Improving iSC performance through outsourcing – Considerations for using third-party service providers to increase innovation, capacity and efficiency

Development partners and donors have encouraged and incentivized governments in developing countries to explore ways of working with third-party service suppliers to reduce costs and increase service delivery capacity. The distribution of vaccines and medicines has for a long time shown demand for outsourcing but public health systems have struggled to develop the expertise and capital assets necessary to manage such ventures.

Existing transport and logistics capacity within public health systems, in particular, is well documented as being insufficient to support existing, let alone future immunization needs. Today, a number of countries are contracting party logistics providers (3PLs) to supplement the in-house distribution operations of public health systems. This commentary reflects on recent, leading examples of outsourcing initiatives to address critical gaps in transport and logistics