As a result of this review, the secretariat launched a comprehensive organizational change initiative in 2019 that concluded in late 2020, encompassing the implementation of a new organizational structure and a series of non-structural initiatives to enhance the secretariat’s leadership, performance management and organizational culture.
A new organizational structure
The recommendations of the review phase included a proposal for a new, high-level organizational structure that had been tested with secretariat staff through consultations and workshops. Through the initial stages of the implementation process, the proposed structure was further refined and operationalized, resulting in the organizational structure outlined here.
This new structure enables coherence around mandated activities, collaboration across multiple areas of expertise, adaptation to changing political realities and the forging of effective relationships with diverse stakeholders.
In order to help ensure a fair, effective and collaborative transition to the new structure, the secretariat established a network of transition focal points for each programme to support the logistical and administrative transition, and created an innovative Staff Management Group (SMG) to propose a mapping of staff to the new structure. The SMG consisted of 12 staff members, nominated in equal parts by secretariat leadership and the Staff Association Executive Committee, representing a wide variety of diverse backgrounds, experience, placement in the organization, grades, gender and nationalities. As a result of this process, approximately 94% of fixed-term staff were successfully mapped into the new structure. Moreover, the secretariat was able to find solutions for the few staff who could not be mapped, to allow them to find new opportunities in the secretariat, while ensuring equitable treatment for all staff.
As part of the structure implementation process, all job descriptions in the organization were reviewed, and revised and classified, as needed.
A new leadership development programme was created, including workshops on supervisory skills and change management that were completed by 96 per cent of staff with supervisory responsibilities in 2019. A parallel staff development programme has also been created, with workshops for non-supervisors.
A performance management working group was established to develop recommendations for changes in the secretariat’s performance management process. These recommendations were submitted to the secretariat’s Management Team, and following a process of staff consultation, are currently in the process of implementation.
A key pillar in the implementation process was the establishment of the Network4Change, a broad network of colleagues focused on enhancing the secretariat’s culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing through a series of dynamic working groups, focussed on diverse topics ranging from organizational culture to well-being and from resource mobilization to climate data.
The N4C demonstrates how flexible and agile in-house networking initiatives can drive cultural and behavioural change and support hierarchical systems efficiently, including to break silos and support a cross-collaborative approach throughout the secretariat. The N4C draws primarily on in-house resources by engaging colleagues at all institutional levels and empowering them to shape their work environment. Furthermore, the N4C aims at finding continuously sustainable solutions to work together, increase resilience and stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond