Meet Ladu David
Procurement Manager, South Sudan
Tell us a little about your career.
I joined Action Against Hunger on December 29, 2011. Before joining in a full-time permanent position, I worked for a month and a half as an event organizer for a workshop on Cash Transfers while I was interning in college. I returned to school for another semester only to find AAH advertising for a Procurement Assistant position. I applied, went through the HR routine, and was selected as the candidate for the job. Since then, I have worked my way to my current role of Procurement Manager.
Tell us about your current role as Procurement Manager.
In my role, I manage all procurement for the coordination office and field bases, including the emergency response team. I am responsibility for transmitting all HQ procurement requests from Juba to Nairobi and liaising with the field procurement officer to complete our reporting requirements. I manage different framework agreement with suppliers, train staff in procurement processes, and ensure procurement guidelines are followed, among other things. Currently, I am focusing a lot of energy on helping my staff become confident using LINK.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
A typical day for me is very busy and packed with lots of different activities. At times, it feels I’m torn in all different directions but it makes my job very exciting. I am able to stay motivated by the high level of team work involved and knowing the reason for our struggle is serving beneficiaries.
What do you like most/least about your job?
What I like best about my job is knowing that I am contributing to saving the life of a woman or child in vulnerable conditions. This is my primary motivation and keeps me pushing on. What I like less is the fact that, despite the great humanitarian work we implement, aid workers are still targeted and discriminated against. We often do not get the recognition we deserve.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I am most proud of my professional growth within the Logistics Department. To come from an assistant position and rise to a manager position is just massive for me. I am also proud of the some of the difficult decisions I have made in my life to bring me to this point, like snubbing a government scholarship to study law and choosing to pay my way through my studies to follow my passion.
What is the most challenging and rewarding aspect of your job?
One of the most challenging aspects of my job is the poor logistics in country considering the insecurity and poor conditions on roads leading to supply interruptions. The most rewarding aspect is the high level of team work. It is due to this team that, despite the challenges, we will always deliver on what is expected of us.
What are important qualities for logistics professionals to possess?
They have to be calm, analytical, resilient and be able to adapt to all situations.
What do you wish more people knew about humanitarian logistics?
How necessary team work and cooperation is for humanitarian logistics operations to work.
What advice would you give to new logistics professionals?
They must possess a team spirit and willingness to learn, not only from others but also from their own mistakes. They also need to know that the expectations on them will be very high so that projects can be successful.
What are the most significant changes you’ve seen in the industry?
The most significant change I’ve seen is Action Against Hunger’s shift to put more effort into emergency response than static projects. I also witnessed the transition from ACF-USA to the new identify of Action Against Hunger which more clearly communicates what we stand for. Finally, the introduction of new technology has been significant, including LINK, Echo Sign, and other platforms that help us digitize and organize archives for future reference.
What challenges and innovations do you see on the horizon for humanitarian logistics?
One of the challenges that is always present in humanitarian logistics is the need for heavy coordination and the amount of luck that is often required to get it right. I hope that in the future more attention and resources are invested in gap analyses so solutions can be identified to close gaps.