The timeline for the RUTF Implementation Plan was proposed based on the relative priority of each recommendation; the involvement of, and impact on, stakeholders; and a reasonable estimate of time required for implementation. In sum, the recommendations were divided into:
- Those that can be implemented in the short term (0 to 6 months): Diversifying the supplier base, improving data transparency, automating exceptions handling and standardizing forecasting methods
- Medium term (6 to 18 months): Recommendations are placement of buffer stock and greater collaboration with funding partners
- And long term (18 to 36 months): Assessing the alignment of information and decision making powers, and work to align circles of responsibility as a long term strategy
The project team suggested that UNICEF should establish a cross-functional team to oversee implementation of these proposed improvements to the RUTF supply chain. The team should have members from all parts of the value chain and should include personnel from Supply Division, Country Office Nutrition program, Country Office Supply and Logistics, ESARO Nutrition program, ESARO Supply & Logistics, Program Division and EMOPS, and the primary producer and freight forwarder partners.
Resources: Time, money, personnel
Supply chain changes will require investments of financial resources, as well as the buy-in and involvement from stakeholders including UNICEF personnel. This also helped inform whether recommendations were classified as short-, medium- or long-term: modifications to existing processes require relatively low investments of resources, so are easier to implement in the near future. Contrastingly, entirely new processes can be more resource intensive, so these were recommended for longer-term implementation.