I was thinking today that it may not be very clear to people what a WFP Programme Officer does on a normal day, so let me share what I did at work today:
§ Yesterday the Ministry of Education confirmed that we can go ahead with a school meals emergency response by providing food to all drought affected primary schools during the August holiday. This means that there will be no teaching at school but the students can show up and get a meal at noon. Today I followed up with logistics; they had already moved around 50% of the food (Yay for WFP Logistics! But I told them to move even faster; over 7,000 tons - let’s do it in two weeks), I called the Ministry to push them to do their part which they are doing very well (their part is moving a lot of food - Let’s hear it for the Ministry of Education!); I called a few field offices to see what action they had taken a day after the intervention was approved officially; quite a lot J
§ I am Project Manager on an energy-saving stove project in the Dadaab refugee camp. We are buying between 5,000-10,000 stoves for the refugees. One of the suppliers sent us a sample today. We hope to select a supplier by end of next week but 6 things need to happen: official opening of the tender box, technical evaluation, financial evaluation, presentation to the tender committee, award the contract and maybe release of an advance payment.
§ A large purchase order of institutional stoves was placed today which means that my other project for stoves in schools will reach 1,000 schools by the end of the year and that all deadlines will be met. I recently trained 350 head teachers on the project; it took 3 days, and we got very positive responses; this was mainly due to the prep work of our field offices (well done them).
§ We received an urgent request for our regional office today; they wanted to know how much fortified porridge (called “corn-soya-blend”) we could loan out to our Somali operation. I did a simple calculation, called our warehouse guys in Mombasa just to double check our stock levels, and sent it off.
§ I coordinated some other payments for our projects, released about a 100 payments in finance (took 45 minutes) and signed a few checks for staff that were travelling.
§ I texted with a Danish Journalist in Dadaab refugee camp and gave her some practical advice. It also seems that another Danish paper wants an interview with me later this week and then I found out later in the day that I was mentioned in an article about Kenya in the second largest newspaper in Denmark. Had a meeting with them on Monday but didn’t know they would put me in the paper!
§ Gave some data for our monthly report, did some pre-work for some upcoming projects, wrote a recommendation.
§ Got a call from a contractor in the evening. He wanted me to come to the school he is building for us in the slums and see the progress he had made. I’ll go there tomorrow morning, so we can plan for his next payment, I don’t want him to run out of money again…
§ I also learned today that a 6 month-old baby can sit up in a small tub by himself…but only for 12 seconds, after which he will subsequently lose his balance and hit his head on the plastic edge.