Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Network Manager (Regional Southern Africa Supply Support Unit)

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Job Description


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. We work in over 60 countries, offering assistance to people based on need, irrespective of origin, religion, creed or political affiliation.

MSF Operational Centre Brussels is looking for a: Regional Southern Africa Supply Support Unit (SASSU) Network Manager

Operational Context

Mid-2019 MSF Belgium (OCB) launched a reform in support of the projects aiming at providing more autonomy to the projects (see concept paper attached). Southern Africa missions (Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South-Africa) have been chosen as first pilot and an innovative and transformational approach will be implemented in 2020 in the region.

This unique set up will promote more autonomy for the projects by:

  • increasing responsibility and competences at the project level

  • reducing the responsibility of the today’s national Coordination teams who will transition towards ad-hoc National Support Teams.

A Regional Support Team (RST) will be established to be the first line of contact for the projects for strategic matters. The RST will report directly to the OCB Director of Operations.

The core positions of the Regional Support team will be based in Johannesburg, joining the Southern Africa (SnA) section with the aim to develop as many synergies as possible (with the section), primarily on Communication, Human Resources and advocacy common interests. Other members of this Regional support team will be based in other offices in the region with the possibility of sharing national and regional responsibilities.

The Regional team will promote a holarchic approach by including project staff in strategic decisions and by encouraging a distributed setup within the regional team.

Every member of this RST will have her/his specific area of expertise and focus while a main point of attention will be to create and to animate a network that is able to make decisions as collective as possible and to allow maximum cross-fertilization between the projects and the National Support Teams.

‘National support team’: a transformation of what is currently known as the Coordination Team (often based in the capital of the country) into a mixed team of junior and senior profiles that provide country-specific support within the different technical domains (HR, fin, supply, log, med..) and keep a role of representation at country level.

‘Project teams’: based on unicity of every project reality, lifecycle, setup etc..., During 2020, a reinforcement and/or re-organization of punctual, temporary or more permanent positions/ functions will accompany the transition towards a more final setup. Speed of transition is project-specific.

With this new approach in mind, the Supply Department launched the regional initiative SASSU (Southern Africa Supply Support Unit). SASSU is a network of supply expertise in the region with the core team based in South Africa and part of the distributed regional support team.

Main objectives

Develop Supply Chain knowledge management and networking capacity to strengthen the support to the operations wherever OCB operates, working in close collaboration with the local teams in the countries and the MSF offices nationally. Responsible for managing the effective customer order fulfillment of medical and non-medical goods and services for the region.

Define and guarantee the implementation of an effective and efficient regional supply chain with a focus on process optimization, information system alignment and correct application of the various regulatory guidelines and laws concerning importation/exportation and storage of medical and non-medical goods.

Design new standards, procedures and policies adapted to the new regional flows, to enable the development of the projects and optimize the impact of the medical projects.

Purpose of the post:

· Support the project Supply team in defining and revising the supply strategies of the projects according to the countries context and the operational needs, in line with MSF’s protocols, policies and guidelines.

· Create/review process documentation/workflows for SASSU’s workflow

· Ensure and Manage monthly demand planning process for the region. Ensure demand plans are timeously submitted per project location/regional office. In Collaboration with the regional procurement manager, ensure that the demand plans are translated into accurate forecasts and leveraging volumes for negotiations and orders.

· Create/Monitor performance metrics (KPI’s) to understand service and efficiency trends within assigned customers and identify opportunities for improvement based on deliverables as stipulated in the regional service level agreements (SLA’s).

· Define, ensure and monitor that at project level the efficient implementation of the overall supply procedures and the use of tools to support the different supply activities, propose adjustments when needed (through emphasizing a coaching and mentoring approach with the supply project team and Country support team)

· Ensure the stability of supply activities within regular and emergency intervention of the concerned projects (National and Regional) by validating sources, communicating forecasts and seasonal trends with suppliers/distributors and securing stock availability, buffer stock and EPrep consignment stock suited to the projects Standard Lists and emergency needs.

· Analyze and monitor constantly the gaps in the supply chain and ensure durable solutions in each domain with proper utilization of the local, regional and global resources.


