Subj: FW: UNDP Policy on the Management of Prescriptive Content 
Date: 19-Mar-2003 11:49:42 AM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet
  "Patrick   Gremillet"      Original Message-----
From: Jan Mattsson []
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 6:11 PM
Cc: Resident Representatives; Registries
Subject: UNDP Policy on the Management of Prescriptive Content
United Nations Development Programme                                      18 March 2003

Dear Colleagues
With the introduction of web technologies, there is an enormous potential for better organisation, production and management of content within the organisation.  Such issues are particularly relevant for UNDP's prescriptive content, covering our rules, regulations, policies and procedures that we need to bring urgently up to date for the ERP implementation.  While most of our prescriptive content has up to now usually been published in the form of manuals, we have today a unprecedented opportunity to completely revisit the way we produce such content and make it available to UNDP staff.  However, in order to benefit
fully from the possibilities offered by new technologies, we need to reconsider our existing management practices and policies.

In this regard, I am pleased to share with you the UNDP Policy on the Management of Prescriptive Content, which will serve as the policy framework for the production, revision, issuance and dissemination of all UNDP prescriptive content.  This policy is the result of extensive consultations and a review by the MPN.  It responds to urgent needs in several inter-related areas.  The new policy will:     
  •  Make our policies and procedures more user-friendly, and ensure that they are unambiguous and constantly up-to-date;     
  • Abolish the use of circulars to issue policies and operational  instructions by UNDP headquarters and replace them by broadcast  messages pointing to content posted on the Portal;   
  • Improve staff access to operational instructions that were previously issued in various formats and at various locations ("one stop  shopping");    
  •  Adopt temporary measures to manage the large number of changes resulting from ongoing simplification efforts and ERP implementation;      and
  • Address the need for permanent governance mechanisms to ensure responsive review and approval processes for changes in policies and  procedures over time.

In recent weeks, we have tested a number of concrete measures proposed in the policy.  Examples include MPN review of the CAP Committee TOR, introduction of a more rigorous workflow from the drafting to the issuance of policy changes, and use of a standard HTML template for such content (e.g. the recent Security Policy).  You may also have noticed a reduction in circulars containing changes in policies and procedures, with increased use of broadcast messages announcing a policy decision which can be accessed on the Portal.  In addition, we have made more consistent efforts to provide translations in French and Spanish of new policies.  The revised process flow will be implemented more systematically and in its entirety now that this policy is in place.

Ultimately, the vision we are aiming at through this policy is the elimination of manuals as we presently know them, and a move towards on-line publishing and revision of content components covering specific business functions. However, prior to achieving this, there is an enormous task in front of us to clean up our existing manuals and bring them up to date in a short period of time.

Through a recent decision made by the Executive Team, I was appointed on a temporary basis as the focal point for making decisions in regard to the correctness and appropriateness of prescriptive content for the organization.  This was decided in view of the urgency to address immediate needs related to the PeopleSoft ERP implementation pending the establishment of a permanent governance mechanism for prescriptive content. The establishment of such governance mechanism, including the composition of a new competent body will be the subject of a separate proposal, which shall be submitted to the Executive Team for consideration and approval in September 2003.

In the meantime, I will continue to communicate with the HQ units responsible for content production and revision to discuss the current status of our core manuals.  However, our existing Intranet is out of date and its content cannot be trusted, while the migration of prescriptive content to the Portal is incomplete.  The management of these multiple documents stores can no longer continue, and there is an urgent need to have our core content in one place, in one version and in one format.  This shall constitute our baseline to move forward.  Through these on-going consultations with responsible units, I therefore intend to have a rapid migration of prescriptive content to the Portal based on an agreed timeline.

We will keep you informed of our progress, but above all, I trust that you will be able to see for yourself a number of improvements demonstrating that we are moving in the right direction.

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With best regards