Quantification is the process of estimating the quantities of health products and the financial means required for a health programme or service for a given period. It refers to the step that determine the ‘right’quantities of health products to be procured for ensuring uninterrupted supply.

The results of a quantification exercise help programme managers to:

  • identify the funding needs and gaps for procurement of the required commodities;
  • leverage the sources, amounts, and timing of funding commitments to maximize the use of available resources;
  • advocate for additional resources, when needed;
  • develop a supply plan to coordinate procurements and shipment delivery schedules to ensure a continuous supply of commodities.

Source: John Snow, Inc. (2017). The Supply Chain Manager’s Handbook.

UNDP’s approach

UNDP has supported quantification activities for malaria, tuberculosis and HIV health products for national quantification committees in all countries funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund) since 2002. UNDP encourages the use of standardized quantification tools developed by partners. UNDP also provides expertise during national quantification committee meetings and the training of personnel responsible for forecasting the needs for medicines, diagnostics and laboratory items for the three diseases.

For countries receiving the Global Fund grant funds, strengthening quantification processes is a key element to ensure that the right quantities of health products are procured to prevent overstock or products being out of stock. Support may include the review of the quantification process and the terms of references of national quantification committees.

UNDP offers technical assistance on quantification to countries beyond those receiving the Global Fund funds as well, by mobilizing partners with quantification expertise or directly by including this need in service level agreements with UNDP.

Key resources

Estimating Drug Requirements: A Practical Manual, WHO
A practical manual by WHO for the quantification of medicines.

Quantifying pharmaceutical requirements MDS-3
Management Science for Health (2012). Managing Access to Medicines and Health Technologies.

Quantification of Health Commodities
John Snow, Inc. The Supply Chain Manager’s Handbook.

ARV Forecasting Tool by the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative
Some programme-specific quantification tools exist, such as for HIV/AIDS

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