Access for UN staff only

 

 

 

Have a question? Below are some of the questions we're often asked. If you don't find the answer you're looking for, please contact us!

General Questions

What is Umoja?
Who's involved in Umoja?
Where can I find more information about Umoja?
What is SAP?
What is ERP?
What is IPSAS and how is it connected to Umoja?

Changes and Benefits

Why is the UN implementing Umoja?
How is Umoja different from the systems we already use?
What will Umoja do for the UN?
What are the benefits of Umoja?
How will Umoja affect jobs within the UN?
What types of activities will be changed as part of Umoja?

Approach and Timeline

When will Umoja be implemented?
Why is Umoja being implemented using a phased approach?

Training and Communications

How will changes be communicated to Staff?
How will staff be trained to use Umoja?
What training is available for Umoja?
How do I access training for Umoja?

Technical Assistance

How do I log on to Umoja? 
Who do I contact for Umoja support or technical assistance?

Umoja NET

Why should I log into Umoja NET? What can I access?
I can't log in to Umoja NET. Who do I contact for help?
What is the difference between  www.umoja.un.org and www.unumoja.net?

 


General Questions

 

 

What is Umoja?

Umoja is an administrative reform initiative for the United Nations Secretariat that includes a thorough streamlining of UN business processes. At its core, it is an implementation of SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

Umoja will provide a simplified and real-time approach to the Organization’s management of finances, resources and assets. By 2016, the United Nations Secretariat will have transitioned to Umoja as its central administrative tool, leaving behind multiple and fragmented legacy systems such as IMIS, Mercury, Sun, and many others.
Umoja is not an acronym. Its name means “unity” in Swahili, and appropriately the solution represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United Nations to: upgrade its technology, tools and practices to those appropriate for the 21st century; comply or exceed international industry standards such as IPSAS; streamline fragmented administrative processes, to allow Managers and Staff to focus on important work rather than red-tape; and finally, unify multiple IT and computer systems and platforms to avoid delays, waste and frustration.

 

 

Who's involved in Umoja?

On a project of this magnitude, strong governance is essential: to steer the project, monitor progress, resolve conflicts without delay, decide on priorities, help to manage change and communicate progress to all stakeholders. The main policy decision-making body is the Umoja Steering Committee, which reports to the Management Committee.

The detailed planning and execution of the project is being done by the Umoja team which is led by an Assistant Secretary-General who serves as Project Director and reports to the Under-Secretary-General for Management. The Project Director is ultimately accountable for the execution of the project in collaboration with the Assistant Secretaries-General responsible for the four main functional areas: human resources, finance and budget, supply chain, and central support services.

The Umoja project team includes experts on change management, process management, administration management, and technology management, as well as experts in each of the functional areas. These Subject Matter Experts came to the Umoja team from various departments and offices within the UN in order to ensure that the solution meets the needs of the UN.


 

Where can I find more information about Umoja?

Umoja Website

Visit the Umoja website at http://umoja.un.org often for up-to-date information on the progress of the project, training materials, and other important resources such as the User Quick Guide, the Umoja Journey of Goods, and the Deployment Timeline.

Umoja NET is a password-protected online portal for Umoja stakeholders. All UN Staff members are welcome to join. Please send us an email to umoja@un.org if you would like to obtain a password to the Umoja NET portal.

Facebook

Visit Umoja’s Facebook page at at www.facebook.com/unumoja. Click “Like” in order to receive the latest updates from Umoja and photos from our activities in the field, such as the July 2013 Go-Live at UNIFIL/UNSCOL.

Twitter

Additionally, you can follow Umoja on Twitter at www.twitter.com/unumoja for the latest project news and information.


 

What is SAP?

SAP is the name of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software at the core of the Umoja solution. Umoja will be using multiple types of SAP Software. Our core processing systems are based on SAP ECC 6.0 and SAP Netweaver 7.3.

SAP will provide a financially integrated and robust centralized system which will allow the UN to better manage its resources, assets and finances.

Additionally, beginning in 2014, Umoja Extension 1 will begin rolling-out the Employee Self-Service (ESS) and Management Self-Service (MSS) components of SAP, otherwise known as "self-service portal" for UN Staff to manage Personnel and Travel Entitlement requests with less paperwork and delays. More information will be provided on this new functionality in 2014.


 

What is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) is a system that provides an integrated suite of information technology applications that support activities such as finance and budget management, human resources management, supply chain management, central support services, and other core functions. ERPs allow for the streamlining of operations in an organization through process re-engineering, sharing of common data, and implementation of best practices and standards.


 

What is IPSAS and how is it connected to Umoja?

International Public Sector Accounting Standards (“IPSAS”) is an internationally accepted accounting protocol that the UN Organization will fully comply with by 2014, following the recommendation of the General Assembly in 2006.

Compliance with IPSAS will ensure that UN accounting practices are aligned with industry best practices, enabling enhanced financial transparency and accountability, improved decision making resulting from more detailed financial information, improved consistency and comparability of financial statements across offices and duty stations and full and easy access to more comprehensive information on costs and expenses.

