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:
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:
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
Excellence in internal management and operations
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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