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USAID funds 40 scholarships for Humanitarian Logistics Certification Programme

Fritz Institute in the US and the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT) are delighted to announce that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has sponsored a new scholarship programme for the Humanitarian Logistics Certification Programme and will be awarding 40 full tuition scholarships.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa last year was the deadliest occurrence of the disease and highlighted the importance of the work of both medical specialists and logisticians in protecting vulnerable supply chains and in providing support and guidance on the availability of critical supply items including medicines. This is why in 2015 USAID will be funding 27 scholarships for the Certification in Humanitarian Medical Logistics Practices (MedLog). There will also be funding for an additional 13 scholarships for the Certification in Humanitarian Logistics (CHL) for either the English or French version of the programme.

The Humanitarian Logistics Certification Programme was developed with the goal of raising the effectiveness of emergency response to vulnerable populations worldwide, by increasing the professional skills of logisticians and medical specialists in the humanitarian supply chain. The Medical Logistics qualification is designed to increase humanitarian logisticians’ and medical specialists’ ability to plan and operate the medical supply, and safeguard against the high rate of substandard and counterfeit medical items pervading the international medical supply chain. CHL combines best practices in supply chain management and implementation from the humanitarian community, commercial world, and academia.

Last year over 500 applications for the USAID funded scholarships were received from around the world and the Selection Panel had an extremely challenging task to select 40 successful candidates.

The online certification programme uses a competence approach, which emphasises application of skills, as opposed to the examination of knowledge. At the start of the course, the learner is inserted into a reality-based scenario in which they have to advise on and manage logistics functions. The tasks that they are requested to do are designed to facilitate the development of and demonstration that they have the required skills. Throughout the programme, which is administered online by Logistics Learning Alliance (LLA), learners are supported by LLA’s learning coaches experienced in logistics.

The Certification Programme is recognised as the best best practice for training in humanitarian logistics and supply chain management and represents an exceptional instance of sustained inter-agency and private-public collaboration. The programme is guided by the Certification Advisory Group, which comprises senior logistics officers from UN agencies, international non-profit organizations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

A CHL student said: “I found the contents really useful and very applicable to what I am doing. The programme has given me knowledge that has enabled me to have a better appreciation of the role that supply chains play in the success of an emergency response. My favourite sections were those on preparation and improvement of supply chains.”

A Medlog student commented: “The programme has helped me to widen my knowledge on medical logistics, now I have confidence in what I do. I have used the programme to improve my supply chain management skills, now I know what I need to ensure the quality of what we deliver to our beneficiaries including lifesaving materials drugs. I have already conducted various training to my colleagues on various topics. My plan is to share this knowledge as much as possible.”

In natural disasters and emergency situations, efficient and effective logistics can make the difference between life or death. Having sufficient number of qualified logistics staff available for immediate deployment is a constant challenge for humanitarian organisations. The professional humanitarian logistician must be able to ‘hit the ground running’ for it is he or she who makes sure that the right goods, equipment and medicines get to the disaster area in time and in sufficient quantities to save lives and improve living conditions for the future.

For more information about the scholarships and the certification programme visit www.hlcertification.org

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