Skip to content

SPINCO Logistics Data-steward

  • Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
International Office

Job description

Location: Any MSF office

Contract: Fixed term at 80%

Duration: 6 months

Deadline to apply: 22/07/2024

Starting date: September 2024

Compensation and benefits: MSF practice is to offer the C&B package current in the MSF entity establishing the contract

*By default, the successful candidate will be offered a contract in the MSF office of their country of residence at the time of application.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race,

religion, gender or political affiliation.MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 24 sections, 26 associations and 18 branch offices together. Registered in Switzerland, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested.


Coordination and Source of Product Information (SPINCO) was created to maintain consistency in the choice of medical and non-medical articles between MSF sections in order to improve MSF interventions, while taking into account field realities. Proposed and developed by the logistics and medical departments, SPINCO was officially recognised at International level in 1994 and integrated into MSF International in 2006.

SPINCO is the driver for effective collaboration across the movement to deliver a central source of trusted product information that enable continuous process improvements. SPINCO contributes towards MSF’s social mission by enabling improvements to field operations through the provision of product information to all layers in the organization. This enables product quality and visibility for better quality of care, enables assortment management, improves supply chain performance and increases overall interoperability whilst reducing duplications of effort. SPINCO’s core role is coordinating the expression of the demand of articles (medical and non-medical) and ensure it is properly translated for supply whose role is to fulfill that demand.

In 2016, UniData has been implemented, which is the unique central article database of MSF that contains all the codes created in MSF, avoiding duplication, improving the articles description. It contains all standard, non-standard and non-standard local articles with their descriptions.

Therefore, it provides visibility on the expression of the demand and helps streamlining supply chain processes. UniData details all items available for the field and shares article changes with the Movement. It contains all standard and non-standard articles with their descriptions. UniData shares this article information with all relevant MSF Staff and systems including to the field.

In 2020, UniCat was launched. UniCat is a web site with the standard and non standard logistical article information for all relevant MSF Staff including to the field.


The person reports to the SPINCO Logistics Referent.

The person will be interacting with the data-owners in the European supply centres (ESC referents), the SPINCO team in Brussels and the international working group members in the MSF Operational Centres (OC), as well as with representatives in the field.

The position of interim SPINCO Logistics Data-Steward is a maternity replacement at 80% (4 days a week) at SPINCO.

The SPINCO Logistics team will consist of two Logistics Data-Steward and a Logistics Referent.

The Data-Stewards act as a "1st line point of contact" for all counterparts requesting new codes, code changes or article descriptions. They are each responsible for a different portfolio of technical topics.

Portfolio A : Energy & electricity, Transport, Cold chain, Safety, Nursing & nutrition

Portfolio B : Water & Sanitation, Construction & Shelter, Field ICT & GIS, Safety, Telecom, no WG articles.

The interim SPINCO Logistics Data-Steward will take care of Portfolio B and will work together with the related working groups. Both functions are supervised by the Logistics Referent. All three can step in for one-another during holidays and absences.The Logistics team is sometimes temporarily extended with one or several additional technicians helping out with descriptions and/or with a volunteer.


The SPINCO Logistics Data-Steward’s role is to save-guard the logistical article database and keep it in line with the codification rules. He/She will do so by creates new logistical articles for the 5 operational centres (OCs) of MSF in UniData in order to enable the supply of articles to the field missions. The logistical data steward ensures that all articles in UniData have a correct codification (code and labels) and proper description of the article specification.

S/he will act as primary point of contact and follows-up on all requests for new articles or improvements on article information, related to the technical fields of his/her portfolio. Requests could come from data-owners in the ESCs, the OC referents and/or field representatives via e-mail, request forms or UniData feedbacks, and need to be dealt with in collaboration with subscribed counterparts. In addition, the Logistics Data-Steward will assist the Logistics Referent with data clean-up exercises when his/her primary tasks allow it.


1- 1st line support

  • First point of contact: receive, flag, answer or forward to the appropriate persons all incoming questions and requests for information, advice or extraction of information from UniData via feedback in UniData, e-mails, phone and/or face-to-face meetings
  • The creation and validation of article codes following the codification rules and adaptations on codes or labels in collaboration with data-owners.
  • Keeping a good working relation with the data-stewards in the supply centres. Visit all ESCs at least once this year, speak to the data-owners by phone at least once per month.
  • Keeping the feedback mechanism in UniData workable: regularly following up on flying feedbacks / feedbacks related to un-valid articles and yearly closing exercise towards the end of the year with logistics UniData users.

2- Safeguarding data quality and maintaining set of codification rules

  • Review proposed new codes and labels from SCs or field locations and check if these are compliant with the codification rules
  • Propose if needed enhancements to codes, labels or the rules to improve the final result. Set-up inter-ESC meeting with relevant data-owners to improve codes and/or labels of larger group of articles.
  • Guide and assist the Data-Owners at the ESC’s with the use of the code & label generator when creating new articles
  • Make sure existing codification rules are set-up correctly in the code & label generator including the link between significant parts of the codes and the label blocks
  • Review and propose new draft rules for groups of articles if needed to guarantee uniformity
  • Enter these rules in UniData including related label blocks in the code & label generator
  • Assure that corrections in codes, labels and other attributes are made when needed
  • Follow-up with ESC data-owners on issues coming up when they're applying the rules
  • Follow-up on data-quality indicators and checks, such as in the indicator dashboard, comparing UniData attributes with the codification rules (master-file and/or proposed code & label) and propose changes to relevant counterparts and adapt information in UniData accordingly.

3- Respond to the field needs in terms of product assortment

  • make the product information available and visible for the MSF field and enquire for the field needs that could be translated in unicat.
  • improve and maintain the quality of the information through regular contacts with field missions where there is an agreed regional supply centre or intersectional initiative requesting Spinco assistance

4- Statistics

  • Create and share the Monthly log reports with all relevant stakeholders
  • Work together with the production team towards the development of the reporting tool and automated report
  • Create weekly a report on indicators and follow-up on quality issues
  • Create and publish other reports when requested

5- Contribute to improvements

  • Continuous improvements in and around UniData may require testing of new features, interfaces and changes in the UniData system and its governance
  • Work in collaboration with the production team on improvements in UniData and UniCat
  • Share suggestions for improvements with the production (help-desk) team
  • Follow-up of other tasks requested by the SPINCO Logistics Referent
  • Occasionally replacing the Logistics Referent in meetings.

Job requirements

  • Bachelor degree
  • Computer skills are essential
  • Customer oriented, resilient, good people skills: to deal with (re-)explaining rules, guidelines and governance to stakeholders
  • Problem solving & initiatives taking attitude
  • Able to prioritize and/or multi-task with good time-planning
  • Proficiency in English (both speaking and writing) and knowledge of French
  • Adaptability in order to work in a changing environment with changing interfaces
  • Attentive to details for data entry/modification in active master-data system
  • MSF field experience in a logistical position with writing capacities.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our employees. We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics