The Vaccine Supply Chain Multathlon: the Reconciliation of Technology, Economy and Access to Medicines

  • Catherine DecouttereEmail author
  • Nico Vandaele
  • Stef Lemmens
  • Mauro Bernuzzi
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR)


Many rigorous models have been developed to support the design of humanitarian supply chains. Supply chains supportive of Access to Medicines (ATM), like vaccine supply chains impose considerable additional challenges on this design process. We embed these models in a broader stakeholder based framework. This will substantially enhance the societal and human impact of the ATM supply chain service delivery. This broader base of stakeholders will deliver a balanced set of Key Performance Indicators, against which the new design options or scenarios will be evaluated. These scenarios will be the outcome of an iterative design and modelling process moderated by a group of key stakeholders. Subsequently, a multi-criteria ranking method will reveal a shortlist of championing scenarios. Finally, a group decision process will decide on the final supply chain design choice. Moreover, the acceptance and buy-in of the (re)designed supply chain will be much more evident for all stakeholders involved. The main purpose of this paper is to present a general framework for ATM supply chain design which constitutes a stakeholder’s framework encapsulating a rigorous modelling approach. We build upon our own experience within a vaccine supply chain.


Stakeholder analysis Scenario planning Multi-criteria evaluation Key performance indicators Supply chain design Access to medicines Vaccine industry Group decision making Rotavirus Data envelopment analysis 



This research was supported by the GSK Vaccines Research chair in Operations Management.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Decouttere
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nico Vandaele
    • 1
  • Stef Lemmens
    • 1
  • Mauro Bernuzzi
    • 2
  1. 1.Katholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.GSK VaccinesWavreBelgium

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