Part II
HEADQUARTERS CORE ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS

Executive and Administrative Offices

 

    New York EO
Common Costs
Geneva AO
Common Costs
Total  
  Requirements 1,073,710 776,755 5,631,030 610,319 8,091,814  
  EXPENDITURE            
  Staff Costs 854,098 211,320 2,884,093 141,203 4,090,714  
  Consultant Fees and Travel 87,501 147,570 235,071  
  Travel 59,529 269,300 328,829  
  Operating Expenses 34,505 107,800 175,686 317,991  
  Contractual Services 122,207 209,002 66,380 397,589  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment 165,836 49,222 215,058  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions  
  Programme Support Costs 74,289 61,046 95,562 230,897  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 928,387 741,944 3,348,465 797,353 5,816,149  
Income for Core Activities is recorded in total under the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA

The Executive and Administrative Offices (EO/AO) provide administrative services to OCHA’s New York and Geneva headquarters offices. They assist the Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator and OCHA’s senior management in budgetary, financial and human resources management at headquarters and in the field.

During 2006, the EO/AO’s main focus was on improving its ability to meet increased demands for administrative support to programmes and field activities, through: building capacity of the EO and AO; expanding training for field offices; and working closely with the Information Technology Section (ITS) in designing tools to improve the timeliness and quality of information provided to management.

Objectives

Activities and Accomplishments

Both EO and AO increased their staff numbers towards the end of the year, allowing for the provision of additional attention to client needs, better quality advice and timely administration of staff entitlements. The appointment of a Chief of Human Resources in Geneva in mid year, after an absence in this position of 15 months, enabled the office to deal with strategy, policy and procedure as well as the accumulated caseload.

Training was provided to staff to enhance skills and improve the overall performance of the office, as well as in preparation for the implementation of OCHA’s delegation of authority to recruit, deploy and administer its own field staff. Recruitment procedures were streamlined and the Administration Office was expanded. The staff rotation guidelines that were completed in 2005 were endorsed by the Office of Human Resources Management and put into effect during 2006.

In collaboration with the ITS, the EO/AO:

The CERF Secretariat was established and partly staffed, with full staffing expected during 2007. Operational guidelines for the CERF’s usage and operating procedures (including application criteria and templates, project approval processes, narrative and financial reporting requirements and standard letters and memoranda of understanding) were completed in collaboration with the Controller’s Office. The CERF website was launched – supporting accountability and transparency in the use of funds.

In collaboration with the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, a joint risk assessment for field offices was completed. Internal and external risks were identified, evaluated and shared with field offices during OCHA’s global management retreat. The EO supported the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs in his presentations to intergovernmental bodies justifying OCHA’s budgetary requests, and assisted Executive Management in General Assembly deliberations and preparation of: the programme budget for the period 2008–09; OCHA’s annual cost plan as reflected in OCHA in 2007; and the OCHA Annual Report 2005. The biennial programme budget for 2008–09 was prepared.

Performance Evaluation

Field Support Section

 

  Requirements 2,096,701  
  EXPENDITURE    
  Staff Costs 857,359  
  Consultant Fees and Travel -  
  Travel 58,812  
  Operating Expenses -  
  Contractual Services -  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment -  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions -  
  Programme Support Costs 18,251  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 934,422  
Income for Core Activities is recorded in total under the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA

The Field Support Section (FSS) was established in March 2005 as the primary contact for administrative support (human resources, financial management and procurement) from headquarters to the field. Throughout 2006, FSS focused on suitability screening of applicants for field Office positions, the development of tools to enhance administrative support to field coordination offices, and enhanced quality and consistency of field Office cost plans and their timely implementation.

Objectives

Activities and Accomplishments

For all advertised field positions, FSS prepared detailed matrices (129 in 2006) to assist headquarters-based and field-based managers in the selection and shortlisting of candidates. To ensure common quality standards in the final election phase, FSS drafted guidelines on conducting interviews with shortlisted candidates. It provided quarterly statistics and overviews of the status of field post incumbency and recruitment, and contributed to integrating established tracking tools into the OCHA contact and staff management database, linking this data to similar data needed or provided by other sections in the Administrative Office/Executive Office.

FSS conducted a field staff survey between November 2005 and February 2006 to identify their administrative concerns and needs. The responses were analysed and FSS subsequently worked with human resources officers to address the concerns and needs identified; by August all issues raised in the survey had been responded to. Dialogue with field-based managers and the Coordination and Response Division became more structured through the introduction of a tracking tool for all outstanding administrative issues for the larger and more complex field offices. FSS also conducted missions to these field offices, which resulted in the preparation of guidelines on the management of national staff and a guidance note on the deployment of United Nations Volunteers.

FSS participated in the field Office cost plan exercise (undertaken by OCHA management at field and headquarters levels during the last quarter of each year), in particular aiming for consistency in the areas of vacancy management, staff development, MOSS (Minimum Operating Security Standards) compliance and procurement undertaken at headquarters level.

The establishment of a roster of pre-screened candidates for field office posts requires further review of core field office functions and consensus among all internal stakeholders in order to ensure that roster vacancies meet the diverse
human resources needs of the different field offices.

Performance Evaluation

Staff Development and Learning Section

 

  Requirements 1,081,283  
  EXPENDITURE    
  Staff Costs 229,042  
  Consultant Fees and Travel 75,447  
  Travel 20,875  
  Operating Expenses 2,376  
  Contractual Services 101,523  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment -  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions -  
  Programme Support Costs 55,495  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 484,758  
Income for Core Activities is recorded in total under the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA

The Staff Development and Learning Section (SDLS) amended its objectives and workplan during the year to reflect its new focus on the OCHA Staff Development and Learning Framework. In conjunction with other OCHA strengthening projects, this was targeted as a key area for building OCHA-specific expertise and capacity in support of its overall mandate.

SDLS was expanded in its function and scope in order to carry out the Learning Framework and provide more support to managers and staff. The enhanced SDLS operates in both New York and Geneva to serve staff in all locations. SDLS also developed a cross-functional team of Learning Focal Points to institutionalize collaboration among all branches in the learning process.

Objectives

Activities

OCHA’s branches collaborated with SDLS in conducting assessments and analyses through interviews and focus groups across the Office. The resulting Learning Framework was introduced at the end of 2006 and integrates OCHA-specific learning and development activities, tools and resources into a coherent learning strategy for the development of staff’s substantive skills. Core learning is divided into three areas: induction; humanitarian coordination; and management and administration.

Two Emergency Field Coordination Training (EFCT) workshops in Switzerland and two customized field based courses in Khartoum and Rumbek (involving 30 per cent of staff based in Sudan) added 83 OCHA trained staff to the more than 200 others – primarily in the field – who have been trained since EFCT began. The EFCT programme was continuously adjusted to reflect trends and deliver the most up-to-date methodology in humanitarian coordination.

SDLS provided support for the RCs’ Collaborative Workshop (January) and the HCs’ Retreat (March), contributed to the Humanitarian Reform Support Unit Cluster/Sector Leadership Training Needs Assessment (December), and provided assistance to the Internal Displacement Division on ProCap.

SDLS maintained and updated OCHA’s Training Management Database, recording that of 500 training sessions in 2006, 256 were attended by male staff members and 244 by female, while 291 participants were from headquarters and 209 were from the field. SDLS regularly communicated information on learning opportunities to staff and facilitates staff attendance at training sessions. The Training Management Database will be enhanced as a planning tool as well as a tracking mechanism in 2007.

SDLS developed learning tools for induction and an online e-learning content management tool, and it put together a methodology paper for training of coordinators in the humanitarian context.

Performance Evaluation