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Senior Health Products Supply Chain Specialist – United Nations Economic Commission for Africa ( UNECA)

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Senior Health Products Supply Chain Specialist – United Nations Economic Commission for Africa ( UNECA), July 30 2022




Organization: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa ( UNECA)

Position: Senior Health Products Supply Chain Specialist

Location: Addis Ababa

Employment: Contract

Date of Announcement: July 29 2022

Deadline: August 4 2022






Job description


Posting Title: Senior Health Products Supply Chain Specialist
Department/Office: Economic Commission for Africa
Duty Station: ADDIS ABABA
Posting Period: 29 July 2022 – 04 August 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Economic Commission for Africa-186439-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
Result of Service


It is against the background and specifically focused on the establishing the CCPM framework and first level information sharing database by end of September 2022 that ECA seeks the services of Senior Health Products Supply Chain Specialist to support the CCPM first level information sharing database development focused on integrating knowledge of RMNCH commodities and EM procurement systems across pilot member states countries; data health systems integration, data analytics and digitization of the data for integration to the information sharing database across the 10 pilot countries, with a view for integration and scale up to other regional platforms such as African Medicines Suppliers Platform (AMSP) and to other countries in Africa. The scope for this initial assignment is limited to developing the wireframe of the database and identifying key data metrics to onboard with some abilities to showcase select pilot countries’ and SRMNCH products under a prototype. At scale and continuing with the Pharma Initiative’s Implementation Phase 3 scheduled to start in November 2022, this database aimed at achieving more comprehensive information sharing between member states will be endorsed by Ministers of Health or other designated ministers as per established regional protocols.
The final product comprising the database is expected to provide accurate, timely and reliable data related to the suppliers, costs, information for the procurement of medicines and medical equipment as well as information on regulatory status of selected medicines and available African based local manufacturers across all member states.

Some of the main data categories to be captured in this database include:

• Pharmacopeial information of all selected products among the essential medicines list of Sexual Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health products (SRMNCH) – the selection and priority of data sharing will be assessed and agreed with the member states involving the current National Pharma Consultants

• Prices of Medicines (with historical trends if possible) – metrics for prices and benchmarks from other platforms such as UNICEF, Global Fund and AMSP will be explored and data format, specifications and availabilities in each pilot country mapped and assessed

• Vendor performance to include information on procurement modalities and terms under eac of the countries and whether integration to current procurement systems will be needed will be assessed and included

• Products demand among participating countries – this will require understanding of current national demand aggregation methods used by each country and how to share and standardize this information across the database for good market intelligence

• Registration status of the products

• Information on Available local production across the continent with a view to engage private sector etc

The Senior Health Supply Chain Specialist is expected to work directly with the Senior Health Data and M&E Specialist who will lead this scope in collaboration with ECA Technical Team and Initiative Pillar and National Health consultants as well as with IT expert within ECA.

Proprietary ownership of the database fully resides with the ECA during development and upon completion of the product, data would be held and hosted in the Secretariat’s chosen private Cloud Platform managed by the designated ICT division. In Phase 3 implementation of the Initiative, migration and integration of relevant database functions and data will be discussed and implemented with the AMSP – African Medicine Supplies Platform as and when member states approve its integration for the purposes of select medicines.

The expected outcomes of the Database in its operational full functionality at end of Phase 3 is that it will assist member countries in the following ways,

• Improve efficiency of forecasting, quantification and supply chain management of health products needed in the region

• Contribute towards reducing manufacturer net selling price for member countries.

• Improve efficiency of forecasting, quantification, and price negotiation process for the members.

• Provide a readily searchable database of verified supply information to ease decision making for procurement processes.

• Allow provision of data driven price analysis and insight for key stakeholders.

• Fully functioning web-based product hosted and maintained on the ECA chosen cloud environment.

• The Secretariat will provide system resources as specified by the vendor that are in line with business requirements and expectations


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Work Location

Addis Ababa

Expected duration

The consultancy would run for a period of three months from the date of signature of the contract thus August – October 2022.

Duties and Responsibilities


I. Background

The AfCFTA-anchored Pharmaceutical Initiative (Pharma Initiative) was initially launched in November 2019 by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), alongside the Government of Seychelles (representing select Small Island Developing States (SIDS)), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Union Development Agency- New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), in collaboration with UN Family entities, WHO, UNFPA, UNDOCO and UNAIDS. The initiative was first commissioned in select 10 pilot African countries which include Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, Djibouti, Eritrea, Rwanda Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia anchor at IGAD.
The Pharma Initiative contributes towards the aspirations of the 2030 Global Development Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. In addition, it demonstrates the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA) by ensuring that private and public sector collaborations yield tangible results.

The Pharma Initiative’s specific objectives are:

i) To address socio-economic-related challenges facing African member countries relating to access to equitable, safe, and affordable medicines and the creation of fiscal space to the African countries in the era of rising government debts,

ii) To showcase the operationalization of the AfCFTA and Africa Medicines Agency (AMA) within the Pharma Initiative’s three pronged pillars: localized pharmaceutical production, pharmaceutical pooled procurement, and a harmonized regulatory and quality standards framework,

iii) To increase intra-African trade of manufactured goods including medicines.

