International Procurement Consultant - SHOPS Plus Afghanistan

  • Mid-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 24 October 2019

Job Description


Short Term consultancy for preparing guidelines and handbook for ensuring timely, cost effective and seamless procurement of health products in Afghanistan.

Requesting applicants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, or Nepal.

The Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus Afghanistan is a five year (January 2016 – September 2020) project to strengthen the impact and sustainability of the Afghan Social Marketing Organization (ASMO). ASMO is a local social marketing organization established with support from USAID. ASMO promotes family planning (FP), diarrhea prevention and management, and nutrition by distributing associated products at affordable prices nationally. Social and behavior change communications (SBCC) is ASMO’s primary method of motivating Afghans to use these products.

Findings from the internal assessments indicated that ASMO has a procurement system is in place that monitors products once they reach the country. The assessment also exposed gaps in the transition from procurement through USAID to ASMO’s independent procurement process and highlighted ASMO’s need for new systems and skills. External pre-shipment testing, expanding and streamlining supplier identification, due diligence, and selection are particularly important skills given the geo-political challenges surrounding a country like Afghanistan that makes the process subject to disruption. ASMO faced stock-outs of many of the commodities it socially markets due to a combination of factors including stock availability among manufacturers, delays in importation and in-country customs clearances, and geo-political factors that delayed shipments. Commodity stock-outs significantly impacted access and sales achievements for some products, particularly contraceptives and iron-folic acid (IFA).

In order to help ASMO transition to assume responsibilities of international commodity procurement effectively, SHOPS Plus plans to hire a procurement consultant with expertise and relevant experience in international procurement and logistics to work with ASMO’s procurement team and ASMO’s senior management to develop a commodity procurement handbook outlining the standard operating procedure (SOP) for planning, budgeting, scoping, selecting, ordering, receiving, quality testing, and obtaining local government clearances for procuring commodities from the international manufacturers.

Along with AMSO’s procurement team and senior management, the consultant will also work closely with relevant government officials in customs, the ministries of finance and health, other relevant government departments, and reputed clearing and forwarding agents in Kabul engaged in international procurement and logistics. The consultant will work for a two month period. Travel may be requested based on the consultant’s knowledge of the local context and their approach to completing the assignment. SHOPS Plus will make security, ground transport, and accommodation arrangements for the selected consultant in Afghanistan (if s/he is not an Afghan national).

Tasks and Outputs: The selected consultant will conduct the following tasks and submit the respective deliverables.

1. Undertake preparatory work and develop work plan

  • Hold entrance meetings with the SHOPS Plus Afghanistan Chief of Party and appropriate ASMO staff.
  • Review and understand the process of procurement followed by ASMO, the in country regulatory requirements, and ASMO’s procurement requirements over next 1-3 years
  • Inception report submitted with a complete work plan, deliverables and time plan
  • January 10, 2020

2. Develop procurement guidelines

  • Identify possible local, regional and global sources of procuring products of interest to ASMO’s business keeping quality, ease of procurement, USAID compliance and costs among other relevant factors in consideration.
  • Identify possible local, regional and global C&F agents for logistics support to procurement of products of interest to ASMO’s business
  • Assess regulatory and logistical requirements for procuring health products (EML and non EML).
  • Develop reordering points for all products
  • Develop SOP for international procurement of commodities
  • Draft list by products prepared and submitted
  • List of agents prepared and submitted
  • Documentation and templates for various requirements by products completed and submitted
  • SOP drafted, submitted
  • Jan 31, 2020

3. Finalize and institutionalize procurement SOP into ASMO system

  • Finalize SOP with SHOPS Plus and ASMO management teams
  • Train the procurement team on the approved SOP and follow the same for new products procurements
  • Develop the handbook with the SOP incorporated in it
  • Final SOP submitted
  • Training and orientation package for ASMO procurement team submitted
  • Draft handbook submitted for approval
  • Feb 21, 2020

4. Complete exit formalities

  • Hold exit meetings with SHOPS Plus and ASMO management
  • Submit one final report that includes key factors influencing commodity procurement in Afghanistan, SOP developed and recommendations with templates for use
  • Final Power Point presentation deck
  • Final report submitted
  • Feb 28, 2020

Time Estimate

The consultant will be expected to complete the assignment and submit the report in no more than two months of starting work including, travel to Kabul.

Preferred Skills / Prerequisites

  • 7 – 10 years of experience in leading procurement pharmaceutical and other health products. Experience with leading commodity procurement social marketing desirable
  • Familiarity with challenges in importing pharmaceutical and other commodities into Afghanistan and experience in overcoming these challenges, as well as knowledge of local, regional (including Central Asia region), and global procurement sources essential
  • Experience in optimizing inventory holding cost while minimizing risk of stock-outs desirable
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills
  • Familiarity with Afghanistan and knowledge of Dari and Pashtun languages preferable

For consideration please submit the following to by November 15, 2019 12:00 PM US EST:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 1-2 page cover letter with information on the most pertinent experiences of the individual that will allow for a successful completion of the outlined statement of work

About the Organization

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1965, Abt Associates was built on the concept that sound information and empirical analysis are the best foundations for effective decision making. The firm blends the subject matter expertise of our staff with technical capabilities in applied research, program implementation, and data collection to shape policy, strengthen systems, measure performance, and deliver other solutions to our public and private sector clients. Examples of Abt Associates’ work include nationally recognized research, evaluation, and technical assistance to improve the efficiency of healthcare systems, the effectiveness of government housing programs, the production of food, and the measurement of public opinion. Abt’s staff of more than 2000 includes national and international experts who are known for their understanding of communities and governments worldwide, innovative research techniques, and insightful—and often groundbreaking—analyses and recommendations. Approximately 51 percent of our staff has graduate degrees; one in six has a doctorate. Our staff’s educational and professional disciplines include economics, engineering, environmental analysis, epidemiology, food security, health, housing, international development, psychology, social science, statistics, and survey methodology. Abt’s research staff is experienced with prominent statistical software packages, including SPSS, SAS, and STATA, along with qualitative software such as NVIVO and Atlas. In 2011, Abt Associates was ranked among the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 development innovators. Abt has offices in Atlanta, Ga.; Rockville, Md.; Cambridge, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Durham, N.C.; and New York City and program offices in nearly 40 countries in Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa.

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