Program to build government capacity and increase access to health and nutrition products in Ethiopia announces new phase

April 23, 2024   |   Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA — A program focused on strengthening the market shaping capacity of the Ethiopian government will begin a second phase of work, Results for Development (R4D) announced on February 9, 2024.

The R4D-led Ethiopia Market Shaping Capacity Improvement Program (EMSCIP), which launched in 2019, has launched phase two and will continue through 2026 and build on its initial success.

Historically, many low- and middle-income countries have relied heavily on external partners to conduct market assessments and address key blockages for life-saving commodities. These interventions tend to be short term and product specific. They fail to address broader system-level needs or strengthen capacity within a country. Through EMSCIP, R4D is supporting the government of Ethiopia with a novel approach that is shifting the paradigm and ensuring the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Service will be able to serve in the lead market manager role.

“Results for Development is proud to be working alongside the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Service to strengthen the agency’s ability to become the lead market manager. The Ethiopian government is charting a new and exciting path that ensures market shaping activities are owned and managed by the national government and responsive to national-level priorities and decision-making.” said R4D Ethiopia Country Director Yosef Alemu.

In 2020, R4D worked with the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Service to conduct a comprehensive market assessment to review market dynamics and better understand critical market shortcomings. Based on the findings, R4D provided coaching and recommendations in key areas and developed a government in-service training program focused on market shaping. A follow-up assessment in 2023 showed progress across many areas, including financing, procurement processes, the supplier base and product registration, wastage and more. Additionally, 112 central and hub staff completed the market shaping courses — and 95 percent were certified.

Phase two of the program will focus on further institutionalizing the market shaping approach by improving coordination within and across government agencies, routinizing and strengthening market shaping practices within the public health supply system, addressing last mile commodity bottlenecks, developing a sourcing strategy for products that are not included in the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Service Pharmaceutical Procurement List (PPL), strengthening supply chain emergency preparedness, and developing a sustainable commodity financing plan.

A sustainable commodity financing plan is the backbone for the provision of comprehensive and uninterrupted health services at all levels. Building this will require close collaboration and coordination across government agencies and donors and working in a harmonized manner to support government led-resource mobilization and allocation practices. With this phase two investment, R4D will help play a bridging role across the various stakeholders to support the Ethiopian government.

“A lot of donors and global development partners talk about sustainability, but this program is walking the talk. It’s an investment that is tailored to the needs of the Government of Ethiopia and centered around co-creation of solutions. This ensures solutions will be supported and that they’re a good fit, while also strengthening the in-house market shaping capacity within government sectors to decrease reliance on external donors and partners,” Alemu continued.

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