The UN has gradually moved from its own set of accounting standards (UNSAS) towards the adoption of the new internationally accepted standard in order to make its financial and reporting system more effective and transparent.

To read about IPSAS standards and learn how and why the UN is complying with IPSAS, please visit http://ipsas.un.org (UN network only).

The Umoja solution and IPSAS go hand in hand. Using SAP as the new Enterprise Resource Planning software across the UN Secretariat will further ensure that the UN complies with IPSAS standards in all its financial transactions once Umoja has been deployed.

The Umoja team is working closely with the IPSAS implementation team within the UN Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts (OPPBA) in all of its preparatory activities for deployment of the Umoja solution.

 

 

Changes and Benefits

 

 

Why is the UN implementing Umoja?

Umoja will enhance accountability, transparency and internal controls for all types of resources. It will help improve decision making and planning capabilities by providing up-to-date and accurate reports and data. Additionally, Umoja will enable managers to exert tighter financial planning and controls and ensure compliance with public sector standards such as IPSAS.

The Umoja solution represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United Nations to:

  • Upgrade its technology, tools and practices to those appropriate for the 21st century
  • Comply or exceed international industry standards (e.g. IPSAS)
  • Streamline fragmented administrative processes, to allow Managers and Staff to focus on value-added work rather than red-tape;
  • Unify multiple IT and computer systems and platforms to avoid delays, waste and frustration


 

How is Umoja different from the systems we already use?

An ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning) system provides an efficient means for transferring and sharing information across many different functions across a business, rather than having to maintain parallel versions of that information in multiple unique systems. This allows the organization to reduce redundant effort and eliminate conflicting information concerning vendors, clients, resources, employees, and other critical data used to make decisions and complete transactions.

In order for such a system to be truly effective, our organization will first have to fundamentally change and modernize how day-to-day work is carried out, by streamlining and simplifying processes.


 

What will Umoja do for the UN?

UN staff will not just be learning a new system, but more effective and efficient ways to work. Staff members will be freed from repetitive and redundant tasks, enabling them to devote their energies to providing value-added services. In addition, staff will be able to update personal information, complete benefits enrollment, view leave balances, submit travel requests and expenses, and check payments – all online.

The Umoja solution will:

  • Provide all Secretariat offices with an integrated transactional system
  • Replace or integrate numerous existing legacy systems such as IMIS, Mercury and Sun
  • Reduce time and resources spent on manual, paper-based processes
  • Increase time and resources directed toward programmes that make a difference in the lives of UN beneficiaries
  • Equip UN staff with modern technology and enhanced skills


 

What are the benefits of Umoja?

Umoja will:

Renew the way the UN manages human, financial and material resources, bringing the organization up to accepted common standards

Enhance decision-making by linking programmes and operations with the allocated resources

Reduce the average time required for administrative processes, by streamlining, integrating and automating business processes

Increase efficiency by reducing the amount of staff time spent on manual processes while enhancing accountability on internal controls

Enable the implementation of IPSAS by the Secretariat

Additionally, please view the Top Ten Improvements for a visual representation of the benefits Umoja will provide for the UN, including:

  • Transparency: Improved openness and accountability
  • Visibility: Better internal control and auditability features
  • Automation: Reduced manual effort and reworking due to manual errors, refined business processes
  • Financial Control: Adoption of international leading practices and standards, higher client satisfaction
  • Shared Database: Common database shared across the organization
  • Shared Catalogue: Centrally shared catalogue facilitating ease of doing business
  • Real Time Data: Increased robustness and quality of data
  • One Time Data Entry: Increased operational effectiveness and timeliness
  • Master Data: A common single data source for reporting
  • Forecasting: Improved forecasting and space planning due to organization-wide reporting


 

How will Umoja affect jobs within the UN?

As processes are simplified and streamlined throughout this initiative, roles within the organization will change. The manner in which each staff member will be affected will vary based on their role and position. The most important thing to keep in mind is that Umoja will reduce the amount of time staff members spend on paperwork and manual administration. Umoja will enable us to work together more effectively on behalf of our constituents and beneficiaries.

Organizational alignment activities are underway to examine detailed change impacts including changes to roles. We will provide you with detailed information as the new roles and processes are finalized.


 

What types of activities will be changed as part of Umoja?

For an example of how Umoja will change the way the UN works, view the Umoja Journey of Goods and review the talking points.

Umoja will change the way we do a wide variety of activities, from ordering materials and tracking inventory to performing all of our financial activities and managing projects. It will also impact the way we manage our assets, our people-related activities and various other processes.

 

Approach and Timeline

 

 

When will Umoja be implemented?

Please review the Umoja Deployment Timeline. A summary of the timeline is below.

