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Somalia Abdiwahid Hassan

Retail Logistics Consultant
A Day in the life of CTG Staff
The beneficiaries responded well to the app; they really appreciate it as it’s improved their lives and provided life-saving assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

I always wanted a job that helps me to build my career and I thought this role is particularly well suited to my experience and interests. As a Retail Logistics Consultant, I usually monitor market prices of the products we offer, collect information on our suppliers in the app, and check availability of food items. I also carry out retailer monitoring and shop visits to evaluate the retailers’ performance, and I assist contracted retailers and beneficiaries on the use of the WFP E-Shop. This is an important job in order for WFP management to make solid decisions about the app.

I was the lead co-ordinator for the WFP E-Shop project, having registered a large number of beneficiaries for the e-shop, mobilised the Somali community to use the application, and legitimised the home delivery concept to local authorities. CTG supported me through the process from the field work stage through to implementation; and more recently they’ve supported me throughout the Covid-19 pandemic by supplying the necessary PPE equipment such as masks and gloves, so that we could continue delivering assistance to areas of need.

One of the best parts of working on this project is I get to see what is coming before anyone else and test it out, this is particularly the case for new technology. It’s a great opportunity to get my hands on the latest apps, tools, and systems. Innovations of this kind are essential in supporting donor communities and it gives them choice of preference, dietary diversity, increases their livelihood and restores dignity.

The app has already empowered many local women and rural communities who have gained enough skills and knowledge to operate smartphones that they weren’t able to operate before. For this reason, I really believe the humanitarian community as well as global actors need to support tech advancements by increasing resources and funding capacities.

The beneficiaries responded well to the app; they really appreciate it as it’s improved their lives and provided life-saving assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The main challenges before the arrival of the e-shop was the time it took for beneficiaries to receive food assistance. They would have to stand in long queues, so retailers had no chance to give beneficiaries their preferred items because there were too many people to accommodate. Before, there was a tracking system that ensured beneficiaries received entitlements. The new system with the app has really helped management to monitor the transaction of every shop.

Luckily, we experienced very few challenges to launching this project. The only challenge was that beneficiaries might not have smartphones or might have little knowledge in operating the application, but that’s where training came in. We also made provisions for those who cannot afford a smartphone, by issuing a USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) code, a Quick Code which can be used on feature phones.

If I were to give advice to someone wanting to follow in my footsteps, I’d say always start from the foundation then you slowly climb the ladder until you reach your targets, patience is key. Work hard and always have a strong vision.

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