The UN General Assembly has, especially in its two most recent resolutions on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), outlined the need for the UN to implement changes to pursue “more cost-efficient support services, by reducing the duplication of functions and administrative and transaction costs through the consolidation of support services at the country level; and the requirement for integrated support across the United Nations system for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
To pursue this objective, the UN Secretary-General has set targets for efficiency gains to be implemented through a wide range of actions, including:
a) Business Operations Strategy (BOS)
b) Common Back Office (CBO) or Local Shared Service Centres (LSSC)
c) Common Premises (CP)
d) Regional and global shared service centres
e) New generation of UN Country Teams
f) Integration of UN Information Centres into Resident Coordinator Offices
Together, these efficiency initiatives are known as the UN reform efficiency agenda and are supported by three key enablers defined by the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) Business Innovation Group (BIG), namely: (i) standardized client satisfaction principles (ii) mutual recognition and (iii) standardized pricing and costing standards.
Through the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2024 – 2028 the UN in Malawi is committed to ensure efficient and effective delivery of results in support of national development priorities. By strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations support, the UN system can maximize the impact of its development, peacebuilding and humanitarian activities.
Malawi is implementing the Business Operation Strategy 2.0 through the Operations Management Team (OMT) and its technical Working Groups. The BOS provides a strategic framework to improve operations efficiency in areas including procurement, human resources, information and communication technologies, logistics, administration and finance. It has also established a database of existing UN premises across the country, which is reviewed and updated annually, towards determining potential for consolidation of premises. Furthermore, the UN has prioritised the establishment of a UN House to be constructed on land provided by the Government of Malawi.
Against this background, the post of the Common Services Operations Analyst is required to support the OMT as OMT Secretariat and the RCO to reinforce the capacity of the UN Country Team to achieve the country targets of the efficiency agenda. The function is also essential in ensuring the strategic linkages between joint programming under the UNSDCF and common operations activities.
Under the direct supervision of the Head of the Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) and technical supervision of the Chairperson of the OMT, the incumbent will work closely with OMT, OMT Working Groups (WGs) and RCO staff, as well as technical experts regarding common service operations activities.
Work with the Operations Management Team (OMT) to operationalize and implement the robust, results-oriented Business Operations Strategy (BOS) 2.0 at the country level to reduce duplication and improve efficiency:
- Conduct the required analysis and assessments with OMT to decide priorities in common operations and finalize the BOS 2.0. Operational areas include; Business Continuity Management & ICT, Common Procurement, Finance, Human Resources, Finance /Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers, Logistics and Administration.
- On an ongoing basis, promote the simplification and harmonization of UN organizations’ systems and procedures, including reviews of business processes and advice to the OMT for informed decision-making.
- Ensure the OMT is provided with analysis and recommendations for professionalization and harmonization requirements to improve quality and cost-efficiency through common operations.
- Support with the data collection using UN Info platform for the reporting on the progress of BOS 2.0
- Using BOS data, provide guidance to OMT on high value common services with potential for further consolidation in common back office / local shared service centre
Provide the OMT and its WGs with technical, administrative and logistical support for
the successful monitoring and implementation of the BOS 2.0 and to ensure the delivery
of operational efficiency in support of the UNSDCF:
- Follow-up on OMT meetings, ensure that relevant technical experts present their work and process at meetings, and finalize and disseminate minutes of these meetings.
- Facilitate the OMT WGs Chairpersons and their secretariats on a regular basis, and attend the WGs meetings as appropriate.
- Provide regular OMT briefings to be shared with UNCT members accordingly
- Support the OMT and its WGs to conduct capacity development training, business seminars for vendors, and surveys on common services
Support the OMT Chairpersons in managing and coordinating the work of the OMT, as well as reporting of results, progress and challenges to the UNCT.
- Provide advice and make recommendations to the OMT on all issues related to common services, including identification and launch of new common services, negotiations with service providers, formulation of draft supplier agreements, and monitoring of the performance of common services.
- Support induction of new OMT chairpersons, new OMT and Working Group members.
