Method & Results
Book Supply Chain Assessment
BlueTree conducted a Book Supply Chain Assessment in Ethiopia with the aim of providing technical assistance to READ II in production and distribution of reading materials. The country assessment constituted in-depth reviews of challenges, opportunities and possible actions that needed to be prioritized in order to build a sustainable ecosystem of supply and demand for books. The country assessment report served as a reference for READ II’s SRM production strategy. The report presented the evaluation of the capacity of local printers, distributors and procurers of books in Ethiopia and recommendations to introduce best practices in cost-effective book production.
Increased Capacity of Local Printers and Publishers
Capacity building of local printers and publishers was achieved through workshops and expertise advice provided during visits to printing facilities. The workshops focused on successful bid responsiveness, sustainable business models and capacity requirements to meet the print demand in Ethiopia.
Successful implementation of Track and Trace
BlueTree’s technical assistance led to the introduction of a digital tracking system to strengthen Book Supply Chain management. The system was introduced through the implementation of two testing phases, informed by a scoping mission. The first testing phase was the alpha test which introduced the concept to the stakeholders with a target of 45 schools and there after the beta test which had a larger scope of 200 schools.
The Track and Trace system successfully tracked books through four delivery points from the printer to the schools. During the beta test, delivery confirmations at each of the four delivery points had an average response rate of 91%. Additionally, a total of 1,020 SMSs was sent to the school directors and 1,707 SMSs were received from the school directors.
Policy support to address import tax in the local printing industry in Ethiopia
READ II focused on addressing the import policy on materials to locally produce books since this has a big impact on the competitiveness of the local print industry.
The policy support process followed a staged approach. The first stage being the creation of a technical working group. The second stage was the needs analysis. This involved data analysis and literature review to establish the need for a policy review. The third stage involved drafting the policy review letter, which highlighted the implications of the current policy environment, the proposed changes and the benefits of the proposed policy review.
Designed capacity building for Regional Education Bureaus (REBs)
As part of streamlining the book supply chain management, BlueTree was tasked to build the relevant central and decentralized stakeholder’s capacities on procurement, print, distribution and warehouse management. BlueTree developed training modules on quality assurance, best practices in distribution and procurement processes to address the capacity needs. The capacity building plan was aimed at providing technical support to the Ministry of Education (MOE) in the process of decentralizing the printing and distribution of books.