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EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

 
 
Office of the Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator; Director, New York; and Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator/Director, Geneva
 
 
Executive and Administrative Offices
 
 
   
Field Support Section  
 
   
Staff Development and Learning Section  
 
Donor and External Relations Section
 
 
Inter-Agency Standing Committee/Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs (IASC/ECHA) Secretariat
 

 

Executive and Administrative Offices


EXECUTIVE OFFICE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
3
22
2
27
General Service
4
42
2
48
Total
7
64
4
75
Staff costs (US$)
792,084
8,942,015
597,417
10,331,516
Non-staff costs (US$)
6,600
348,923
483,866
839,389
Total costs (US$)
798,684
9,290,938
1,081,283
11,170,905
Total requested (US$)
10,372,221

COMMON COSTS CONSOLIDATED
Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Staff & non-staff costs (US$)
1,512,200
1,210,087
-
2,722,287
Total requested (US$)
1,210,087

EXECUTIVE OFFICE NEW YORK
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
1
4
-
5
General Service
3
3
-
6
Total
4
7
-
11
Staff costs (US$)
426,492
964,665
-
1,391,157
Non-staff costs (US$)
2,200
62,150
-
64,350
Total costs (US$)
428,692
1,026,815
-
1,455,507
Total requested (US$)
1,026,815

COMMON COSTS NEW YORK
Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Staff & non-staff costs (US$)
709,900
752,460
-
1,462,360
Total requested (US$)
752,460

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE GENEVA
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
2
13
-
15
General Service
1
33
-
34
Total
3
46
-
49
Staff costs (US$)
365,592
6,231,674
-
6,597,266
Non-staff costs (US$)
4,400
214,284
-
218,684
Total costs (US$)
369,992
6,445,958
-
6,815,950
Total requested (US$)
6,445,958

COMMON COSTS GENEVA
Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Staff & non-staff costs (US$)
802,300
457,627
-
1,259,927
Total requested (US$)
457,627

The Executive Office (EO), comprising the administrative services of the New York and Geneva Offices, assists the Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator and OCHA’s Senior Management in the discharge of their financial and administrative responsibilities. It provides programme and administrative support for the activities of the Office, both at headquarters and in the field.

It also exercises full delegated authority conferred by the Controller on the management and administration of trust funds under the responsibility of OCHA.The administrative service in New York serves as the Executive Office of OCHA as a whole, overseeing and coordinating the overall administration of the New York and Geneva Offices, as well as those in the field. It supports the coordination of all management reporting, planning and policy review in the areas of programme budget and finance, human resources management and common support services.

The Executive Office in New York administers the Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF) and manages the Trust Fund for Strengthening of OCHA and the Special Account for Programme Support, which serve as the main funding sources for OCHA’s core staff and activities. It also provides administrative support for the International Regional Information Networks (IRIN) offices in the field.

The Administrative Office (AO) in Geneva provides budget, financial, personnel and common support services to OCHA’s core activities and extra-budgetary projects in Geneva. It manages the trust funds under the responsibility of the Geneva Office, most notably the Trust Fund for Disaster Relief Assistance, which serves as the main funding vehicle for OCHA’s project and field activities, as well as the Trust Fund for Tsunami Relief, which is used to fund relief efforts relating to the unprecedented tsunami disaster. The AO provides dedicated capacity for full support of OCHA’s field coordination offices and services the administrative requirements of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).

The Field Support Section (FSS), which came into existence in March 2005, falls under the umbrella of the AO, and serves as focal point at headquarters for receipt of all administrative, human resources and financial requests from the field, with special emphasis on field human resources planning and management. The Staff Development and Learning Project, under the auspices of the Administrative Office, focuses on strengthening the capacity of staff both in the field and in headquarters through learning programmes, information and other material support.

The continuous expansion of OCHA’s field presence has necessitated a commensurate increase in the capacity of OCHA’s administrative services. Over the last couple of years, the EO/AO have focused their efforts on strengthening existing mechanisms and developing
new tools to address the growing demands of the field. Although some gains have been made in the area of financial administration, much remains to be achieved in the management of human resources. Field recruitment and deployment continue to be less than satisfactory, despite the introduction of new expedited procedures. Initiatives undertaken by OCHA to improve staff contractual arrangements and conditions of service, including rotation, which have been endorsed in principle by OHRM, have yet to be implemented on a system-wide basis.