- Provide secretarial support to the OMT and other working groups/committees
Monitor the progress towards the OMT work plan and budget, and the achievements of various common services, and provides regular reports to the OMT Chairpersons and Head of RCO:
- Ensure adherence to UN policies, procedures, standards and tools, proper accounting practices, financial management and control procedures.
- Support the conduct of periodic UN surveys such as the Hardship, Place-to-Place and Housing surveys
Engage with the global and regional experts to share lessons and to resolve challenges, and identify and implement global good practices in the field of common operations:
- Support the UNCT and OMT with knowledge management, in particular to establish and maintain an OMT resource centre to centralize comprehensive information about inter alia pre-qualified consultants, vendors, and Long-Term Agreements (LTAs) utilized within the UN system in Malawi, etc.
- Share and update the relevant OMT and common operations documents, M&E tool, attendance dashboard, local LTA database, IPs database, HR Roster at the Information Knowledge Management (IKM) platform for the use of all the UN organizations.
- Ensure information and skills on common operations are shared under the peer-to-peer theme at local level.
- Coordinate periodic engagements between OMT and PMT to enhance close collaboration and linkages between operations and programmes
Support the development and availability of both local Long-term Agreements (LTAs):
- Ensure the availability of both local LTAs
- Strengthen the local LTA database in the IKM platform by ensuring regular updating system is in place.
- Organize training to Procurement Staff of UN agencies on the use of local level LTAs.
Lead the establishment of a common premises database and guide the periodic updating of the database
- Act as common premises champion and collaborate closely with common premises focal points, OMT Chairpersons, head of RCO and DCO regional/global common premises leads to ensure that the database is regularly reviewed and updated.
- On the basis of the common premises data, devise strategies and advise OMT on potential for common premises consolidation to achieve efficiency gains.
- Conduct physical verification of UN premises, as needed.
- Conduct training and capacity building of staff, including common premises focal points
Support the establishment of a UN House in Malawi
- Prepare TORs to recruit a consultant to update the business case, including list of
participating agencies, space needs, design considerations for updated environmental
and physical accessibility guidelines, concept design, cost-benefit analysis, etc.
- Liaise closely with UN House consultant/s, the lead agency/ies (when identified), OMT
and UN Agencies to ensure timely provision of relevant information, guidance and
- Liaise closely with relevant government/national authorities to ensure effective flow of communication with the UN, organize meetings, site visits, and follow up on the implementation of agreements.
- Liaise closely with regional/global DCO common premises lead and UNSDG Task Team on Common Premises to maintain familiarity with processes and ensure flow of communication with RCO, UNCT and other project stakeholders.
- Support the implementation phase of the project, as guided by the UNCT and lead agency/ies.
Provide technical support and guidance to the RCO on the implementation of the efficiency agenda
- Prepare briefing notes, talking points, key messages to prepare RCO’s/UNCT’s participation in meetings and related engagements on the efficiency agenda
- Ensure proper documentation of processes, meeting and site visit reports, guidance notes and all documentation regarding the UN House project
- Document lessons learnt and good practices and share with audiences through a variety of platforms, guided by supervisor
- Advise on environmental sustainability, gender equality and disability inclusion considerations in the implementation of the efficiency agenda.
- Demonstrate strong leadership skills.
- Show strong interpersonal and intercultural competence.
- Acting as a team player and facilitating teamwork.
- Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
- Leverage conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.
- Ability to lead strategic planning and implementation, results-based management and reporting.
- Skill and ability in coordinating, facilitating, and participating in a collaborative approach to the completion of tasks or assignments.
- Ability to organize and complete multiple tasks by establishing priorities.
- Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively.
- Creating synergies through self-control.
- Advanced university degree in Economics, Business Management, Finance, Statistics, Architecture, Quantity Surveying or other relevant discipline required.
- Minimum of five years of experience in coordinating and supporting complex procurement and operational activities preferably within the UN system.
- Experience in the areas of business operations (such as procurement, human resources, HACT and business continuity).
- Experience in managing design / construction projects.
- Demonstrated experience in producing high quality report and making presentations to multi-level audiences.
- Excellent knowledge of English, good drafting abilities.