Doing more with what we have
In order to maximize impact and make the most of UN resources, we are improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations, rationalizing our structures, building a global and dynamic work force, and encouraging innovation in every area.
Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of operations
WFP delivers emergency aid to the victims of the floods in Southeastern Haiti.
- To improve programmes, reduce transaction costs for governments, and lower overheads, the UN is improving on-the-ground coordination. Since 2007, “Delivering as One” pilots are bringing UN activities in 8 countries (Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay, Viet Nam) under one leader, one budget, one programme, and in one office.
- To help Member States reduce the costs associated with escalating conflicts, we have invested in capacity for conflict prevention. In 2008 we established a fully operational Mediation Support Unit and rapidly deployable Standby Team of Mediation Experts.
- To provide comprehensive human, material and support services to UN peacekeeping and political field missions, we created the Department of Field Support in 2007.
- The General Assembly endorsed the Global Field Support Strategy in 2010 which is designed to achieve economies of scale and decrease the size of peacekeeping missions by consolidating logistics, transport, and human resources support.
- In a multi-year global effort, the UN consolidated its activities aimed at empowering women by merging four different entities into one agency: UN Women. UN Women will lead global efforts to accelerate gender equality, expand opportunity, and tackle discrimination around the world.
- In 2007, we restructured the Department for Disarmament Affairs into the Office for Disarmament Affairs to better mobilize the public and the political will necessary to re-energize action on both disarmament and non-proliferation issues.
Building a global and dynamic workforce
UN Peacekeepers carry out demining in the Golan Heights.
A multi-year Human Resources reform programme is underway to build a multi-skilled, versatile and mobile global workforce.
- In 2009, the UN consolidated contractual arrangements into three types of appointment, compared to 16 that had to be administered under the previous system.
- In 2010, we introduced a revised staff selection policy, and a new e-staffing tool (Inspira) was launched together with a new career web portal.
- We completed a workforce planning exercise for UN headquarters and for the field.
Innovating for maximum impact
- In 2009, the UN established a new Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT). Implementation of a global ICT strategy is ongoing to consolidate our information and communication technology infrastructure, and to improve systems, tools, and methods of the Organization for greater effectiveness and efficiency.
- In 2010, the UN established the Global Pulse, which will use new technologies to provide real-time data to decision-makers on the impact of global shocks on the most vulnerable populations.
- We are renovating UN Headquarters in New York, transforming the historic building complex into a safer, more modern and more energy-efficient venue. We are introducing new technologies to reduce the UN's carbon footprint by 45%, reduce greenhouse gas emission by over 23,000 tonnes a year, and reduce water consumption by over 40%.
- The UN is moving from print to the web, including social media tools, for the electronic distribution and use of UN documents and publications to much larger audiences worldwide. The result: UN Headquarters used 70 million fewer sheets of paper in 2010 than in 2009. That is equivalent to the height of 45 UN Secretariat buildings, or one Secretariat building saved every eight calendar days.
As part of a continued effort to introduce new efficiencies, a number of initiatives are under way.
- The UN is establishing the first regional service centre for peacekeeping missions in Entebbe in 2011 to achieve economies of scale.
- The Secretary-General is working with Member States to improve the budget process and make better use of limited resources.
- We are rolling out a new state-of-the-art system for managing programmes and resources, UMOJA, which will save the Organization hundreds of millions of dollars. It will be adopted worldwide by the end of 2013.
- We are launching an initiative to simplify and harmonize business practices across the entire UN System.
- The UN has initiated a review of the performance assessment system as part of the larger Human Resources Reform.
- We are piloting initiatives to encourage greater staff mobility.