2002: A Roadmap to Change Management in Support of UNICEF's Medium Term Strategic Plan
Author: Quesnel, J.Q., UNICEF, NYHQ
During the meeting held for the official roll out of the Medium-Term Strategic Plan (MTSP), gathering the various task managers, it was noted that there was a need for the elaboration of an explicit change management strategy in support to a successful implementation of the MTSP. As well, during a senior staff meeting convened January 8th, 2002 for the preparation of the forthcoming meeting of the Global Management Team (GMT) on the implications of the MTSP for the strategic governance of UNICEF, it was highlighted that there was a need for a comprehensive overview of the change management process required for mainstreaming the difference that the MTSP brings to the way UNICEF ought to manage itself.
André Roberfroid, Deputy Executive Director , Programme and Strategic Planning, responsible for the roll out of the MTSP, asked the Evaluation Office to lead an informal Task Group on the MTSP Change Management. The mandate of the Task Group is to:
- examine the existing situation of UNICEF in light of the MTSP challenges, identify key factors enabling/hindering the implementation of the MTSP,
- prepare a road map for mainstreaming necessary change, and
- submit a proposal to André Roberfroid.
The purpose of the contribution of the Task Group is to facilitate a reflection on a corporate approach to the implementation of the MTSP. This reflection will serve as an input to the preparation of the forthcoming meeting of the GMT, as well as to the work of the MTSP Steering Committee.
Findings and Conclusions:
The medium-term strategic plan for the period 2002-2005 combines a reinforced results-based management approach and a human rights-based approach to programming. Building on the lessons learned from the implementation of the mediumterm plan for the period of 1999 - 2001, the new plan establishes five organisational priorities, more clearly defines objectives and indicators, and strengthens the strategic use of the evaluation function. The concept of the life cycle, as elaborated in “Emerging issues for children in the twenty-first century”, implies that UNICEF should pursue three outcomes for all children:
- A good start to life - nurturing, care and safe environment, that enables them to survive, and be physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally
- secure, socially competent and able to learn;
Assurance that all children have access to and complete a good quality basic education; and
- For adolescents, the opportunity to develop fully their individual capacities in safe and enabling environments that empower them to participate in, and contribute to their societies.
Using the life cycle of the child promotes both results-base management and the human rights-based approach to programming by identifying those crucial stages in the life of the child where interventions will have the greatest impact for child survival, growth and development. The five organisational priorities cover the phases of the life cycle of the child from birth to adolescence.
The five priorities have been selected not only because their realization will contribute directly to the fulfillment of many rights of children, but also because their realization can leverage even greater results in terms of other rights and development outcomes. The five organisational priorities are interlinked. Achieving and sustaining results in all five organisational priorities will create a dynamic for helping families and whole societies to break the cycle of poverty and impaired human development, and thus contribute to the International Development Targets and the goal of the Millennium Declaration and a world fit for children.
The medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001 represented a significant shift towards strategic management for UNICEF. It had several drawbacks, however, It contained a statement of priorities which was applied primarily to programmes, but was not mainstreamed in the work of UNICEF as a whole. These priorities were both wide ranging and quite loosely defined. When the annual report of the Executive Director (Part II) was reformulated in line with Executive Board decision 1999/7 to focus on aggregate achievements against MTP priorities , these weaknesses, and the lack of clearly defined targets against which to measure progress, became more fully apparent. The need to strengthen the use of evaluation has also been evident, as has the need to reinforce the contribution of UNICEF of a child-centered perspective to global debates on economic and social policy.
In order to implement its vision, UNICEF will pursue the five organisational priorities at country, regional and headquarters locations, using five broad strategies:
Programme excellence by means of rights-based approach to programming and results-based management, strengthening its performance by clearly defining annual objectives and by ensuring timely awareness of performance status.
Effective country programme of cooperation in partnership within the United Nations development assistance framework, with an explicit strategic results matrix containing targets and strategies relating to the five organisational priorities and other priorities agreed with partners.
