Efficiency behind the scenes: Management and Operations

Human resources

© UNICEF/HQ05-1460/Pirozzi
UNICEF’s human resources strategy continues to embrace harmonization and foster strong links to the UN reform process, which promotes a more integrated United Nations through simplified management.

High on the agenda has been aligning human resources activities with the objectives of the Medium Term Strategic Plan 2006–2009 and with UNICEF’s aim of making the maximum contribution towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

In 2005 UNICEF invested in technological systems – such as SAP-HR for payroll and human resources management and administration – that allow resources to be moved from the important but more routine transactional personnel processes towards the achievement of more strategic HR developmental issues.

Strengthening recruitment and improving staff effectiveness

The recruitment system has been strengthened in terms of both timeliness and quality. UNICEF continues to use an approach to selection, succession and performance management that is based on competencies (e.g., embracing diversity, integrity, analytical and conceptual thinking, and a drive for results, to name only a few) that has been critical in improving human resource management.

To improve staff effectiveness in child-focused policy analysis and advocacy, a Global Learning Strategy was designed during 2005 and is being implemented in 2006. To fully sustain UN policies on HIV/AIDS in the workplace, a major staff orientation programme on HIV/ AIDS was implemented at UNICEF Headquarters, and 506 staff members attended the sessions. UNICEF’s commitment to staff well-being was demonstrated through the‘P2D’ programme for personal and professional development, attended by nearly 3,000 staff during the year.

Operational responsiveness in emergencies

The Indian Ocean tsunami, the South Asia earthquake, other natural disasters and armed conflicts around the world placed extraordinary demands on capabilities in planning, deployment and administration of staff. Meeting these challenges required the organization’s Division of Human Resources to strengthen its emergency preparedness and operational responsiveness. Along with managing the recruitment and placement of personnel working in emergency areas, UNICEF provided professional counselling services for affected staff and families.