness of the sample drawn, amount of confidence that the findings are not due to error, and challenges of using limited datasets. Missing or incomplete data are also possible when conducting a NSCA 2.0 and may impact the findings. The NSCA 2.0 is constructed as a generic tool for use in multiple countries, and while adaptation to local contexts is possible, it needs to be limited in scope in order to maintain the integrity of the assessment.
  • Availability The NSCA 2.0 toolkit is a publicly available set of resources to support national supply chain assessment initiatives in developing country contexts.
  • Remarks An extensive Implementation Guide in Folder 2 of the Toolkit should answer most questions about the NSCA 2.0. If you have further questions please contact GHSC PSM (NSCA@ghsc-psm.org) or USAID (NSCA@usaid.gov).
  • Downloadable files 1-Overview-of-the-NSCA.zip
    2-3-4-Training-Mapping_Planning_Data-Collection.zip
    5-Analysis-Tools-for-an-NSCA.zip
    6-Dissemination-Tools-for-NSCA.zip
    Guide-to-NSCA-2.0-Toolkit-Contents-Dec-2018.pdf
  • Contact Kevin Pilz (nsca@usaid.gov)
  • Submission date 2019-01-29 16:09:48