Partnership for shared success (including increasingly with children themselves) globally, to raise the profile of children’s rights, influence global development discussions and raise resources for children by providing world-class, impartial analysis of social and economic policies and trends and advice on the development of child-friendly policies, in order to build a world fit for children in programme countries; to achieve results for children by promoting costeffective interventions for scaling up and related to the MTSP priorities, achieving results far beyond the capabilities of individual partners; in industrialized countries, National Committees for UNICEF will lead in developing partnerships with private sector and civil society in order to raise funds for UNICEF programmes and advocate for children’s rights in both their own countries and elsewhere.
Influential information, communication and advocacy
- by the development of indicators and data collection tools to allow consistent and comparable ongoing monitoring of the situation of children and women, by creating global access to data on the situation of children and women, by sharing its experience in the implementation of policies, programmes and projects related to the five organisational priorities, by keeping abreast of latest advances in development and policy and employing this knowledge and lessons learned from others to improve its own programmes, by acquiring and use up-to-date and accurate information on the status of its programmes and resources;
- by shaping a corporate communication strategy build around the five organisational priorities, creating strong partnership with the mass media and developing integrated communication campaigns;
- and last but not least, by advocating that all actors respect, protect and fulfill children’s and women’s rights, and providing evidence anchored rights-based and socio-economic rationale for policy advocacy.
Excellence in internal management and operations
- by strengthening the linkage between strategic planning, programme guidance, information management, monitoring, research and policy analysis, while reinforcing the independence of the evaluation function;
- by strengthening human resource capacity through:
a) development of MTSP related competency profiles for recruitment training, and performance assessment,
b) development staff capacities and competencies in the five organisational priorities, including skills in promoting intersectoral collaboration among partners;
c) organisation-wide use of revised staff planning, development and performance assessment;
d) analysis of recruitment practices, career development, staff rotation and succession planning, including a commitment to gender balance and a broad representation of nationalities;
- by using information technology for collaborative work practices and knowledge sharing and, with business process simplification, facilitating efficient and effective usage providing strategic value in support and promotion of the organisational priorities; by further developing and integrating the project management information system (PROMS), the financial and logistical system (FLS), and the integrated management information system (IMIS) to enable upto- date monitoring of programme implementation, staff resources and financial status; as well as using the programme information data base system (PIDB) to monitor allocations and expenditures against each of the five organisational priorities.
- by using of global expansion of qualified producers and improved communications to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its supply function, including a commitment to procure from developing countries and timely delivery of supplies in emergency situations, as well as strengthening country and regional capacity for specification development, market assessment, procurement negotiations and contracting.
- by modifying the existing training programmes for senior and mid-level staff in the field and headquarters to expand coverage of financial
management topics and enhance staff capacity to utilize the financial system’s reporting facilities their analysis and application of system-based
- by pursuing the resource mobilization strategy adopted by the Executive Board in decision 1999/8 with the objectives to
a) increase general (i.e. “regular“) resources, making them more assured and predictable and improving burden-sharing among donors, while maintaining the voluntary nature of contributions to UNICEF;
b) explore thematic, multi-country approaches based on the MTSP priorities in addition to the traditional “other” resources contributions; and
c) encourage early indication and commitment of planned contributions for emergency programmes for the year based on the consolidated appeals from the Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance, the establishment of framework agreements and provision of funding with maximum flexibility.
It is recommended that the mandate of the MTSP Steering Committee includes the preparation and monitoring of an explicit change management strategy and that reporting be made regularly at GMT and annually to the Executive Board.
UNICEF should proceed with a self-examination à la Booz-Allen & Hamilton management review, reviewing in an integrated way key factors affecting change management. The findings should be reviewed by GMT and incorporated into the change management strategy.
A clear roadmap for change should be communicated internally and to the Executive Board and should include performance benchmarks.
A matrix of accountability should be developed making Task Managers fully accountable to executive management for the achievement of expected results.
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