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About UNICEF: Employment

Irene Ayako


Contracts Officer
Supply Division
UNICEF, Copenhagen, HQ

Nationality: Kenya
Education: Catholic University of Eastern Africa (Kenya); Daystar University (Kenya)
Field of Study: Purchasing and Supply, Business Administration
Languages: English, Kiswahili, Luganda
“UNICEF for me is a family away from home that has given me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of thousands of children and women suffering all over the world.”
I was hired by UNICEF in 2006 as Supply Officer in Operation Life line Sudan Office (OLS), in Kenya. My role then was that of a supply planner for the South Sudan Office.   At the end of 2007, with the closure of the OLS office, and opening of the South Sudan Office in Sudan, I joined the mission to South Sudan as a Supply and Logistics officer to assist in setting up the UNICEF Supply and Logistics office in the country. It involved recruitment of Supply and Logistic staff, staff training, and setting up procurement procedures and processes, procuring UNICEF goods and services, and supervising new Supply and Logistics staff. 

The UNICEF office being one of the biggest UN partner in South Sudan, meant that the Supply and Logistics office played a key role in responding to emergencies. We worked closely with logistics clusters, emergency teams and other partners since we held emergency stock, had warehouse facilities and local transporters contracts in place.

While in Sudan, I moved around the field offices to support training programs and logistics officers, and to oversee that supply and logistics procedures were being adhered to in all the field offices. For a period of two months in 2008, I acted as camp manager in UNICEF Lokichoggio, assisting with the closure of the camp. In 2010, I moved to Supply Division as a Contracts Officer  working in the Health Technology Centre, Malaria Prevention and Diagnostics unit,  and responsible for procurement of Rapid diagnostics tests kits.

A typical day’s of work starts with responding to mail and attending to issues which require my immediate attention. Attend meetings, sourcing, drafting and sending out bids, contracting, and liaising with customers and vendors, reporting and monitoring of orders to ensure that right goods are delivered to intended partners on time.

My advice to aspiring UNICEF applicants - It’s an organisation where you will find professionalism, diversity, passionate and dedicated people who work to alleviate the suffering of the children and women all over the world.



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