Roll-out of Global Needs Assessment and Focus to the field starts

A three month worldwide roll-out of the Global Needs Assessment and Focus results-based management software has begun, with teams from UNHCR headquarters fanning out to hold week-long workshops in more than 30 UNHCR field locations.


GENEVA, Monday 12 January - A three-month worldwide roll-out of the Global Needs Assessment and Focus results-based management software has begun with teams from UNHCR Headquarters fanning out to hold week-long workshops in some 30 UNHCR field locations.

"You are at the forefront of a minor revolution ... the revolution is that we are integrating protection and programme, mapping the needs of people concern comprehensively and focusing on results," Volker Turk, Director of UNHCR's Office for Organizational Development and Management told 28 headquarters workshop facilitators last week as they met for a three-day course before heading to the field.

Several staff in the field will also be using their expertise with Focus to facilitate workshops along with the HQ roll-out teams.

Turk said better presenting the needs of refugees and people of concern to UNHCR, as well as planning and budgeting to meet those needs, was at the heart of the GNA and new Results Framework.

Comprehensively mapping the needs of populations of concern with the GNA and using Focus results-based management software is rewriting how the organisation does its Country Operations Plans, planning and operations management, he added.

"Beginnings are always a little hard but it is also very exciting, and you are spearheading this part of the organisation's reform. It is important to foster a corporate spirit and collective ownership of Focus and the GNA," Turk told the workshop facilitators who include staff from the five regional Bureaus as well as Divisions at headquarters.

The Focus/GNA roll-out has been scheduled to coincide with UNHCR's 2010-2011 planning exercise from January to March with workshops set to start in Kenya, Ghana and Sudan this week.

The roll-out involved several steps in 2008 including a pilot GNA in eight countries, six regional Focus workshops for 190 national and programme colleagues from 120 operations, COPs for 2009 entered into Focus by national staff, three-day workshops at headquarters for 120 bureau staff as well as half-day sessions for Bureau directors and senior managers.

"The aim is that by the end of the 2009 roll-out field colleagues will feel fully confident about using Focus for their operations plans and carrying out the Global Needs Assessment;" Turk added. "But, the real beneficiaries will be the refugees and others of concern because it's by more comprehensively mapping their very compelling needs that we can bring these to the attention of the Executive Committee and donors."