Project Manager MSF Strategic Procurement Project

Location: Operational Centres (OCs) or European Supply Centres (ESCs): Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Geneva, Paris or Bordeaux.

Contract: Full-time position, 1 year renewable contract

Starting date: February 2017

Reporting to: Executive Supply Chain Secretary

Deadline for applications: 14 December 2016


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of origins, religion, gender or political affiliation.

MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together.  MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested. MSF International also provides administrative support to the MSF Access Campaign.


MSF consist out of 5 Operation Centres (OCs) and 3 European Supply Centres (ESCs). In the supply domain there are several inter-OC and inter-ESC dossiers. This number is growing due to the necessity and need to increase cooperation between the MSF entities.

The Project Manager for the MSF Strategic Procurement Project (MSPP) is a new post, created to kick-start the MSPP.

Currently MSF’s operational budget is growing rapidly; this trend will continue in the years to come. Consequently, the growth of supply activities and therefore, the procurement of goods and services is likely to grow at a similar pace.

Our medical/operational ambitions are expected to continue to change in the foreseeable future focusing even more on complicated morbidities (and related complex protocols) in increasingly challenging contexts with higher quality demands. We will face a growing demand for complicated products. Our responses to the broader public health issues (epidemics, vaccination campaigns, feeding programs) will remain.

Additionally, it is expected that importation will continue to become more and more regulated in a growing number of contexts putting international procurement further under pressure, and thus agility becomes more and more key for the procurement function.

An increasing operational presence of MSF in middle income countries and even Europe will further complicate procurement where traditional approaches won’t suffice.

We see growing procurement tension in those cases where the humanitarian health sector seeks the same product range from a very limited number of supplier/manufacturers (i.e. Ebola).

Besides a limited amount of dossiers there is little systematic approach to coordinate procurement across the 5 OCs and 3 ESCs at a strategic and operation level.

Intensified collaboration between MSF’s procurement and MSF’s Access Campaign will be needed to secure access to affordable medicines.

This has a direct impact on the ability of MSF to live up to its vision statement as laid out in the Organisation Supply Strategy:

“For MSF as a movement to establish the most efficient and professional supply chain of its kind in the humanitarian sector, providing field operations with the required products and services on time, in full and in good order, at the right level of quality and cost, with optimal flexibility and with minimal operational complexity, duplication and waste.”

“It is our (procurement) mission to ensure that suppliers provide products, services and works according to the defined MSF specifications (including the agreed quality and time frames) within an optimized Total Cost of Ownership.”

In light of the above, the Executive Supply Chain Committee (ESCC) decided in July 2016 to launch the MSPP.


The Project Manager MSPP will:

  • Report hierarchically to the Executive Supply Chain Secretary (ESCS), Bert Koelewijn;
  • Work closely with a working group consisting  of procurement managers and staff from the 5 OCs and 3 ESCs;
  • Interact with other stakeholder groups within the MSF movement (Medical[1], Pharmacy, Operations, and Logistics) who own the content of the product groups involved.

The Sponsor of the project is the ESCC represented by Nicolas Dupont, the OCB Supply Director.


Develop and introduce a global approach to strategic procurement across the 5 MSF Operational Centres (OCs) and 3 European Supply Centres (ESCs) covering international, regional, national and local procurement (including HQs).

Our agreed definition of strategic procurement:

“Long-range strategic plans to secure (minimize supply risks) the supply of goods and services with the requested quality, in time and against optimized costs in order to fulfil the needs expressed by its requestor.”

Nearly 50% of our procurement is done at field level (coordinations and projects). At field level we lack visibility concerning the quality of processes and procedures in place as well as

the quality of products and services procured. Therefore the MSPP will have an important focus on procurement in the field.

Specific Objectives

  1. Strive for the optimization of the triangle of quality, services and cost (considering whenever possible the total cost of ownership) in order to fulfill MSF’s operational needs.
  2. Reduce unnecessary duplication at all procurement levels and develop an MSF procurement network in order to optimize the use of the resources available.
  3. Increase MSF’s market leverage and overall accountability through increased cooperation and consolidation of purchases.

Expected Benefits

  1. Efficiency gains in the use of current resources as a result of reduction of unnecessary duplication and introducing an MSF wide network.
  2. Cost savings as a result of increased cooperation and collaboration in purchases.
  3. Improve quality of goods and services received.


Design phase (< 6 months):

  • Develop a detailed project implementation plan in collaboration with the working group  and submit it for sign off by the ESCC  that includes the following components:
    • The project rationale and business case
    • A detailed description Project Objectives plus constraints.
    • In-scope and out-of-scope items.
    • Direction concerning the solutions (including rationale).
    • Identification of opportunities and risks (plus risk mitigation and contingency plans).
    • Target deliverables including milestones.
    • Proposed budget and resources needed for implementation.
    • Project and sub-projects chronogram (detailing activities per key deliverable and timeline).
    • Identification of Quick wins.
    • Propose the adequate governance structure (i.e. project owner, sponsor, steering committee and stakeholders

Implementation phase (>12 months):

  • Lead the planning and implementation of the MSPP project
  • Define project tasks and resource requirements
  • Manage project budget
  • Manage project resource allocation
  • Plan and schedule project timelines
  • Track project deliverables using appropriate tools
  • Provide direction and support to project team
  • Quality assurance
  • Constantly monitor and report on progress of the project to all stakeholders
  • Present reports defining project progress, problems and solutions
  • Implement and manage project changes and interventions to achieve project outputs
  • Project evaluations and assessment of results



  • Masters level in Business Management or Supply Chain - Procurement specialization would be welcome or a combination of relevant education and professional experience.


  • 5+ years of relevant experience in international supply chain management focused on procurement.
  • Experience in long-term strategy development and implementation in a global organisation.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading large and complex organizational change processes.
  • Direct work experience in project management capacity, including people management, planning, risk management and change management.
  • Having a Humanitarian and/or MSF experience and knowledge is an advantage.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles of MSF
  • Demonstrated managerial skills and leadership experience.
  • Ability to lead, manage and motivate other team members.
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational and project management skills.
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  • Ability to work in a cross-cultural and cross-functional environment.
  • Complete in-depth grasp of international complex supply chain management.
  • Demonstrated excellent problem-solving abilities.
  • Drive for change, improvement and innovation.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure, displaying sound initiative and judgment.


  • Fluently spoken and written English.
  • Good command of French is an advantage.

Starting date: February 2017

Contract: Full-time, 1 year contract, renewable

Location: Operational Centres or European Supply Centres: (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Brussels, Geneva, Paris).

Deadline for applications: 14 December 2016

Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “Project Manager MSF Strategic Procurement Project” in the title.

Please submit only one file containing your CV and cover letter and name the file with your last name only.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

[1] The Quality of medical products follows strict policies/requirements as laid out by the medical directors.