UN Women is enhancing staff capacity to deliver more effectively and efficiently in Asia and the Pacific region

Date: Monday, April 29, 2019

Author: Caitlyn Quinn

Bangkok, Thailand — Programme and project management is a balancing act. Ensuring the best outcomes of UN Women’s beneficiaries while juggling donor expectations, internal processes and securing sufficient resources and timeframes all needs to be considered. Recognising the challenging nature and the importance of this work, programme and project managers from regional offices joined representatives of Programme Division HQ in Bangkok to participate in training to refine practices.

Group photo of 36 participants from 13 countries represented country offices. Photo: UN Women/Pairach Homtong
Group photo of 36 participants from 13 countries represented country offices. Photo: UN Women/Pairach Homtong

The four-day workshop organized by the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific on 29 April to 2 May had 36 participants from 13 countries represented country offices. Facilitators and trainers from Programme Division HQ held sessions to enhance the skills of the participants for each phase of project management, using the UN Women’s own training modules, which have recently been accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Strengthening methodologies, monitoring and reporting, risk management and human resource planning were also covered.

The four-day workshop organized by the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific on 29 April to 2 May 2019. Photo: UN Women/Pairach Homtong
Photo: UN Women/Pairach Homtong

Adam Simpson, from Programme Division HQ said that despite the challenging nature associated with programme and project management, “Asia Pacific [region] has been leading the charge” in regard to managing donor expectations alongside UN Women’s practices and objectives. Furthermore, he said that the region “has been particularly strong” in the area of developing detailed plans that relate with Results-Based Management. He also emphasised the importance of the planning phase and said that “if there’s a plan, that means there’s a strategy”.

The four-day workshop organized by the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific on 29 April to 2 May 2019. Photo: UN Women/Pairach Homtong
(middle) Adam Simpson from Programme Division UN Women HQ. Photo: UN Women/Pairach Homtong

Speakers also shared good practices from their offices. The workshop also provided an opportunity to learn different perspectives from staff playing different roles in offices with different functions. The dynamic interface from different perspectives will contribute to refining corporate policies and tools that is underway in HQ as well as practices and systems in country offices. Programme Division HQ was very receptive to the feedback and highlighted their commitment to continue to refine internal processes while also remaining accountable to ensuring best practices are carried out for every project and programme under UN Women.

The four-day workshop organized by the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific on 29 April to 2 May 2019. Photo: UN Women/Pairach Homtong
Photo: UN Women/Pairach Homtong

The workshop demonstrated that UN Women is working dynamically in its approach to programmes and projects carried out in the region. Programme Division HQ reaffirmed its commitment to providing support to country offices and flagged the RBM training available to staff. By the end of the intense four days, participants became more aware of the importance in investing in planning and key elements of good planning. With more knowledge and skills, most managers felt they are more confident with project management and have become better to provide guidance for their staff and partners in various aspects of project management towards life changing projects for women and girls.