Shared service centres mean more value-added activities for their respective organizations – a vision UNICEF shares.
UNICEF and other United Nations agencies have adopted the shared services model and centralized administrative services in one or more service centres. Several of these are in Budapest, along with more than 100 private sector service centres, many of which have been operating for a decade or more. This provides opportunities for UNICEF to benchmark against industry standards, apply best practices and share knowledge. Budapest is also ideally located from an operations perspective, allowing for good time zone coverage across all regions where UNICEF operates, thus increasing speed of delivery, real-time engagement with colleagues from other offices and cutting down operational costs.
How we drive efficiency
Our four drivers of efficiency are increasing mission focus, reducing costs, improving quality and reducing risk.
The GSSC’s biggest benefit is to save time for our field staff. Reducing operational tasks allows for colleagues in the field to focus on UNICEF’s mission and programmes.
Furthermore, through economies of scale and lower operating costs, we save UNICEF an estimated $25 million annually.
We also leverage technology and specialization of knowledge to ensure consistent and error-free processing of transactions.
By centrally applying checks and controls to all these transactions we do, we ensure compliance to policies and reduce the risk of fraud.
We streamline, simplify and reprioritize, because the more efficient we are, the more impact we can have for the world’s children.
One of UNICEF’s mandates is to continuously improve. Our evolution and innovation point towards one goal: improving the lives of children and their families. Pivotal to continuous improvement is working smarter, maximizing benefits, and reducing operational costs. We strive to implement the latest technologies and industry best practices. From automation to Lean process redesign – our goal is to enable our staff to focus on more value-added activities.
The centre is committed to excellence in its delivery of global services. Its business model places staff service, continuous business improvement, knowledge sharing, and innovation at its core.
The shared centre model also positions UNICEF to support the UN reform agenda outlined by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres – it is a plan that includes process simplification, increased transparency and improved delivery of the United Nations’ mandate.
These efforts for excellence are echoed by the fact that in 2020, the GSSC was recognized as Business Services Firm of the Year in Hungary, a prestigious title awarded to our office at the CEE Business Services Summit & Awards.
How we keep growing
As shared services centres evolve, absorb more functions and reach maturity, they can provide more value-added activities to their respective organizations – a vision UNICEF shares. The GSSC works with UNICEF headquarters and country offices to identify opportunities to further streamline operations and to centralize more routine transactional activities.
The shared centre model also positions UNICEF to support the UN Reform agenda outlined by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres – it is a plan that includes process simplification, increased transparency and improved delivery of the United Nations’ mandate.
"The goal of reform is a 21st-century United Nations focused more on people and less on process, more on delivery and less on bureaucracy. The true test of reform will be measured in tangible results in the lives of the people we serve – and the trust of those who support our work."