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The Umoja project is on schedule and making significant progress towards UN system-wide deployment, over the next three years.

Umoja will change the way the United Nations conducts all its administrative, financial, and logistical procedures. By 2016, the UN Secretariat as a whole will have adopted Umoja as its centralized and streamlined administrative solution, leaving behind multiple outdated and fragmented methods, which the UN has been using over the years.

The first implementation of the Umoja solution in a UN setting will be a July 2013 pilot of the Umoja Foundation at UNIFIL and UNSCOL in Lebanon.

The pilot will serve as a practical first engagement by UN Staff with the new way of working. Umoja together with the Department of Field Support HQ, UNIFIL and UNSCOL are undertaking extensive efforts in preparation for a successful deployment experience.

A core team of process and deployment experts has been designated on-site at Mission HQ in Lebanon to lead the preparation activities, under the leadership of Mr. Girish Sinha, Director of Mission Support at UNIFIL. According to Mr. Sinha, "The benefits of Umoja will not just be efficiency and effectiveness, but simplicity in how we work, as well as enhancing the career development opportunities and transferable skills of our workforce. We are pleased to have such a strong team dedicated to making this a success not just for UNIFIL, but as a pilot solution that can be leveraged across the United Nations."

Umoja conducted an intensive two-week workshop at UNIFIL from 3-14 December 2012, with teams from Umoja and IPSAS (the International Public Sector Accounting Standards) on-hand to validate the fit of the solution to UNIFIL and to engage in detailed activity planning for the months ahead.

The mission participants at the workshop were led by Mr. Sinha as Director of Mission Support. The event was opened with remarks from Major General Paolo Serra, UNIFIL Force Commander. Mr. Rudy Sanchez also addressed the workshop on behalf of the Department of Field Support. The workshop sessions were led by Ms. Anne Matthews, Umoja Team Lead for Deployment and Realization. Presentations were also provided by Ms. Valencia Williams-Baker on IPSAS, as well as by other key members of the Umoja and IPSAS teams.

At the kickoff, a series of town hall presentations introduced the broader UNIFIL team to the business preparation and deployment journey ahead. This was followed by a comprehensive “walk-through” of the Umoja solution at a much more detailed level, as well as a review of data collection and conversion activities, development of the transition plan, and finally, an overview of the overall deployment schedule, milestones and activities that will take place in the lead up to the pilot in July next year.

The Umoja team was impressed with the enthusiastic participation from more than 100 staff members representing key mission support functions from across UNIFIL and UNSCOL. The stage has been firmly set for a successful Umoja pilot deployment in 2013.

Originally published on iSeek in English and French on 9 January 2013, New York

Blog Posts: Umoja Website
January 2013