If you’re an IAPHL member and you’ve signed up for email updates, you probably already know me. For those of you who don’t, allow me to introduce myself—I’m Andrew Brown, and I’ve been the executive director of IAPHL since February 2016. I’m a pharmacist by training, and I’m passionate about developing health supply chain managers and leaders in developing countries.
The next thing you probably want to know is, what have I been working on since February? I can tell you; I’ve been soliciting feedback from members and the wider international community (through a member survey and many one-on-one meetings) to help me and the IAPHL Transition Advisory Group explore how IAPHL can best support members and have a sustainable financial foundation.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take a look at the 2016 Membership Survey Report, which confirms members’ appreciation for the organization, but also the remarkable diversity of our membership: IAPHL members work at all levels of the supply chain and across a variety of commodity areas. And, overall, respondents were satisfied with their membership, with two-thirds recommending IAPHL to a friend.
The purpose of the survey wasn’t just to know about you as a member; it was also to find out what you valued the most about being a member of IAPHL and which service offerings were the most useful. The news and moderated online discussions are the most popular features of the IAPHL website. And in addition to networking with other professionals, you use it to increase your supply chain knowledge and competency development, seek employment opportunities, and advocate for your profession.
IAPHL is the only association attempting to meet the professional needs of the public health supply chain sector in developing countries, and is in a unique position to increase capacity. Since IAPHL was formed in 2007, we have grown to nearly 4,000 members from 134 countries, and anticipate a future membership of 10,000.
While my tenure as executive director is only one year, I am working hard to continue the momentum that has been built over the past nine years to bring IAPHL to the next level in terms of meeting the needs of current members and increasing our member base through such initiatives as country chapters and more French-language discussion forums and resources (our recent discussion on human resources in public health supply chains includes more than 100 posts in both English and French).
But we will not meet these goals without your support, which can take many forms. It doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary, but it does require active participation. In the coming months we will host an exciting range of interactive online moderated discussions, seek to establish IAPHL national chapters, and review our mentoring program. We will also work with donors to secure the funding to provide improved IAPHL services into the future as we continue to pursue our mission to professionalize public health supply chain managers from developing countries. By participating in online discussions, sharing resources and opportunities with the IAPHL network, and helping to recruit new members, we can build IAPHL into a professional organization that will live beyond any one project, evolving into a more independent organization with a strong brand identity.
So please, get involved, and invite your colleagues to join our growing vibrant community. I welcome your feedback, ideas, and questions. Please feel free to contact me at IAPHL@jsi.com.
IAPHL is possible due to the ongoing generous support of USAID and JSI. Our strategic review is being supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates-funded inSupply project.