One of UNICEF’s driving mandates is to “continuously improve.” Our evolution and innovation both point toward one goal: improving the lives of children and their families. Pivotal to continuous improvement is working smarter, maximising benefits and reducing operational costs.
In 2016, UNICEF began an expansive and ambitious change – to centralize Human Resources, payroll, finance and IT support functions in a newly established Global Shared Services Centre (GSSC) in Budapest, Hungary.
This Centre consolidated functions from over 150 offices around the world — and now serves UNICEF’s 14,000 staff. It offers services benchmarked against the highest industry standards.
We streamline, change and re-prioritize because the more efficient we are, the more impact we can have for the world’s children.
Three hundred staff members at the Centre process transactions for all of UNICEF’s worldwide staff and offices. These transactions include HR entitlements, payroll, hiring and separation assistance, invoice processing, payments, general accounting management and global helpdesk services.
Importantly, the reduced time UNICEF offices around the world now spend on transactional processes can be redirected to support critical work on the ground to directly deliver results for children.
Hungary was selected as the location for the GSSC based on several key factors:
- A relatively low business cost
- A highly-qualified local workforce
- An availability of support infrastructure such as technology, transport and telecommunications
Budapest is also ideally located from an operations perspective; its central location allows for good time zone coverage across all regions where UNICEF operates – increasing speed of delivery and cutting down operational costs.
- The GSSC’s biggest benefit is to save time for our field staff. Reducing transaction processing in offices allows our field staff more time to focus on UNICEF’s mission.
- Through economies of scale and lower operating costs, the Centre saves UNICEF an estimated $25 million annually.
- End-to-end process visibility allows UNICEF to better identify risks and irregularities and to detect and prevent fraud.
- Robust recruitment, training and quality assurance processes lead to improved transaction data resulting in fewer errors and faster service delivery.
- Since its opening, the Centre has achieved an estimated $5 million in additional savings through a combination of extra services, further streamlining of processes both within the GSSC and in country offices, and through increased automation, improved case management and quality customer service.