Case Synopsis

The Canadian Federal Government is looking into improving the mobilization capacity of federal emergency supply systems. Edgar Reyes, a consultant at the public health consulting firm Axiom Alliance Health, has been awarded a federal contract to identify solutions to suit this need. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed gaps in the National Emergency Stockpile System (NESS), which is maintained by the Public Health Agency of Canada. These gaps have affected the government’s ability to address pandemic-related supply shortages. Edgar’s task is to provide recommendations to increase the system’s response capacity. He hopes to isolate actionable areas for review by a future advisory committee and support the development of federal emergency response. Edgar has also been tasked with determining a need and solutions for improving emergency response and supply delivery for Indigenous and remote communities from the NESS. Edgar and his team conduct a roundtable stakeholder meeting with the key stakeholders associated with the NESS to determine common themes and systems-level solutions. Edgar also conducts stakeholder engagements with provincial administrative employees to isolate further gaps in the system. He determines there are significant data gaps, and more investigations will be required to support improvements in NESS mobilization capacity. Edgar manages to identify two specific action items that have their own unique tradeoffs. A key consideration between these alternatives is the potential consequence of excluding Indigenous and isolated community insights from emergency planning and emergency infrastructure development.

Case Objectives

1. Gain an understanding of emergency preparedness and emergency resource allocation principles.
2. Consider the role of social determinants of health in the context of an adverse population-level event.
3. Understand the importance of stakeholder engagement to generate solutions for resource mobilization and capacity building.
4. Understand the role of systems-level thinking in emergency preparedness.

Case Study Questions

1. What are the main issues presented in the case? Who are the key people and groups involved, and what are their perspectives?
2. How can the social determinants of health influence community resilience during adverse events? What might the role of social determinants of health be in the context of emergency preparedness and the case?
3. What are potential consequences of failing to involve rural and Indigenous community stakeholders during emergency planning? What are some challenges to stakeholder consultation given the context of the case?
4. What other stakeholder engagement activities could Edgar have used that would help him in his investigations?
5. How might systems thinking be used to understand disaster resilience and emergency preparedness?


All-hazards approach, emergency management, emergency preparedness, stakeholder consultation, COVID-19, National Emergency Stockpile System, emergency supply mobilization, emergency resource capacity, systems-level thinking, shelf-life extension programs, Indigenous community consultation



Recommended Citation

Rizvi, A., Gera, M., Thind, A., (2022). Eyes on the Supplies: Improving Canada’s National Emergency Stockpile System (NESS). in: Darnell, R. & Sibbald, S. L. [eds] Western Public Health Casebook 2021. London, ON: Public Health Casebook Publishing.