Foundation:

Finance, Supply Chain, Project Management, Sales & Distribution processes

Cluster

Location

Go-live Date

Pilot

UNIFIL and UNSCOL, Lebanon

July 2013

Cluster 1

all other Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs)

October 2013

Cluster 2

Special Political Missions (SPMs)

January 2014

Cluster 3

UNHQ, UNON, ECA

July 2014

Cluster 4

UNOG, UNOV, Tribunals, other ECs

July 2015

Extension 1:

Human Resources and Travel processes

Cluster

Location

Go-live Date

Pilot

Location TBD

February 2014

Cluster 3

UNHQ, UNON, ECA, PKOs & SPMs (international staff)

July 2014

Cluster 4

UNOG, UNOV, Tribunals, and other Regional Commissions

July 2015

Cluster 5

PKOs & SPMs (local staff)

January 2016

Extension 2:

Strategic Planning, Programme Management, Budget Formulation, Grants Management, and Events Management processes

Timeline for deployment not yet determined by the General Assembly

2016-2018



 

Why is Umoja being implemented using a phased approach?

Umoja’s phased approach enables the UN to mitigate delay, absorb change at a tolerable rate, and address some of the risks associated with deploying a comprehensive solution in a global organization.

 

 

Training and Communications

 

 

How will changes be communicated to Staff?

The Umoja Team is currently implementing a full-scale Communications and Engagement campaign to prepare staff for the changes being brought by Umoja. Updates and important documents and resources are being shared with staff via the Umoja Website, social media such as Facebook and Twitter. If you haven’t already, you can access key documents at the following links:

Additionally, the Communications team creates a monthly newsletter (available on the Umoja Newsroom blog) in addition to topical iSeek articles to keep Umoja stakeholders updated with the latest information and project news.

Finally, if you have been identified as an Umoja end user, you will begin to receive communications, staff messaging, and targeted communications around training and deployment during the 2 months before implementation.


 

How will staff be trained to use Umoja?

All Staff

All UN Staff can review general Umoja training materials on the Umoja Training website.

End Users

Training of Staff identified as Umoja end users will take place approximately 4-6 weeks before deployment at each location. End users (Staff Members who have been mapped to an official Enterprise Role in Umoja) will receive information on their roles, course requirements and course schedule ahead of time.

As with all staff, Umoja end users can view general Umoja training materials on the Umoja Training website. However, in order to be certified in Umoja, Staff who have been identified as end users will need to attend training through inspira and through Instructor Led Training on-site.

Staff Members with specific Enterprise Roles in Umoja will need to complete all required courses in order to become certified users of Umoja.

A “Train-the-Trainer” approach will be key to addressing the challenges of the large-scale deployment of Umoja. By training local trainers to deliver Umoja end-user training to Staff at their sites, Umoja will be able to reach and train approximately 2,500 end users by the end of 2013. This approach will be replicated for the rest of the global Secretariat as Umoja’s deployment proceeds to other areas of the Secretariat in 2014.


 

What training is available for Umoja?

The Umoja training programme consists of Computer-Based Training (for all UN Staff) and Instructor-Led Training (for Umoja end users only).

For Umoja Foundation, Computer Based Training consists of Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 courses:

  • Level 1 courses are introduction/overviews of how different functional areas work in Umoja.
  • Level 2 courses are navigation courses that guide users through the fundamentals of getting around the Umoja system.
  • Level 3 courses are advanced, transactional-level and intended to be studied in an instructor-led environment. The courses also contain links to simulations which can only be viewed while browsing on the UN network.

Level 1 and 2 courses are prerequisites for the advanced Level 3 courses. All UN Staff can view Level 1 and Level 2 courses (for Foundation only) on the Umoja Training website. However, Umoja end users must complete course assessments for Level 1 and 2 courses via inspira in order to be certified and complete their prerequisite requirements for Level 3 courses.

Level 3 courses are available to Staff identified as Umoja end users only, and should be accessed via inspira. Staff Members with specific Enterprise Roles in Umoja will receive instructions on course requirements and their Instructor Led Training schedule approximately 4-6 weeks prior to deployment in their location.


 

How do I access training for Umoja?

You can access Level 1 (Overview) and Level 2 (Navigation) Computer Based Training courses for Umoja Foundation online via the Umoja Training website.

If you have been identified as an Umoja user, you should access Computer Based Training and/or course assessments via inspira in order to be certified.

 

Technical Assistance

 

 

How do I log on to Umoja?

View the User Quick Guide on the Umoja website for step by step instructions on logging in to Umoja, accessing Umoja production systems, and requesting technical support.


 

Who do I contact for Umoja support or technical assistance?

If you are still unable to find an answer or resolution to your issue, please open a service ticket with your local Help Desk. View the User Quick Guide for helpdesk procedures and contact information.

 

Umoja NET

 

 

Why should I log into Umoja NET? What can I access?

More detailed information on topics such as:

  1. Timeline and Deployment Approach
  2. Umoja Foundation overview, key changes, and process model
  3. Umoja Foundation simulations/demos
  4. Umoja Extension 1 process model
  5. Umoja Extension 2 process model
  6. Foundation Pilot – key activities and progress to go-live
  7. Training
  8. Glossary of Terms


 

I can't log in to Umoja NET. Who do I contact for help?

Try to reset your password using the link provided in the login area:

Your username is your UN email address. If you still have trouble accessing Umoja NET, please send an email to umoja@un.org


 

What is the difference between www.umoja.un.org and www.unumoja.net?

Both of these URLs or web addresses, are for the Umoja website. You can use either URL to access the Umoja website and portal: