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Terms of reference

Terms of Reference for the DCVMN Vaccine Supply Chain Expert Group

Background:
One of DCVMN’s strategic goals is to promote the stable and sustainable supply of high-quality vaccines to developing country populations. This includes helping increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the vaccine supply chain through innovation in the manufacturing and distribution stages, recognizing that the supply chain in a majority of developing countries do not meet WHO’s effective vaccine management standards.

Objective:
The objective of the supply chain expert group is to share best practices in areas of common interest and find common solutions for actions companies can take to make the vaccine supply chain more effective.

Focus:
The focus of the group has been established as tracking vaccines (traceability), stockpiling and adopting new packaging technologies. It will develop position papers that can inform DCVMN members and the wider global immunity community on the specific actions DCVMN members could undertake to improve the vaccine supply chain, including any resource implications. Position papers may also be developed as articles for potential placement in peer-reviewed journals.

Authority:
Group participants from DCVMN members act on a voluntary basis and need to declare any conflicts of interest they may have regarding any work undertaken. The DCVMN Executive Board will have the authority of determining the usefulness of any work undertaken and approving its dissemination.

Composition:
An expert group of around 10 manufacturer participants is considered optimal for effective group functioning, including to the extent possible participants from all the main regions (Africa, Asia, Latin America) and from both state and private companies, to ensure a wide as possible representation and input of views and experience. Others may be involved in specific regional initiatives, if these arise. Each participant would need to dedicate a small percentage of his/her time to work in the group. Group structure will be informal but a Chair, which will rotate annually, will be responsible for providing continuity to the discussions. A co-Chair will also be nominated once the group is established. The DCVMN Secretariat may opt to arrange for a facilitator to help run the group meetings, if needed.

Criteria for participation in the expert group:
Each participant should be experienced professionals, preferably responsible for supply chain in his/her company, having at least two years relevant experience in supply chain. Specialized training in supply chain would be an advantage.

Operations:
A specific annual work plan will be agreed upon, including the specific topics to be covered with timelines and deliverables. Group meetings will largely take place through remote communication (telephone calls, WebEx, and email), but also face-to-face meetings during meetings where the Chair or co-Chair and at least half the participants are attending. Any group meeting (telephone, email or face-to-face) will have a specific set of points for discussion and a required minimum quorum (Chair or co-Chair plus half the participants), ensuring decisions are taken in a collegial manner. Discussions will aim for consensus but also note any specific regional or company set-up differences that may exist and be respected.

Duties and responsibilities:
Each participant will act in the capacity of the corporate member and best contribute to the specific annual agenda. This will include reviewing specific topics being addressed and, if relevant, adding specific analysis of the country situation in which the company is located. Participants will be expected to discuss topics with their colleagues to enhance the analyses undertaken. Participants whose situation changes and can no longer serve on the group will inform DCVMN to allow another participant to be identified.

(Approved 25 June 2019)

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