Senior Management team meets on 2 May to discuss reform initiatives
The Senior Management Team met on 2 May to discuss an extensive agenda, which covered:
1) Preparation of the Executive Board Information Meeting on 7 May
2) Implementation of the Workplans for 36 C/5 and use of the Emergency Fund
3) The Organization's Reform Process,
4) Internal Communication.
On the preparations for the Information Meeting with the Executive Board, the SMT reviewed the requests of Member States for the meeting and nature of the questions put to the DG thus far. The Director-General said the meeting will take stock of all reform efforts and informally define next steps in the process.
ADG/BSP and the CFO then gave an overview of the implementation of the workplans for the 36 C/5 and of the use of the Emergency Fund. Thus far, the number of workplans has been reduced by 13 percent with an increase in the number of workplans financed by extrabudgetary contributions. These changes point to a positive concentration of activities. In order to continue to contain the impact of the current financial situation, the Director-General has asked that all Sector ADGs and Bureau Directors to aim for a 100% recruitment freeze, with only a very few critical posts being opened for recruitment. The Director-General further emphasized the importance of filing positions through lateral transfer, including through building on existing relevant in-House competencies. She requested therefore that managers should be open to identifying staff from different functional streams; i.e. transfer between Sectors and Bureaux.
The Director-General expressed appreciation for the progress that has been made in reducing costs but called for an even greater effort, particularly in central services.
She underlined the need for improved coordination across sectors and with field offices, and asked for a better match between regular programme and extrabudgetary funds.
The Deputy Director-General reviewed elements of the reform process against targets that had been set in the Roadmap highlighting the fact that the new field reform architecture for Africa is well advanced. The discussion turned to the proposals made to reach the targets regarding the EO and AO secretarial services and office space. Extensive consultations have started inside the House on all these issues. The Director-General emphasized the distinct nature of the Roadmap with its concrete targets for this biennium, which should help achieve the longer term strategic goals in follow-up to the Independent External Evaluation. She requested more details on the progress reached on all targets to date.
DIR/DPI made a proposal to the SMT on a new internal communication strategy, which would comprise a set of activities and initiatives with the aim of a) providing more information to the staff, b) creating channels to listen to staff more effectively, and c) mobilizing staff around important priorities and activities of the Organization. A key component of this strategy would be the development of an online staff space as part of an integrated UNESCO website, strengthening communication between sectors, between Headquarters and field offices and between staff and management, creating a ‘listening Organization.’ The Director-General welcomed these ideas and called for their rapid consideration and implementation, noting the sense of belonging that exists among staff, and their desire for greater engagement. The SMT will continue to discuss this issue with a view to launching the strategy in the coming weeks.
The Director-General concluded the meeting by calling on all SMT members to do more to highlight the success stories that exist all across the Organization, such as the impact of the International Jazz Day events that took place across the world and the advances that have been made in all sectors, including in the preparation of major conferences and participation in global iniatives. UNESCO is on track, said the Director-General, but further commitment is required from all staff members.