The largest USAID contract ever awarded, the $9.5 billion Global Health Supply Chain (Procurement and Management) Program (GHSC-PM), is under scrutiny by Congress for only achieving a 7 percent “on-time and in full” success-rate during the first quarter of 2017 (compared to the typical 80%+ success rate). The GHSC-PM is intended to provide a consistent flow of lifesaving supplies to communities around the world facing life-critical, time-sensitive health and medical needs. This includes delivery of medicines, such as HIV tests and treatments, malaria drugs and high-tech laboratory equipment. Chemonics International, the prime contractor for the program, partnered with BanQu in October 2016 and established a Blockchain for Development Solutions Lab to build, test, and scale blockchain solutions to increase efficiencies and transparency of international aid, and reduce the costs of its supply chain deliveries. With international aid under intense public and popular scrutiny, and with global health so dependent on foreign aid, low accountability and transparency in the global health supply chain could result in a systemic, self-atrophying cycle, resulting in reduced aid and geographical reach, and greater global insecurity. Thanks to blockchain technology, expanding its application to international aid supply chain operations would help restore confidence in our global public health system, increase on-time and in-full success rates, and more effectively deliver medical supplies to those in need.
By Jason Nagy