· Act when needed as Technical Support to the supply teams in the region as well as to all other departments South Africa

· Manage national and regional field visits on regular basis to offer a permanent support when needed

· Validate the use of the supply related third parties (suppliers, transport companies, freight forwarders, etc.) proposed by the procurement officer, and customs officer, Ensure SASSU network system stay up to date regarding all medical programs,

· Responsible of drafting SASSU’s supply chain and order fulfillment strategy, as well as the regional procurement and transport guidelines governing the way in which projects will interact with the support hub.

· Ensure that the correct filing and archiving systems of the supply documentation are in place and followed to guarantee the availability and the coherence of supply data.

· Monitor and document customs regulatory requirements for each of the regional partners and collating the customs guidelines for each country, and monitoring the database of key actors in the customs and transport process for the region that will be stored in a central repository.

· In collaboration with the Supply Chain Team Leader, establish suitable regional transport networks, monitor customs costs, and contracting of appropriate third-party service providers for freight forwarding and transport insurance.

· Lead efforts to evaluate alternative Supply Chain networks that optimize cost and operational objectives in the region.

· Responsible of resolving escalated claims and complaints.

· Collate and author knowledge articles to be shared on the OCB Supply Chain’s Community of Practice platform.

· Transversal Supply Technical support and Capacity Building for project supply teams to be independent.

· Participate actively in the definition and monitoring of annual project planning and budgets and the Emergency Preparation Plan, defining the strategy in terms of supply to support the projects’ operational ambitions.

· Collaborate with National Support Finance and Regional Finance to define the setup the relevant Document Management system for collation of project/regional supply documentation and ensuring that the correct filing and archiving of the supply documentation to guarantee the availability and the coherence of supply data.

· Identify root causes of customer supply chain inefficiencies and stock outs. Facilitate solutions with local, regional and international resources as well as end user customers and relevant stakeholders.

· Act as Mobile support in the region to ensure the level of services from SASSU

· Identify with the Supply national and project referents key technical referents for each supply chain domain in the region and build the avenues to make them mobiles.

· Build or put in place a proper Knowledge management platform where all regional supply staff (SASSU) can have access and participate with their ideas and initiatives.

· Work closely with Advocacy and Access campaign departments in order to build specific solutions in the region for MSF, e.g. advocate for tax exceptions for critical drugs, reduce the drugs price for our programs, open new access in other entry points of the countries

· In collaboration with regional Procurement Develop and maintain a strong working relationship with other departments and suppliers in obtaining competitive bids, negotiating and setting up blanket orders and contracts, sourcing of goods, and Problem Solving.

· At regional level (SASSU), evaluate yearly the HR set-up related to supply (team sizes, JD’s, organigrams, division of tasks and responsibilities). Follow-up (training-coaching) and evaluation of the staff under his/her supervision

· Ensure that supplier performance for SASSU is properly monitored and regularly reviewed. Liaise with designated supplier(s) for improvements.

· Analyze economics, market and politics tendencies at national, regional and global level to identify opportunities / benefits for MSF supply chain in the region

· Build external network with key actors (private, NGOS or government entities)



  • Essential degree/National diploma and specialization in Logistics/Supply Chain or equivalent work experience


  • Essential experience in supply chain management (minimum 2 years) and in organization of supply Administration and procedures

  • Essential MSF experience of minimum two years in a similar position such as Supply Team leader or higher

  • Essential knowledge of Supply dynamics within the SnA region (inside or outside MSF)


  • Coach style posture capacity and service orientation

  • Strategic Vision

  • Leadership

  • People Management and Development

  • Teamwork and Cooperation


  • English proficiency is mandatory; Portuguese is an asset


  • Expected starting date: Q3 2020

  • Position based in South Africa. Proximity with the projects and hence travel within the SnA region is required

  • Long term commitment, a minimum of 2 years (renewable)

  • Contract under local SA legislation and Level 13 of IRFFG

  • Family position

  • Adhere to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment

  • Adhere to the MSF Behavioral Commitments

  • To agree with the philosophy and principles behind the Field Recentralisation programme of OCB

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