Supply Chain Management main glossary

This is a glossary of key terms used throughout the site.

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Logical framework

A logical framework is a dynamic planning and management tool that makes logical correlations between the main elements of a program and project design and helps ensure that an intervention is likely to achieve measurable results.


M&E plan

A monitoring and evaluation plan is a comprehensive planning document for all monitoring and evaluation activities within a program. The plan documents the key M&E questions to be addressed: what indicators will be chosen, how often and where will the data be collected, what are the baseline values and what will be the target values, how will the data be analysed and interpreted, and to whom and how often will reports be developed and distributed.

Marketing authorisation

Marketing authorisation for a medicine or medical product (also called product license or registration) is granted once the safety, efficacy and quality of a medicine has been established by a National Regulatory Authority (NRA). With this authorisation, the product can be imported, distributed and sold in the country.

Maximum reorder level

The maximum reorder level is the level above which the total inventory of a product should not exceed. This level is determined by the product shelf-life, amount of capital available, storage space, possibility of loss, the cost of maintenance, and fluctuation in prices and seasonality.

Minimum reorder level

The minimum reorder level (MRL) is the minimum stock quantity that should be available at all times. It indicates when a request for additional stock must be placed. It is also known as re-order point and triggers an action by the store personnel to submit a requisition to replenish the stock. The MRL is usually determined by the consumption pattern and the lead time, following the formula: MRL = (Average monthly consumption * lead time in months) + buffer stock.


Monitoring is the routine process of data collection and measurement of progress of an activity or program. It involves tracking what is being done and routinely looking at the resources used (type and level), the activities conducted, the products and services generated, their quality, and their outcome.


National medicines policy

A national medicines policy is the combined effort of a country (through policies, guidelines, strategies or plans) to ensure the availability, affordability and rational use of medicines that are safe, effective and of good quality. The policy usually contains provisions on the regulatory body (national regulatory authority) that develops and implements legislation to this end.

Non-routine data sources

Non-routine data sources are sources that provide data on a non-frequent periodic basis (usually annually or even less frequently). Examples are large-scale household surveys, smaller scaled ad-hoc household surveys, special studies and national censuses.



Objectives are significant propositions that contribute to the achievement of goals. They also provide a structure for more detailed planning of a specific program. Several objectives can contribute to a goal. Examples of objectives are: “reduce the total fertility rate to 4.0 births by year x” or “increase contraceptive prevalence over the duration of the program.”


Outcomes are the changes measured as the result of a given program or intervention. Outcomes refer to knowledge, behaviour or practices on the part of the target population that are clearly related to the program. These can reasonably be expected to change over the short-to-intermediate term, and contribute to a program’s desired long-term goals. Examples are “the percentage of participants in a stop-smoking program that are still non-smokers six months after the program end” or “the percentage of married women, 15-44, that use contraception one year after a family planning intervention.”

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