Advancing the new management paradigm: Management reform in action

The vision for management reform is to improve programme delivery by aligning responsibility for mandate implementation with the authority to manage resources, simplifying the administrative policy framework of the Secretariat, and moving decision-making closer to the point of delivery.

A key first step in achieving management reform took place on 1 January 2019 with the launch of two new departments: the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC) and the Department of Operational Support (DOS). These will cooperate closely to build a more responsive and field-oriented Secretariat. This includes co-chairing a Management Client Board to ensure systematic and integrated feedback between the new departments and their clients.

DMSPC provides strategic policy leadership in all areas of management. Through a clear and integrated global framework, the department is poised to shape a results-oriented and risk-aware culture of continuous learning and accountability. In addition, DMSPC will offer project management capacity, and support managers with results-based management, internal evaluation, enterprise risk management and other methodologies for continuous improvement, innovation and organizational transformation.

As the operational arm of the Secretariat, DOS delivers end-to-end guidance and support on supply chain management, personnel matters and training, ICT requirements, and support for uniformed capabilities to approximately 90 entities, comprising more than 400 duty stations and offices. As needed, DOS will exercise delegated authority on their behalf. The new department also has the capacity to provide more detailed planning and surge support in special situations.

Infographic depicting revised delegations of authority framework

Revised delegations of authority framework. (Click to enlarge)


To bring decision-making closer to service delivery and empower managers, a comprehensive, new framework for delegation of authority (ST/SGB/2019/2) was designed and entered into effect on 1 January 2019 with the Secretary-General delegating authorities to heads of entity globally.

The Office of Information and Communications Technology will have dual reporting lines to the heads of DMSPC and DOS to ensure continuous service for the entire Organization.

With enhanced accountability, transparency and client-focus, the new management paradigm will help break silos, harness good practices and develop common values across the United Nations system.

Updates

The Secretary-General has signed the first Statement on Internal Control for all operations of the Secretariat for 2020, marking an important milestone towards achieving greater accountability for results.  The Statement on Internal Control is a public accountability document that provides reasonable assurance that the Secretariat operated under an effective system of internal control during 2020.

The UN MEDEVAC Mechanism serves as an example of a successful One UN partnership between numerous entities to design, resource, and implement a system-wide medical evacuation framework in the face of the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Complementing First Line of Defense (FLOD) activities, COVID-19 MEDEVAC is a last resort, which provides life-saving support for severely ill COVID-19 patients who require a level of care not available at their location. This ensures that UN personnel, partners, and their dependents can continue to stay and deliver.

The global human resources strategy of 2019-21 set a goal to become “simplified, decentralized, flexible, and field-oriented” in order to drive strategic human resources management and empower managers. 

Then COVID-19 exposed an overreliance on physical paperwork and signatures in our human resource management. Adopting electronic signatures and migrating paper-based forms into digital systems will help the United Nations strengthen its ability to manage human resources in an ever-changing world.