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Updated On: Tuesday, 18 September 2018

100 Days Until The Start Of The Umoja Pilot Has UN Looking Forward To Harmonised Way Of Business

Photo: South-South News/Shari Nijman

Content by: South-South News

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon today unveiled the clock that counts down to the implementation of UMOJA - a worldwide, organization-wide, online system to manage the UN's financial recourses, global staff, and assets.

"UMOJA is integral to my management reform agenda", Ban Ki-Moon said during his speech preceding the unveiling of the ticker. "In our fast-changing world, the United Nations needs a new way of managing its resources, to operate efficiently, meet member states mandates and credibly report results."

A hundred days from today, the pilot version of UMOJA will be officially introduced, first at the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL) and the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator (UNSCOL) in Lebanon. UMOJA allows the UN to streamline their global recourses and online communications through Enterprise Resource Planning technology.
"It is going to mark a new way of business and doing operations, and for us, it is extremely important," Ernesto Baca, Assistant Secretary-General for Enterprise Recourse Planning reminded all of those who gathered for the unveiling.

" UMOJA is designed to help harmonize the way we work around the world," Ban said. "Providing a single data repository with reliable, real-time information."
The application is meant to unify the numerous internal and external working bodies that are scattered all over the world and together make up the United Nations, through an online platform shared by the entire UN. The Secretary-General however stressed that UMOJA is 'far more than an IT project'. "It is an organizational transformation that will enable high-quality and cost-effective service delivery around the world," he said.

By 2016, the United Nations secretariat will have adopted the UMOJA method as their central administration tool. The system is replacing the myriad of IT and computer systems, databases, workflows and protocols that currently exists among the many UN bodies.

Earlier this year, the delay in implementation of UMOJA and the extra budget allocated for its completion caused disgruntlement among critics. However, according to Ban and his team, most of the hurdles are now in the past.

"As is common with any large change initiative, UMOJA has experienced challenges along the way," Ban acknowledged. "These challenges are being addressed with the hard work of the UMOJA team, the commitment of Under-Secretary-General Yukio Takasu and Heads of Secretariat Departments and Offices, and the support of Member States."

In the meantime, the Department of Organizational Change Management will have the impressive task of implementing the system in every corner of the UN system. And with only 100 days left on the clock, they have their work cut out for them. But with the promise of more accountability and transparency, organizational efficiency and a quick way to share best practices around the world, OMOJA will have the prospect to unite the UN not only in spirit, but also in practice.


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