As part of the Pharma Initiative Work Program, two studies were successfully conducted and validated namely, Feasibility Study and Situational Analysis, and the Framework for Implementing a Centralized Pooled Procurement Mechanism (CPPM) in 10 Pilot Countries focusing on Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Products (RMNCH). As a follow up to key recommendations, the ECA in collaboration with its partners and stakeholders launched the CPPM and its work program on 29 July 2021. The virtual meeting objectives was to seek the buy-in of all stakeholders and agree on common approaches to deliver on the mechanism.

In order to deliver on CPPM, the Pharma Initiative’s national pharmaceutical and pillar consultants will now be involved on the ground in putting into practice the first stage of information sharing database on the purchases of medicines, vendor performance, annual requirements, and other relevant information regarding status of existing supply chain management in pilot countries. This is key deliverable of a Level 1 information sharing database towards the endorsed CPPM in Phase II.
It is generally accepted that the concepts of harmonization and convergence are important building blocks in the strategy of centralised pooled procurement. In harmonisation, member countries together become involved in the adjustment of differences and inconsistencies among their different methods, procedures, or systems to make them uniform and mutually compatible. The ultimate goal is towards convergence where the countries come together to form a new whole. In addition to the above concepts, it is now universally agreed that the different models of pooled procurement start with information sharing through the creation of a platform for participating countries to share basic information on pricing, vendor performance and products demand as well as be a knowledge platform for stakeholder engagement and monitoring and evaluation of key initiative economic and social indicators. This can be effectively achieved through a regional medicines database platform that can be custom-made to achieve the requirements of the member countries and support M&E processes and continuous improvement and sharing of impact of the Initiative.
The platform can also be utilised as a network for work sharing among the member countries whereby successes in procurement and supply chain management achieved by one country can be shared on the platform through discussions among those responsible in the procurement of health products.

II. Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Executive Secretary of ECA, Ms. Vera Songwe and Directors of Regional Integration and Trade (RITD) and Gender, Poverty & Social Policy Division (GPSPD), the senior health supply chain specialist will have the responsibility to support the following activities:
• Review current available pilot country level procurement models and available data systems and procurement across select SRMNCH products

• Work along ECA’s Technical and Consultant team to assess internal server specifications and understand available databases wireframes, technical specifications and agree on a platform – likely a cloud-based platform under which to start developing the database

• Detailed data mapping scope and support team from an essential health products commodities supply chain and procurement expertise across pilot countries: which will include support review data metrics and indicators used for benchmarking regionally (e.g AMSP or other pooled procurement databases, USAID, etc.) and support mapping from an IT data specification perspectives to select pilot country available data formats and metrics

• Propose an initial “wireframe” for the database that is focussed specifications, data analytics and integration and data sharing objectives and on ensuring metrics to collect at country level and enter in database will meet the member states’ needs for eventual pooled procurement purposes

• Ensure proposed wireframe is easily aligned to other databases for integration such as with ECA’s internal database schemes and specifications as well as AMSP, country level procurement systems and other AU digital databases for ease in future integration and interoperability

• Create and develop the initial and scalable digital platform for sharing prices of essential medical supplies, including medicines, equipment, and related health products as well as regulatory information and private sector local manufacturing information

In undertaking the assignment, the consultant will also:

• Produce a rapidly delivered but high-spec functional prototype that will be ready in time for presentation to the responsible ECA officials – Mid-September 2022

• Conduct research, examine best practice on various databases, and make appropriate recommendations to the ECA Secretariat.

• Consult with various stakeholders including relevant government agencies and other non-governmental national and international institutions working in similar subject areas.

• Report work progress to the designated ECA officials on a regular basis and as required.

• Draft and submit a full report that will include all proposed specifications of the database include data inputs from countries and roadmap for scalability to other countries and platforms at the end of the consultancy in accordance with the agreed timelines.


Job requirements

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Qualifications/special skills


Academic Qualifications: The consultant must have at least a Master Level’s education in field of Health, management, and planning expertise with a background in Pharmacy or Biological sciences related discipline. It is preferred but not mandatory for the consultant to have additional digital health and technical IT expertise or having developed a resource sharing database in health as an addition but not required and could have been acquired through work experience.

Experience: The candidate should have at least twelve (12) years of relevant technical experience working with governments and private sector on international health issues and in the policy space. At least 5 years’ experience in an international or emerging market experience/setting is also required to provide the global and relevant technical oversight and input to this scope. Demonstrated ability to develop positive working relationships with government, donor/development partners, private sector actors and host country officials is a must. Strong health data and technical skills with ability to plan, coordinate, and implement work inputs from several sources and partners, and handle simultaneous delivery of multiple outputs is preferred. Strong understanding of characteristics, data issues and drivers of the pharma sector across Africa both from the demand side of the market as well as the supply side and a strong understanding of the enabling environment including data governance and state of play is preferred. Excellent data analytics, written and oral communication skills with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work across agencies and cross-culturally with diverse teams. Ability to work independently with minimal supervision is a must.

Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat and is required for this TOR given the need for extensive regional countries engagement.

How to Apply

To Apply for this vacancy Click on the ‘Apply Now’  button below. Please make sure that you have read the requirements section very well before you apply.

No Fee


The United Nations Does Not Charge A Fee At Any Stage Of The Recruitment Process (Application, Interview Meeting, Processing, Or Training). The Nations Does Not Concern Itself With Information On Applicants’ Bank Accounts.


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