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Kuwait Joint Support Office gears up for Umoja Extension 1

For several months now, in preparation for the deployment of Umoja Extension 1, the staff at the Kuwait Joint Support Office (KJSO) have been working vigorously on deployment, training and communication activities to support its client missions of Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Iraq (UNAMI). At the forefront of it all is KJSO’s Umoja Deployment Team which is charged with ensuring that all staff in Kuwait, as well as at KJSO’s client missions, is ready for the deployment. Together with the full support of KJSO’s senior management and with the guidance and assistance of the Department of Field Support Umoja Project Management Office at Headquarters, the KJSO has been able to keep its staff and clients regularly updated on Umoja news and events as well as what to expect from Umoja Extension 1. 

“Change is inevitable. Resistance to change is only natural and expected. Our ability to cope with change to a large extent determines the effectiveness and success of our transition to the new state. Through various communications, training, and ramp-up activities including conducting weekly Deployment Team meetings, validating Umoja roles, hosting town halls, conducting Umoja Open Days; we believe our staff and clients now have a better understanding of the positive changes that Umoja will bring. We expect that they will not fear the change, but rather embrace it and be excited by it,” said Chief of KJSO Clifford Dias.

UN Staff listening during the Travel Management solution course

Dias, who is also the Umoja Deployment Team Lead for KJSO, pointed out that one of the big changes for Umoja will bring for all UN staff is Employee Self Service/Manager Self Service (ESS/MSS) which will include simplified approval procedures and self-certification. As ESS/MSS is the portal that enables staff members to carry out various personal tasks inside Umoja, the KJSO deployment team has made sure that all international staff in KJSO and its client missions have activated their Unite Identity accounts and are well aware of how ESS/MSS will affect them as staff members once it is deployed.

“I urge you all to continue to work with one another and further develop and hone your skills by leveraging the resources we have at our disposal including our in-house expertise as well as other materials available on the Umoja Department of Field Support Community of Practice or CoP. The more you talk to one another about Umoja and share your knowledge, the more you will grow as a professional and more effectively serve our clients,” Dias concluded.

For more information and news on UE1 and Umoja related matters, please visit the Umoja homepage and the Umoja Community of Practice website.

ESCWA Holds Umoja Town Hall and Mini Fair

As part of the “Umoja Your Wednesday” communication series, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) held a Town Hall meeting on 30 September 2015 to keep staff members informed, especially with the nearing of the 9 November Go Live date.

ESCWA Executive Secretary, Rima Khalaf, addressed the staff at the meeting, and was joined on the podium by chiefs of sections of the Administrative Services Division involved in the implementation of Umoja, who also addressed the concerns of staff members and answered their questions.

“I have been checking the scorecards we receive regularly from Headquarters and I am very pleased that at ESCWA we have been doing very well. We have been among the very good performers, so thank you for all your efforts,” Khalaf said in her opening remarks. The Executive Secretary added that “the reason we convened the meeting is to talk about the remaining four weeks which are going to be very difficult. The blackout period is a ‘big thing’ and now we will start experiencing this big thing; all our legacy systems will be turned off and after that, Umoja will go live.” 

The meeting was followed by the opening of the Umoja mini fair where Local Process Experts (LPEs) from the HR and ICT sections as well as the Travel Unit were present to answer any queries staff members raised. Large monitors and information kiosks were set up to give a real feel of the environment staff members will be using and to address any questions related to processes of Benefits and Entitlements, Travel, Training, Unite Identity issues, and more.

Umoja-branded USBs, coffee cups, and placemats also brightened the day and helped keep staff members stay engaged in the change.

Umoja Global Townhall held on 14 Oct; Cluster 4 will “go live” in early November


On 14 October 2015, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon led an Umoja Global Townhall Meeting for UN Staff.  USG Yukio Takasu of the Department of Management, USG Atul Khare of the Department of Field Support, ASG Ernesto Baca of Umoja and ASG Carole Wainaina of the Office of Human Resource Management,  joined the SG at the podium.

The meeting was held in preparation for the deployment of Umoja on 9 November 2015 at all UN Offices headquartered in New York, Geneva and Vienna -including the offices they support- ESCWA, ECA, ECLAC, International Tribunals, and nearly 40 DFS-supported Missions across the globe. This means that an additional 12,000 staff will soon begin using the solution.

In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General said “Umoja is not an option. It is a necessity. We need to hit the ground running in 2016. In this time of peril and turmoil around the world, we absolutely need Umoja to enable us to continue delivering on our mandates... Umoja will allow us to learn what we can accomplish when we are unencumbered by an outdated administrative system”.

The speakers emphasized the amount of thought and effort put into the design and build of the Umoja solution, taking into account the varying needs of all users and duty stations. The solution will harmonize and standardize our processes and enable other critical reform initiatives, such as the Mobility Framework and the future Global Service Delivery Model.

The panel also stressed that as with any complex business transformation initiative, there will be challenges in the months following roll-out and that management commitment and strong teamwork will be essential to overcome any potential issue impacting the operation.

Among other issues, the speakers also assured staff that a successful and on-time disbursement of payroll using the new solution is the highest priority for senior management and that a thorough contingency plan is in place to ensure that staff receive their salaries. Following remarks from the panel, the floor was opened for questions from UN Offices , Regional Commissions and Field Missions.. Questions were asked and answered on issues ranging from the impact of Umoja on staff, particularly on staff retention and on temporary contract holders and retirees, the effect of Umoja on projects and posts which depend on voluntary contributions, challenges in Umoja user training, and the ways in which Umoja will work with other Secretariat-wide initiatives.

In their responses, the panel took the opportunity to reassure staff that  while the transition to Umoja and a new way of doing business will be challenging at times, every effort is being made to support the transition to “the new normal”  -  Umoja.

The officials emphasized that Umoja is ultimately “a means to an end”. Umoja will help enable the UN to address operational needs with greater agility, and better adapt to modern challenges.

The archived webcast of the Umoja Townhall Meeting is available at:

For more information, user updates, and Umoja Self-Service tutorials, please visit the Umoja website at  

Step by Step: Umoja Log On

Attached please find a brief guide (now also available on iSeek) which provides instructions on how UN Staff will log on to Umoja after go live on 9 November.

Please note, you will only be able to log on to Umoja on 9 November after you have been issued a separate Umoja/SAP password.

Umoja Login Step by Step.pdf

Umoja Employee Self-Service Demo and Q&A at UNHQ

Thursday, 22 October 2015

11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Secretariat Lobby

All Staff in New York are invited to stop by the Umoja Kiosk and Monitor area in the Secretariat Lobby on Thursday, 22 October 2015 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm to view demonstrations of Umoja Employee Self-Service transactions and to ask questions about Umoja and its self-service portal.

Umoja experts will be on hand to demonstrate how Staff will use Umoja Self-Service to request Annual Leave, Benefits and Entitlements and other commonly used transactions.
Visit to learn more about Umoja and how it will change the way we work across the global Secretariat.