From October 2011 to February 2012, the United Nations System Staff College held three workshops, two in Turin, Italy and one in Bangkok, Thailand, designed for senior operations staff. 

Improving Management Efficiency through Training

These workshops built on the experiences of the 2011 United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) rollout where operations management was for the first time incorporated.  The training provided participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to support UN Country Teams deliver better programmatic results and achieve business efficiency.  

Over five days operational staff explored a variety of topics including an integrated approach to programme and operations; the governance framework for Common Services; the Process Approach Model; Harmonized UN Procurement, Human Resources Management and Cash Transfer; and Transaction Costs. 

There were participants from 21 United Nations agencies with 62 countries represented, including senior staff from seven Delivering as One Countries, some self-starter countries, the Joint Office in Cape Verde, UN Missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and UN staff from Nairobi and New York.

Next Steps:  Launch of a Community of Practice Network

As a follow-up to participants’ feedback, the United Nations System Staff College is championing a Community of Practice Network (CoP) to provide a forum for exchanging best practices in management efficiency.  ‘Effective learning occurs when members can apply hands-on knowledge, share with peers their insights and success, and do not feel isolated in the process,’ says Roberto Bilgera, from The United Nations System Staff College. 

The CoP network will be open to all attendees of the three Operations Management Skills workshops, and to those individuals who participated in four regional UNDAF Planning workshops and the Common Services Train the Trainers workshops held in Cairo, New York and Dakar.  The objective of the CoP network is to provide a platform for learning, sharing, and collaborating on all issues related to common services and harmonization of business practices, a key priority for the CEB.  The CoP network will be a useful online tool providing links to business operations guidelines, case studies, training materials and inter-agency agreements. 

Scheduled for launch in May 2012, the CoP network will include a dedicated moderator to ensure that knowledge sharing on common services and harmonized business practices results in enhanced and sustained productivity across the UN system.