Planning for success

Turkana is the largest county in Kenya, located in the north-west of the country. Prone to droughts, it has a largely pastoralist population of around 900,000 people, and Oxfam have been working in the region for over 40 years.
“Supply planning has helped us tremendously to plan our projects better”


Oxfam’s programme in Turkana has been using HELIOS since July 2010 and have been seeing a number of benefits to their programme, including an improvement in planning and collaboration. HELIOS is an easy to use online system that has been designed for the front end of Oxfam’s programmes in the field to increase accountability of how project funds have been spent, and help teams to plan and monitor all items for their projects.

Working together to plan projects better

“Before HELIOS we had uncoordinated planning in terms of the entire supply chain” - Gabriel Ekuwam, Programme Coordinator

Before the deployment of HELIOS in 2010 staff in Lodwar reported that there was a lack of joined up planning and communication between Finance, Programme, and Logistics teams at the start of a project. This made it difficult for programme to know how long items would take to procure, for Finance to check on the budget, and for everyone to share the benefit of each other’s specialist knowledge.

Everyone on the same page from the start

“For me, in terms of the WASH project, HELIOS contributes to better planning by having the right material, at the right time, and in the right place.” - Thomas Kavuwa, Public Health Team Leader

Collaborative supply planning is a key part of the training during a HELIOS deployment. It’s about getting the right people together at the start of a project to outline everything that is required for a project. In attendance at a collaborative supply planning meeting you would have:

  • A person from the Programme, who understands the needs of the project.
  • A person in charge of Logistics. Their key contributions are to estimate costs, delivery times and how it will go through the supply chain.
  • Finance contribute with the estimated costs of items and services. They can also question the overall cost that is estimated against the budget.
  • The Budget Holder, who has the authority to sign off on the plan to start procurement.

As a result of this quality planning programme staff are likely to have everything that they need to deliver a project available to them when they need it.

HELIOS: Helping to deliver quality programmes

“Supply planning has helped us tremendously to plan our projects better, because with the information we have during our supply planning, we have managed to make procurements and also plan for the delivery of project material within the acceptable time limit" - Joseph Longole, Supply Plan Manager

Projects in Turkana are now more likely to be completed on time, without delays now that planning is being done through HELIOS. In fact, 76% of supply chain spend in Lodwar is now planned at the start of the project.

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