October 2022 VCSP Retreat

Join us at the October 2022 Retreat for the COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative Supply Planning Initiative (VCSP)

October 3 – 7, 2022
Johannesburg, South Africa

2022/10/03 00:00:00

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Welcome to Johannesburg!

 We are excited to bring VCSP to Johannesburg. This modern city is located northeast of Cape Town in the Gauteng province. It is part of an urban yet lush area that offers a wide range of accommodations, dining, and activities.

Retreat Venue

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VCSP Oct 2022 will take place at the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre. The Birchwood is situated in the East Rand suburb of Johannesburg, just a 15-minute drive from the O. R. Tambo International Airport. Explore the area

Objectives, Agenda, & Schedule


During the retreat, the expanded VCSP team will:

  • Share experiences in vaccine management and VCSP with country-based programs and partners and international partners
  • Discuss current country and global challenges around collaborative supply planning, identify solutions, and create and present individual action plans
  • Discuss VCSP evolution since the beginning of the initiative and the April retreat
  • Increase understanding and use of the VCSP tool and other resources (available and/or needed)
  • Increase their ability to apply the adaptive learning approach and process
  • Update their maturity assessments and related work plans
  • Provide input on, options for integration of COVID-19 vaccines into routine immunization (RI) programs, including sharing of lessons learned in past
  • instances integrating other new vaccines into RI programs
  • Review and revise the current draft Data Use Policy
  • Discuss next steps for and the future of the VCSP initiative

The high-level schedule is below, a detailed agenda will be shared closer to the retreat.


Poster Reception & Quantification Assignment

Poster Reception

VCSP will host an informal poster reception on Night One (October 3) to learn from each country about their key achievements, challenges, successes, and goals.

Each country team shall prepare a poster using the template below in whichever language they prefer (coming soon!); guidance on the content can be found in the template. Participants will receive English translations of posters in French and French translations of posters in English.

Please submit final posters to Bethany Saad (bethany_saad@jsi.com) by your COB on September 2 for review, formatting, translation, and printing. Printing will be done in South Africa.

Quantification Assignment

Choose one or more of the options below to help review quantification concepts, terms, and definitions.

1. View sections of an online quantification course: (approx. 24 minutes): If you are not already enrolled in the course, enroll (for free) in the JSI eLearning course “Lessons in Logistics Management for Health Commodities” at https://elearning.jsi.com/. Refer to Session 8: Quantification of Health Commodities and view the following:

  • Lesson 1: Overview of Quantification (approx. 3 minutes)
  • Lesson 3: Forecasting for Each Commodity (approx. 12 minutes)
  • Lesson 7: Supply Planning, sections 8.1 through 8.81 (approx. 7 minutes)
  • You may of course also watch the other lessons related to quantification in the session. (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes

2. Read a summary chapter on quantification: (approx. 20 mins.): Download a copy of The Supply Chain Managers Handbook at https://www.jsi.com/resource/the-supply-chain-managers-handbook/ and read Chapter 5: Quantification of Health Commodities

3. View the video The Art & Science of Forecasting (approx. 23 mins.) found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1c-jR_hPMg

Safety & Health Policies

Johannesburg Security & Safety

Please treat Johannesburg like any other big cosmopolitan city. Be savvy and aware at all times, lock your valuables in your hotel room safe, and keep the windows up when you are in a car. The hotel will provide a security briefing on Day 1 of the meeting. Please talk to JSI South Africa staff for more information. The hotel will provide a security briefing on Day One.

JSI COVID Retreat Policy
  • All participants must be vaccinated AND have proof of negative COVID PCR test taken no more than 72 hrs before departure. JSI will reimburse for the cost of the test and necessary travel.
  • If you are symptomatic or test positive before the trip, email vcsp_retreatinfo@jsi.com.
  • Facemasks will be provided and participants are encouraged to wear them throughout the indoor meetings.
South Africa Yellow Fever & COVID Policy
  • Requires Yellow Fever vaccination certificate >10 days before arrival for those traveling from countries in the Yellow Fever belt.
  • Currently, COVID test and vaccination rules are waived in SA, however JSI policy above will take precedence.
Home Country & Airline Policies

If your home country or airline requires it, JSI will arrange and pay for PCR tests at the hotel in South Africa so that results are received in time prior to departure. It is the responsibility of the traveler to confirm and follow these requirements.

Travel Planning

Process Overview

JSI will connect each participant to a finance/admin Point of contact (POC) who will support their travel arrangements, payments, and reimbursements.

  • JSI should directly cover as many travel costs as possible. Any remaining allowable costs that you pay out of pocket will be reimbursed, along with daily per diem allowance, at the end of the retreat via an expense report.
Obtain Airline Ticket

To be arranged and paid for directly by POC- they will reach out to request necessary information to get a draft itinerary via the most direct route. Before booking the ticket, the itinerary should be approved by you, and the retreat management team (Bethany or Joyce). When flight is booked, email itinerary to vcsp_retreatinfo@jsi.com.

