Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The guillotine started ...

shaking up everyone ? Well you better be .......with Ban Ki-moon taking away the permanent appointment and replacing those with "continuous" ones, you better get ready to kiss .... because it will depend on your supervisor's evaluation whether you will continue or not on the job. 

On the other hand the impact of a potential "UNDP deal" in the horizon is already being felt with plentiful of DESA Advisors being extended for only 6 months. And this is only the beginning...........

From Wall street the crisis has now reached DC2 and DC1 main floors, and the tightening up of donors will have an immediate and "short term" effect on those seating in project posts to start with. 

While Ban Ki-moon has increased on paper the UN budget for next biennium, and managed to get an additional 91 posts for Secretariat (mostly DPA), none of those will be coming our way (for DESA). Meanwhile the guys with big pocket seem to have run out of CASH and even if they start printing money and photocopying $100 bills - DESA wont see a penny of it. 

UNDP, UNOPS as well as Regional Commissions who are on the ground are already running on tight budgets and have already reduced their AOS to keep afloat. Their desire for inter-agency cooperation is at the lowest since the One UN agenda came along. With donors running low in cash - no one wants to share "development markets". And as most in UNDP would say: "they 'aint got time for DESA's BS advisors....who come and overcharge their projects". Hey it aint their fault .....they all trying to survive. 

Unless DESA's boss, Sha Zukang, wakes up and really tighten up this ship, come out clean and with a real restructuring plan - 2009 doesn't look good at all. Specially with a poor performance like the recent one in Doha. 

With a myriad of UN satellites and parasites, NGOs, research institutes as well as $1000/day freelancers competing on daily basis for same CASH --> DESA has really lost its relevance thanks to the poor quality of in-house advice/advisors, extreme bureaucracy,  outrageous "administrative overheads" and lack of a courageous management willing to reinvent our organization. Maybe Sha Zukang should reconsider bringing back Guido Bertucci, he together with TCMS would reinvent the house in a week.

Unless you guys get smart and move fast to DPKO, OCHA, WFP or UNRWA (where the real CASH still exist), you better get ready to ride the storm and learn HTML because all will end up web-surfing and entering data into useless databases, which at the end are not being used from member states because UNDP/UNOPS and others competing already on the groundare  developing their own projects closer to the "reality" and close to the MONEYYYYYYYY.

Good luck !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's well and good that Ban Ki Moon is trying to start Reforms. But how serious are these reforms?
The hope is that these reforms will change the existing view that the UN is one of the MOST CORRUPT organization in the world.

But unfortunately, DESA still seems to acts within its old framework of using an antiquated system of nepotism, personal ties, preservation of self-interest. This is the DESA system. What's important is fostering your connections and not improving productivity or performance. Who you're connections are is the most important qualification than abilities and skill in judging who stays or who goes. For example, a director who has retired a long time ago is kept on DESA payroll as a consultant and as head of a project just because of his connections. This despite the fact that the partners of the project don't like him at all. He has antagonized the project's partners and has been a major headache to the technical staff who are fostering these ties to ensure that they get more project funding. The irony is the same technical staff gets screwed over by their boss since once the money comes in he will use that money to get him a longer consultancy contract than the staff who actually did the work. He even has the brashness to inform them that they may not be renewed any longer because the project is running out of money. Meanwhile he is cooking up a scheme to get himself a one year contract that will give him all the benefits that he used to enjoy as Director. But who will do the work? That's a good question. Why not hire interns from Columbia or NYU or any willing victim
to do the work that the technical staff and hope that they give him the same results. But the partners of the project are threatening to pull out when this happens. Does he care? No, because he already has allotted himself a year's worth of pay. Why do you keep these kind of people in DESA?!

Another thing, the continuous post thing should work both ways. Who evaluates the supervisors that evaluates the administrative staff? Who polices their activities certainly not their immediate superiors not with the system that is existing now. Where one's boss used to be a colleague that got promoted through one's influence or assistance or in some case the one who's director now used to be working under this supervisor before he relinquished his post. So what do you do - turn a blind eye and walk on. This continuous post thing will not work unless specific guidelines and policies are laid down and enforced. Only in the UN will you see administrative staff who don't know how to use basic word processing or spreadsheet work. If that happened in realms outside UN you either get trained, leave or laid off.

Does reform fall solely in Ban-Ki Moon's shoulders? Don't think so. The people he appointed to head various Departments should work with him to ensure that such reforms happen. And he should re-appoint people who are under performing or are not doing anything at all. If it was left to Sha Zukang and his minions DESA will be same ole...same ole...