Supplies and Logistics

Why choose PS?


Through Procurement Services (PS), UNICEF purchases and delivers supplies and equipment, as well as supply chain-related services, on behalf of government and non-government partners.

UNICEF’s key advantage is that it offers partners support throughout the procurement cycle, building on national capacities. This broad approach includes technical assistance (such as product needs assessment), management services (such as project management) and supply services (including in-country logistics).

UNICEF’s assets are:  

Objective of UNICEF Procurement Services
Evaluation of the Supply Function: UNICEF Procurement Services
Capacity-building of partners
Global network, local knowledge
Integrity 
Experience
Price performance

Quality
Technical expertise

Reliable delivery
In-country logistics

Objective of UNICEF Procurement Services
The objective of PS is to offer UNICEF's knowledge, purchasing capacity and logistics expertise to our development partners.  One of its aims is to transfer capacity to governments, so they can progressively assume procurement undertaken by UNICEF.

By using PS, counterparts increase their access to essential supplies at more affordable prices than through their own independent channels.

With the emergence of and growth in new funding mechanisms (eg. GAVI, Global Funds, SWAPs), governments can use UNICEF's PS to procure supplies, utilising the donor funds that they receive bilaterally, in a way that is consistent with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

Evaluation of the Supply Function: UNICEF Procurement Services
The recent external evaluation of the Supply Function has reaffirmed PS as a key channel through which governments counterparts and partners can gain access at scale to a range of essential supplies for woman and children.

The evaluation, which included a survey of PS, partners confirmed that:

  • UNICEF PS have a global reach and a clear focus on essential supplies for women and children.
  • Governments, donors, NGOs and other partners value UNICEF's PS.
  • PS is a secure mechanism to provide continued access to essential supplies for women and children at good market prices.
  • PS supplies are supporting the achievement of national objectives and global MDGs.
  • PS supplies can strengthen the programme work of UNICEF when they are closely coupled with UNICEF-supported programmes.
  • The quality of supplies procured via PS is appropriate.

The evaluation also noted areas for improvement:

  • Increase transparency on the basis for and use of the PS handling fee.
  • Increase the capacity building component in PS activities.
  • Continue to improve the operational efficiency of PS.

Capacity-building of partners
We respect our partners as equal stakeholders. We encourage knowledge-sharing and capacity building to promote self-sufficiency, supported by the safety net of UNICEF’s considerable procurement experience. We arrange training in procurement and supply management upon request.

Global network, local knowledge
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and areas globally. In addition to our main warehouse in Copenhagen, regional supply hubs are located around the world. We are in a unique position to work locally with global standards.

Integrity
We apply the most rigorous and fair standards to our procurement processes, and follow stringent ethical principles.

Experience
The organization has over 60 years of experience in supporting children. UNICEF Supply Division is recognized as the UN agency leader in vaccine procurement and in the purchase of HIV medicines. We cooperate with other UN agencies and leading development organizations, finding better supply solutions by pooling our knowledge.

Price performance
Our position as market leader in the procurement of basic child vaccines, mosquito nets, etc. gives us unparalleled leverage in negotiating the lowest prices with suppliers. We have long-term arrangements in place with suppliers for over 800 products, guaranteeing you quality items at highly-competitive prices.

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Quality
Whilst price is always an issue, we do not compromise on the quality of the items we procure. The Division’s inspectors inspect all supply shipments arriving at the UNICEF warehouse and evaluate samples submitted with bids. Pharmaceuticals and vaccines must comply with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines and WHO standards and requirements. We can also arrange for independent quality control, if requested.

Technical expertise
Our Supply Catalogue lists the specifications of some 2,000 items. Supply Division has teams of specialists for a wide range of commodity groups, including vaccines, cold chain and immunization devices, micronutrients and pharmaceuticals including HIV/AIDS and malaria treatments, medical equipment, educational supplies, and water, environment and sanitation items. UNICEF assistance can be as comprehensive as you require and range from consulting, technical advice, provision of expertise, transfer of know-how or technical data, instruction and training.

Reliable delivery
Our Copenhagen warehouse stocks over 850 items that can be packed and sent within a short time. Global freight-forwarding arrangements ensure quality service at competitive rates.

In-country logistics
To ensure an efficient, effective storage and flow of supplies from the port of entry to the household level, UNICEF can provide a range of services, both for establishing new systems, and supporting existing ones.

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