New review concludes that inter-agency mobility policies do not serve the needs of organizations or the aspirations of staff well enough

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Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations system

Dec. 2019

The concept of inter-agency mobility has long been prominent, but remains limited and the opportunistic application of the 2012 inter-organizational Agreement, largely driven by the desire to avoid responsibility for financial liabilities, is eroding the functioning of the regime to the disadvantage of staff.

At the United Nations (UN) system level, work has focused on the “administrative rules of the game” through a useful inter-organizational agreement. Inter-agency mobility policies, however, do not reinforce a UN system approach and are not deployed as part of larger human resources strategies. This may be why there is limited evidence of organizational commitment to inter-agency mobility. Most organizations neither encourage inter-agency mobility nor apply measures to show that they value it.

The report suggests that inter-agency mobility be seen as a fragment of a larger human resources management approach. Overcoming barriers to inter-agency movement can help organizations deliver on strategic objectives such as integrated support for the 2030 Agenda, joint business operations, and workforce transformation to position the UN system as an employer of choice. The report also finds that demand for exchanges among like-minded organizations is plentiful and should be seized through mutually beneficial exchanges based on common thematic interest or geographic opportunity with clusters of willing organizations. It points out that new opportunities to drive a more cross-organizational approach are taking shape and recommends further measures to strengthen a UN system culture.

The report makes ten formal and thirty-two informal recommendations aimed at improving the functioning of the current Agreement, devoting greater attention to gender aspects, strengthening a system culture, and enhancing oversight and accountability.

Access the full report here.
Access the review highlights here.

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