Supply Chain Management main glossary

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

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Pooled procurement

Pooled procurement, as defined by WHO, is when purchasing is done by one procurement office on behalf of a group of facilities, health systems or countries. Members of the group agree to purchase certain medicines exclusively through the group.

Entry link: Pooled procurement

Postmarketing surveillance

Postmarketing surveillance or post market surveillance refers to the operation by which the safety of a medicine or medical product is monitored after it has been released on the market. Post market surveillance is an important part of pharmacovigilance, and widens the control study of the safety of a medicine from a limited number of clinical trial participants to the general population.

Entry link: Postmarketing surveillance

Problem statement

A problem statement is a statement in a monitoring and evaluation plan (M&E) that describes the nature and extent of the problem to be addressed by an intervention. It clearly states the specific problem and includes a quantitative element that describes the magnitude of the problem and its impact on society.

Entry link: Problem statement

Process evaluation

A type of evaluation that focuses on program implementation. Process evaluations usually focus on a single program and use largely qualitative methods to describe program activities and perceptions, especially during the developmental stages and early implementation of the program. These assessments may also include some quantitative approaches, such as surveys about client satisfaction and perceptions about needs and services. In addition, a process evaluation might provide understanding about a program’s cultural, socio-political, legal, and economic contexts that affect the program. Synonyms: formative evaluation, mid-term evaluation.

Entry link: Process evaluation


The multiple activities, both planning and implementation, carried out to achieve the program’s objectives.


Entry link: Processes

Public health expenditure

According to WHO, public health expenditure consists of recurrent and capital spending from government (central and local) budgets, external borrowings and grants (including donations from international agencies and nongovernmental organizations), and social (or compulsory) health insurance funds. Total health expenditure is the sum of public and private health expenditure. It covers the provision of health services (preventive and curative), family planning activities, nutrition activities, and emergency aid designated for health but does not include provision of water and sanitation.

Entry link: Public health expenditure


Quality assurance

Quality assurance is a wide-ranging concept covering all matters that individually or collectively influence the quality of a pharmaceutical product, thus ensuring that medicines reaching the patient are safe, effective and of defined quality.

Entry link: Quality assurance

Quality control

Quality control, according to the WHO, refers to the sum of all procedures undertaken to ensure the identity and purity of a particular pharmaceutical product. Such procedures may range from the performance of simple experiments to determine the identity, to more complicated requirements of pharmacopoeial monographs.

Entry link: Quality control



Results that are accurate and consistent through repeated measurement.

Entry link: Reliable

Results framework

Frameworks that explain how a project’s strategic objective (SO) is to be achieved, including those results that are necessary and sufficient, as well as their causal relationships and underlying assumptions. It is usually depicted with the main program goal at the top, each of the main objectives in its own box under the goal, and the results feeding into each objective from the bottom to the top.

Entry link: Results framework

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