Procuring Prequalified Products
Procurement of prequalified products can be carried out through various mechanisms, including government public procurement service providers, UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations and others.
An overview of the procurement process via UN agencies in general can be found in the UN Procurement Practitioner's Handbook (and for Gavi funds, via the Gavi Cold Chain Equipment Optimisation Platform). The handbook provides guidance on best procurement practices, processes and procedures. Procurement in the UN system is governed by the established regulations and rules of each UN organization. While such regulations and rules may differ slightly, all organizations operate following similar principles and general processes.
An overview of the procurement process applied by UNICEF Supply Division is given below.
Procurement via UNICEF Supply Division
The first step for any national programme of the Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI) is to identify appropriate products and devices that meet the needs of their particular operating contexts. EPI programme managers should:
- estimate the type, energy source and volumes required
- request a cost estimate for those products from UNICEF Supply Division, via the relevant UNICEF Country Office
- consult UNICEF Supply Division at an early stage to establish a realistic timeframe for placement and delivery of the order and to determine the necessary budget.
UNICEF Supply Division, in conjunction with the supplier, will then define the final timeline for starting and finalizing the procurement process.
If the information provided by the EPI programme is complete, UNICEF Supply Division will provide a final estimation of cost that takes into consideration the extent of requested products and/or services, the individual programme set-up and any other specific conditions (e.g. geographic location).
The national EPI programme completes a procurement services request, which it submits to UNICEF Supply Division via the relevant UNICEF Country Office, with the following information:
- Type of product requested
- Material number(s)
- Expected arrival date
- Consignee details.
Thereafter the EPI programme should transfer the funds to the UNICEF Supply Division, so that the latter can place the purchase order with the supplier. UNICEF Supply Division will inform the UNICEF Country Office and Procurement Service partners that the order has has been placed.