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Supply lists and ordering

The Management team should develop an initial list of equipment and supply requirements to meet the survey objectives and agreed data collection method. This will be used when developing the preliminary survey budget estimate, and is discussed in detail in (Module 10: Budget and timeline).

After approval of the initial supply list and associated budget estimates, the Management team should develop a fully comprehensive list, usually in a spreadsheet. The ”Equipment and Supplies List (more complex worksheet)” online tool, modified according to the specific survey design and factors listed earlier can be useful for this process. Bear in mind that purchasing supplies requires a significant amount of time, which affects the project timeline. Training should begin only when all necessary equipment, including laboratory equipment, is on hand.

The Laboratory coordinator and the Survey coordinator should take the following steps in the procurement process, with assistance from administrative staff:

  • Develop a comprehensive list of equipment and supplies for each sample and specimen collection and planned analysis. The list must include specific item reference numbers and required quantities.
    • Final quantities will depend on the number of clusters and the final composition of field teams.
    • The list should also include supplies that are needed for training and piloting all field procedures.
    • It is standard practice to increase the quantities by 15% to 20% above the calculated needs, to ensure that adequate supplies are purchased.
  • Identify equipment that may already be available or can be borrowed, for example, anthropometry equipment or data collection devices.
    • Available and borrowed items should be of high quality and need to be thoroughly checked at the time of finalizing the list, in case the items do not function well and need to be procured elsewhere. Budgeting also needs to cover replacement of any borrowed equipment that is damaged or lost during the survey.
  • For items that will be purchased or rented, determine whether to procure them locally or from international suppliers. Although procuring supplies locally can significantly reduce costs, the majority of supplies for a micronutrient survey usually need to be procured from overseas to meet the necessary standards for quality.
  • Begin the requisition for supplies and equipment through the appropriate approval channels. This will vary depending on the agency responsible for procurement and release of funds.
    • This must be done by someone with a working knowledge of the national system for generating a purchase order (PO) and requesting estimates from vendors.
    • This step requires significant attention to detail to ensure that the POs list the correct items and quantities. It is recommended that more than one person conduct an extensive review of the POs prior to requesting estimates.

Equipment and Supplies List (more complex worksheet)

Detailed spreadsheet enables the user to calculate a rough cost of the supplies and tests needed for a survey