While the recent delegation of authority for OCHA to recruit, deploy and administer its field staff represents a major step forward in improving overall field support, OCHA recognizes that for such delegation to be effectively carried out, it is critical that its administrative capacity is equally reinforced. Accordingly, the Administrative Office will be reorganized in 2006 with a view to improving its capability to meet the increased workload and ensuring that field requirements are addressed in a timely and effective manner. A major restructuring is envisaged for the Human Resources Management area, particularly in recruitment and personnel administration, with some structural changes as well as in the finance and common support areas. This reorganization will increase the capacity of the AO by an additional 23 staff posts.

Activities:

  • Provide strengthened support to OCHA field activities, primarily in the area of human resources management, as well as financial and logistical support. Emphasis will be placed on implementing OCHA’s delegation of authority to recruit, deploy and administer its field staff, and ensuring that the necessary capacity and mechanisms are in place to realize the goals of accelerated recruitment, enhanced conditions of service and timely administration of staff entitlements.
  • Establish databases, websites and other on-line mechanisms to maintain, in collaboration with the Information Technology Section, data such as:

    - statistics related to human resources management such as vacancy rates, gender and geographical representation, staff development, mobility, and performance appraisals to support management reports;

    - compendium of administrative circulars, guidelines and general information in order to keep staff fully informed of administrative policies, staff entitlements, and other human resources management initiatives;

    - information related to the Office’s workload and delivery of human resources support in order to better assess AO’s performance, strengthen its effectiveness and assist Senior Management in related decision making.

  • Working closely with the Information Technology Section, ensure the functionality of the Financial Accounting System (FAS) in New York. This will include cost planning, preparation of cost plan narratives, managing financial authorizations sent from headquarters to the field, reviewing outstanding obligations and current levels of disbursements and determining how many resources are available at any given point in time for the funding of activities. While the FAS became fully operational in Geneva in 2005, the New York system has yet to commence its functionality.
  • Ensure the effective establishment and administration of the new expanded Central Emergency Response Fund (upgraded CERF), in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolution, including developing, in collaboration with the Controller’s Office, the operational guidelines and modalities for its utilization.
  • Work in collaboration with OIOS on joint risk assessment for its field activities in order to enhance internal control. The exercise involves jointly identifying specific risks, both internal and external, and formulating controls to mitigate those risks.

    The exercise will address risks such as political and economic stability, availability of goods and services, changing client needs, poor information flow and unclear definition of roles between headquarters and field offices. It is hoped that more efficient control mechanisms and better management of field operations will result from this exercise.

  • Assist Executive Management in its efforts to secure adequate and sustained funding for OCHA and its activities, including the preparation of the biennial programme budget for the period 2008-2009, the annual cost planning and reporting in the context of OCHA in 200X and OCHA Annual Reports.
  • Continue the establishment of the rotation plan, harmonization of contractual arrangements, enhancement of conditions of service in the field and career development plan for General Service staff through the inventory of skills project.

Indicators:

  • Average number of days for recruitment and deployment of staff in HQ and the field.
  • Staff satisfaction as measured by less number of queries, complaints and cases brought forward for resolution.
  • Increase in regular budget of OCHA and its activities.
  • Percent of post vacancy rates.
  • Full capacity to manage the upgraded CERF is established.
  • Gender balance at professional level and percent of new staff recruited from developing countries.

 


Field Support Section


FIELD SUPPORT SECTION
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
-
5
-
5
General Service
-
6
-
6
Total
-
11
-
11
Staff costs (US$)
-
1,745,676
-
1,745,676
Non-staff costs (US$)
-
72,489
-
72,489
Total costs (US$)
-
1,818,165
-
1,818,165
Total requested (US$)
1,818,165

The Field Support Section (FSS) came into existence in March 2005 as the primary contact for ensuring headquarters support to field-based activities. This section reports to the Chief of the Administrative Office in Geneva and serves as the focal point for receiving all administrative and human resources requests which are then vetted for completeness of information and channeled to the other sections of the Administrative Office, namely the Human Resources and Finance sections, for further processing.

