About the Case

The case study “An innovative public-private partnership: Medical supply solutions in Tanzania” is based on information collected by the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute (GHLI) as part of their process evaluation of Project Last Mile in Tanzania. This project represents an innovative partnership between The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP), and the Medical Stores Department of Tanzania (MSD). Funding for the development of the case study was provided by TCCC.


The information used in this case was collected by a research team from GHLI through a series of key informant interviews and site visits to health facilities in Tanzania.

Key Informant Interviews
The research team conducted in-depth interviews with more than 60 key informants from July to October 2011. The research team conducted an additional 24 interviews between October 2012 and May 2013. The team interviewed operational and executive-level representatives from each of the five partner organizations as well as staff and patients from a small sample of health facilities in Tanzania. During the interviews, a standardized discussion guide was used to assess the key informants’ perceptions of how the partnership was conceived and implemented, as well as the key informants’ roles in the process. Interviews were recorded, professionally transcribed, and analyzed using the constant comparative method of qualitative analysis.

Site Visits
From July through August 2011, the research team conducted a series of site visits to MSD warehouses, regional and zonal offices, and health facilities to develop a better understanding of the research context and impact of the partnership at the local level. During the site visits, the research team spoke with staff and patients about supply chain challenges and recent improvement efforts within Tanzania, management processes at the health facility level, and the impact of the knowledge transfer partnership and MSD’s new “direct delivery” model. Two members of the research team were fluent in Swahili allowing for the discussions to be held in the language preferred by participants.

Acknowledgements and Authors

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of the partners of Project Last Mile for sharing their time and insight with us. In addition to the formal partners, we would like to thank the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Supply Chain Lab, Coca-Cola Kwanza, the USAID Deliver Project, and all of the District Medical Officers, pharmacists, health facility staff, and community health committee members who informed our data collection efforts in Tanzania.  Special thanks to ADP for allowing us to share the project documents and presentations that capture the changes made in each of the project workstreams.  We would also like to thank the members of the GHLI project team who supported this project, including Emily Cherlin, Heather Fosburgh, Ashley Fox, Farnaz Gulamhussein, Raymond Luhn, Michael Skonieczny and Rex Wong. 

Case study authors: Shirin Ahmed, Elizabeth H. Bradley, Dana Karen Ciccone, Erika Linnander, Kristina Talbert-Slagle, Hannah Wheatley and Christina T. Yuan

Case study editor: Erika Linnander

Web site design: Hannah Wheatley

Case study consultation: Jaan Elias, Director of Case Study Research and Development, Yale School of Management

Use and Citation

The text and videos in this case are published under a Creative Commons License for free noncommercial use, and may be used, disseminated and taught without fees or permission. However, documents or external web sites linked to in the case may be covered by their own terms of usage as indicated on the web site or document in question.

Suggested Citation: Yale University, 2012. An Innovative Public-Private Partnership: Medical Supply Solutions in Tanzania. Available from: http://nexus.som.yale.edu/ph-tanzania/?q=node/133

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Revision History

October 10, 2013 Case Revised

September 25, 2012 – Case Released

 Background Resources

Conducting in-depth interviews by Pathfinder International, May 2006. Read about how to design and conduct in-depth interviews.

Qualitative data analysis for health services research. Read about how to analyze qualitative data.