Innovation 2023 five minutes with… Kristiina Kivirand of Estonia’s stockpiling agency

By on 20/03/2023 | Updated on 20/03/2023

In this sister series to our ‘Five minutes with’ interviews, we share insights from the civil and public service leaders that will be speaking at our free Innovation conference. Taking place in London on 21 March 2023, and available to stream on demand, during the event officials from all over the world will promote and develop new approaches to policymaking and service delivery.

In this interview, Kristiina Kivirand, head of procurement and quality at the Estonian Stockpiling Agency (ESPA) – who will join the conference session on innovation in procurement – tells GGF about her work in a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, the public servant she most admires, and learning from Finland’s National Emergency Supply Agency.

Click here to register for Innovation 2023

What are you most interested in discussing at Innovation 2023?

Delegated inventory contracts.

What drew you to a career in the civil service? 

My deep interest for public procurements and anti-corruption activities.

What challenges have you overcome in your career? 

During the COVID pandemic I worked in a hospital and our procurement department managed to ensure personal protective equipment to all medical workers so the clinical work could continue.

At ESPA I have developed the whole procurement strategy and I´m really proud of it.

What do you like most about working in the civil service? 

The feeling that your work is important. You are part of an organisation that ensures supplies to the population in case of emergency.

Which public servant – past or present – do you most admire and why?

Lennart Georg Meri. He was the former president of Estonia (1992 – 2001) and a writer. His most famous book is Silverwhite (Hõbevalge in Estonian). I admire him for his actions to secure the international position of the Estonian Republic.

Which country’s government department are you most inspired by and why? 

Finland’s National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA) – it has succeeded in facilitating collaboration between the public, private and third sectors to ensure security of supply.

Can you name one lesson or idea from abroad that has helped you and your colleagues?  

An idea from NESA – instead of delegated inventory contracts it ensures supply security with production capacity guarantee agreements. To do this in Estonia, however, it is necessary for ESPA to develop cooperation with the private sector and obtain the consent of the Estonian government.

What attributes do you most value in people? 

Curiosity and honesty.

Is there something about you that people find surprising?  

I´m quite keen on internal security. I also have a Master’s degree in internal security (from the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences) which isn’t very common among women in Estonia.

What is your favourite thing to do at the weekend? 

I spend much time at the gym at the weekends, and I like to spend time with my kids.

More from this series: 
Laura Gilbert, 10 Downing Street chief analyst
Ann Dunkin, US Department of Energy CIO
Peter Pogačar, director general of Slovenia’s Ministry of Public Administration
Megan Lee Devlin, UK Central Digital and Data Office chief executive
Martin Ledolter, Austria’s Federal Procurement Agency managing director
Christine Bellamy, director of publishing, GOV.UK, Government Digital Service

Want to write for GGF? We are always looking to hear from public and civil servants on the latest developments in their organisation – please get in touch below or email [email protected]

About Mia Hunt

Mia is a journalist and editor with a background in covering commercial property, having been market reports and supplements editor at trade title Property Week and deputy editor of Shopping Centre magazine, now known as Retail Destination. She has also undertaken freelance work for several publications including the preview magazine of international trade show, MAPIC, and TES Global (formerly the Times Educational Supplement) and has produced a white paper on energy efficiency in business for E.ON. Between 2014 and 2016, she was a member of the Revo Customer Experience Committee and an ACE Awards judge. Mia graduated from Kingston University with a first-class degree in journalism and was part of the team that produced The River newspaper, which won Publication of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards in 2010.

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