Itineraries should follow these travel dates:

  • Arrival: Sat Oct 1st or Sun Oct 2nd (depending on available itineraries/as your schedule allows)
  • Departure: Sat Oct 8th (checkout for all participants)
Obtain Necessary Visa

Once flight is booked, submit visa application ASAP; this is important given global visa application delays. It is your responsibility to follow the visa requirements based on your passport/citizenship (see SA’s visa website). Your POC can support with the consulate, necessary documentation, and fee payment.

  • Regular Visa applications: Required for passport holders of some countries.
  • e-Visa applications: Available for passport holders from Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Philippines, and Uganda.
  • Visa Fees: About $25 USD and should be paid by JSI POC. If not possible, participant can pay and get reimbursed (save receipt). If needed, JSI HQ can pay directly; please email vcsp_retreatinfo@jsi.com.
Hotel Reservation

JSI has reserved rooms for all participants at the Birchwood Hotel and will cover hotel accommodation costs. If your parent organization has agreed to cover hotel costs, ensure your payment is arranged, and email vcsp_retreatinfo@jsi.com to coordinate. We will align your reservation with your final flight itinerary (including early/late checkout needs). If you need proof of hotel reservation, email vcsp_retreatinfo@jsi.com.

Arrange Travel Insurance

Participants must have health insurance coverage in order to attend a JSI-sponsored event. Confirm with your insurance company or parent organization if your current insurance plans will apply while on travel in SA. If not, email vcsp_retreatinfo@jsi.com so that JSI can arrange a short-term policy, including the following information:

  • Name
  • Country of Residency
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Itinerary Dates
  • Is applicant currently under medical care?
  • Emergency Contact (name, relationship, phone number)
Airport Transfers

Home country legs: Coordinate with your POC to arrange appropriate pickup/dropoff for both legs from your home to your home-country airport.

South Africa legs: All participants will take the Birchwood Hotel Shuttle (see details below). If you arrive outside of the shuttle schedule period, the JSI South Africa team will arrange a car hire to pick you up. They will meet you at airport arrivals with your name on a card.

  • Shuttle From OR Tambo International to Birchwood: Every hour at 10 minutes past the hour from 2:10pm-10:10pm
  • Shuttle From Birchwood to OR Tambo International: Every hour at ten minutes past the hour from 1:30pm – 9:30pm

Directions to the Birchwood shuttle at the OR Tambo Airport: Follow the directions below to get to the shuttle area.

  • From International Arrival Terminal to Shuttle: As you exit the Terminal turn left. The Intercontinental Hotel will be on your right hand side across the drop off lanes. At the first pedestrian crossing you will see a sign – “public transport”. Continue going through the Car Hire Foyer. Upon exiting the building you will enter the shuttle pick up area where all the hotel shuttles will be; look for the Birchwood branded shuttle bus or sedan.
  • From Domestic Arrival Terminal to Shuttle: As you exit the terminal turn right and start walking towards the International Arrival Terminal. The airport parkade will be on your left hand side. Continue until you get to a pedestrian crossing with a sign – “public transport”. Continue over the pedestrian crossing entering the Car Hire Foyer. Upon exiting the building you will enter the shuttle pick up area where all the hotel shuttles will be. Look out for the Birchwood branded shuttle bus or sedan

Payment/Expense Reimbursement

Submit Advance Request

Travelers can receive up to a 75% advance of total estimated per diem for their trip (see allowable expense table below). You must submit the advance request at least 14 business days prior to departure, and reconcile the advance within 10 business days of return from travel through the Expense Report (see below). Make arrangements with your POC to receive the advance in USD- if not possible, we encourage you to exchange to USD prior to departure. For certain participants coming from countries without JSI field offices, cash advances may be received in ZAR upon arrival in South Africa and reconciled before departure.

Reimbursement for Allowable Expenses

For any allowable cost (see below) that JSI cannot cover directly, that you must pay out of pocket, we will reimburse you using an Expense Report. Your POC will share an Expense Report that must be submitted within 10 business days of return. JSI requires a copy of receipt for any cost > $25 USD. Once approved, you will receive payment via bank transfer/mobile money/cash (depending on country norms).

What to Bring


Encouraged to wear throughout event inside venues

COVID Paperwork

Vaccine card and negative PCR test result

Laptop Computer & Charger

Required to participate in some sessions

Travel Policy Card for your Records

This will be emailed to you once policy information is provided


What to Expect

October in Johannesburg, South Africa, is good and comfortable- with average temperatures between 11.2°C (52.2°F) min to 23.8°C (74.8°F) max – however, it can be wet and unpredictable, so please bring a mixture of clothing.

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Coming Soon

Participant materials folder

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Click here for the April 2022 Retreat Website

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Any Questions?

Please contact vcsp_retreatinfo@jsi.com

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Any Questions?

Please contact vcsp_retreatinfo@jsi.com