The General Assembly in 2017 and 2018 adopted landmark resolutions outlining a roadmap for UN reform, including of the peace and security pillar, the development system and the management of the United Nations. Together, these initiatives will make the Organization more agile and effective in delivering on its mandates and more responsive and accountable to Member States. Reform is not a once-off event and the impact of those reform activities may only become visible over time.
The United Nations has developed a benefits management system to ensure that the benefits of UN Reform are properly tracked, realized and reported on. In the past, the UN has struggled to prove the benefits of reform to its stakeholders.
In 2018, the ACABQ wrote, “…as in the case of other major reform initiatives, and as repeatedly recommended by the Board of Auditors and requested by the General Assembly, the Committee emphasizes the need to establish at the start of the process the expected benefits and baseline information, the methods for monitoring, measuring and reporting on progress, and plans for the realization of benefits…”.
Our benefits management system seeks to address this gap. It consists of a benefit management framework and a benefits tracker published online.
Benefits management framework
The framework constitutes the first UN-wide approach to managing and overseeing change. It provides guidelines for how to define change initiatives, identify and measure benefits and oversee the change process.
The framework is specifically intended to identify whether we are delivering the reforms we promised with respect to
(a) improving our ability to deliver mandates more effectively, and
(b) demonstrating the UN is a more transparent, accountable, agile and flexible organisation.
The framework is also a stepping stone for the UN to transition to a continuous improvement system.
The UN developed a benefits tracker online to clearly capture and illustrate all improvement initiatives and their benefits. Relevant UN departments have defined key benefits they strive to achieve under UN Reform, and are tracking their progress against these. They include all commitments made as part of the UN Reform, but also extend beyond these.
In line with the objective to strengthen accountability and transparency, the UN has published its benefits tracker in the form of dashboards.