Supply Chain Management main glossary

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

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An audit is an independent, objective inspection of the accounts, statutes or performance of an organisation, designed to add value and improve its operations, governance processes, and the effectiveness of its risk management.

A regulatory audit will obtain independent verification of financial and other information reported to regulators. A performance audit is concerned with relevance, economy, efficiency and effectiveness. Internal auditing provides an assessment of internal controls undertaken by a unit which reports to management, while external auditing is conducted by an independent outside organisation.

Data sources

Data sources are the sources used to obtain data needed for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the supply chain. These may include, among many others, official government documents, data from the logistics management information system, data from the health management information system, clinic administrative records, staff or provider information, client-visit registers, interview data, sentinel-surveillance systems, and satellite imagery.


Evaluation is the process that attempts to determine as systematically and objectively as possible the relevance, effectiveness, and impact of activities in light of their objectives.


Dans le contexte de la quantification des médicaments, les hypothèses sont l'ensemble des suppositions qui sont émises pour justifier la démarche prise, pour prendre en compte la qualité des données utilisées, et pour compenser les données non disponibles. Autour de ces suppositions, un consensus doit être dégagé par les membres de l'équipe de quantification.


Indicators are quantitative or qualitative signals of performance that are being measured to demonstrate change and to detail the extent to which program results are being achieved. Indicators can be measured at each phase of a program or process.

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.


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.

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.”

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