During the year 2005 FSS’s main approach was one of facilitating recruitment for field offices and tracking and responding to actual field office requests related to administrative, logistical and procurement requirements.

For the year 2006, FSS will facilitate and contribute to planning with the OCHA Coordination and Response Division (CRD), the OCHA Field Information Support Section and field offices concerning the implementation of approved cost plans with special attention paid to each office’s in-house administrative support, its vacancy management and scheduling of procurement to be done at headquarters level. Being part of planning will allow FSS to be pro-active and to stimulate improvement.

Having responsibility, at headquarters level, for streamlining preparations for recruitment of staff and facilitating their deployment, FSS will further refine suitability screening of applicants to speed up this important step leading to the final review of applicants for a post. In 2006, special efforts will be exercised to implement a dialogue with all field offices.

Activities:

  • Facilitate the planning of the timely implementation of field office planners with regard to human resources and procurement done at headquarters level.
  • Establish a dialogue with all field offices to identify their needs for administrative support, with particular emphasis on staff members.
  • Assist in setting up a Roster of pre-screened applicants for posts that make up the basic structure of OCHA field offices.
  • Continue facilitating preparations of requests for recruitment and up-date statistics on the lead time for recruitment to identify reasonable room for speeding up the process further.

Indicators:

  • Percent of post vacancy rates.
  • Roster of pre-screened candidates established and percent of candidates deployed.

 


Staff Development and Learning Section


STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING SECTION
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
-
-
2
2
General Service
-
-
2
2
Total
-
-
4
4
Staff costs (US$)
-
-
597,417
597,417
Non-staff costs (US$)
-
-
483,866
483,866
Total costs (US$)
-
-
1,081,283
1,081,283
Total requested (US$)
1,081,283

The goal of Staff Development and Learning is to strengthen the skills of OCHA staff, at headquarters and in the field, in their mission to coordinate and to carry out principled, effective and accountable humanitarian action. In addition to designing, developing, and implementing specific training programmes, the Project aims to strengthen the linkages between all parts of OCHA and mainstream more effectively OCHA strategies, policies and guidelines in all aspects of training programmes, and contribute to the enhancement of organizational learning.

The project seeks to: promote equitable learning opportunities for all OCHA staff; establish a mechanism for systematic review of the learning needs of all staff and their inclusion into OCHA’s annual plan; improve the linkage between desired competencies and learning activities of individual staff members; improve planning, evaluation and reporting of learning activities.

Activities:

  • Establish an OCHA-wide annual training plan and coordinate learning activities within OCHA to meet the organizational needs and priorities in a systematic and comprehensive way.
  • Introduce and manage an OCHA-wide Learning Focal Point system to strengthen the linkages between all parts of OCHA.
  • Provide support to Senior Management in organization of RC/HC retreats and seminars, and assure proper follow-up.
  • Systematize the orientation and briefing of all new staff, through the use of the Orientation CD-ROM.
  • Deliver two Emergency Field Coordination Trainings (EFCT) for 60 staff, one-third of whom will be IASC partners with the remaining two-thirds coming from OCHA.
  • Provide, on demand and on site, a customized version of EFCT for new field offices or newly expanded field offices.
  • Launch an Advanced Training on Coordination and Emerging Humanitarian Issues for OCHA staff at headquarters and in the field.
  • Initiate a specialized training programme on Management and Humanitarian Emergencies for OCHA Heads of Offices.
  • Support the capacity of OCHA internal trainers and facilitators by providing training of the trainer workshops.

Indicators:

  • Number of OCHA staff and IASC colleagues, involved with coordination activities in complex emergencies, trained through Emergency Field Coordination Training.
  • Number of OCHA staff in the field and headquarters trained through an Advanced Course on Coordination and the Current Thinking in Humanitarian Issues.
  • Number of OCHA Heads of Offices trained on Management and Humanitarian Emergencies.
  • All new recruits in the field and headquarters complete the interactive self-paced OCHA orientation CD-ROM.
  • Number and percent of staff receiving training that declare training workshops were of high quality.
  • Number and percent of staff surveyed six months post workshop that confirmed learning is being applied effectively in their day to day work.