Launched in 2009, Project Last Mile (PLM) is a pioneering cross-sector partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Global Fund, The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation to help improve uptake of life-saving health services and enable medicines go the “last mile” to communities in Africa.

GETF serves as the fiduciary and partnership manager for Project Last Mile and the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute serves as the monitoring and evaluation partner for the program. Project Last Mile improves the availability of life-saving medicines in Africa by sharing and translating the expertise and network of the Coca-Cola System with Ministries of Health and their partners. PLM brings together subject matter experts, Coca-Cola partners and Coca-Cola staff to design a picture of success and deliver a customized solution to critical challenges.

PLM follows a three-step approach of Engage, Deploy and Sustain to build programs in each market. At each stage, PLM leverages different levels of input from The Coca-Cola System. Using this approach, PLM:

  • Engages key stakeholders through in-depth scoping to understand the local context, need and willingness to change;
  • Deploys resources to work with Ministries of Health and partners, injecting key private sector expertise to transfer skills and knowledge and build capacity; and,
  • Sustains an ongoing coaching and mentoring relationship that deepens and enhances the model for local Coca-Cola and Ministry of Health linkages.

Project Last Mile has supported work in eight countries in Africa to date, with the program goal to improve health systems management and supply chain efficiencies in 10 African countries by 2020. See below for details on four representative programs:

  • In Sierra Leone, Project Last Mile is partnering with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation to help redesign last mile distribution of life-saving medicines following the Ebola epidemic.
  • In Mozambique, Project Last Mile is teaming with the Central de Medicamentos e Artigos Médicos and local partners to improve delivery of life-saving medicines by optimizing route-to-market and logistics practices.
  • In the Kingdom of eSwatini, Project Last Mile is supporting the Ministry of Health and partners to increase demand and utilization of HIV services by sharing strategic marketing skills.
  • In Nigeria, Project Last Mile is working with Lagos State to improve the uptime and management of vaccine cold chain equipment to save the lives of children by making life-saving vaccines more regularly available.