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Patchworks of Logistics Management Information Systems: Challenges or Solutions for Developing Countries?

Abstract : Uninterrupted supply of health commodities is a prerequisite for a well-functioning healthcare system. Establishing and maintaining effective supply chains is at the same time challenging in developing countries. A key part of this chain and the focus of this paper are the information systems supporting the communication and distribution of commodities between national warehouses and health facilities. Such systems supporting storage, transportation, wastage reduction, forecasting, planning and avoiding commodity stock-outs are invariably called Logistics Management Information Systems (LMIS). However, the blurred boundaries between the various parts of the supply chain and the numerous information systems involved is reflected in the lack of a clear definition of LMIS. The main aim of this paper is to provide a better understanding of what an LMIS is, and how it interacts with other information systems. By presenting two case studies, from Tanzania and Uganda, we show that the landscape of LMIS consists of a patchwork of information systems, which often have tighter coupling with systems of other domains (such as patient management) than with the supply chain. This leads us to ask the following research question; what are appropriate information systems architectures for LMIS? Our response, main argument and contribution is that the nature of these supply chains favours the emergence of several independent information systems. This is particularly due to the variation in resources and capacities on the different levels of the health system and thus the supply chain. Interoperability between the different levels and other related information systems should then be considered, necessitating a scrutinous evaluation of what data needs to be shared with whom.
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Bjørn-Ingar Bergum, Petter Nielsen, Johan Sæbø. Patchworks of Logistics Management Information Systems: Challenges or Solutions for Developing Countries?. 14th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries (ICT4D), May 2017, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. pp.47-58, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-59111-7_5⟩. ⟨hal-01650082⟩

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