In October 2021, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme launched the Unified Volunteering Platform (UVP) as part of its digital transformation. This move aimed to reshape how the organization conducts volunteer mobilization, recruitment, deployment and contract management. The focus was on enhancing efficiency, accessibility and unified volunteer management.
The recent introduction of the UVP marks a significant turning point. This innovative platform has replaced a multitude of disconnected systems that were previously used to manage various aspects of volunteer recruitment. The result? A streamlined and unified approach that caters to UN Volunteers, candidates, United Nations partners, governmental bodies, and international organizations alike.
Central to the UVP's functionality is its cloud-native nature, with a robust workflow engine at its core. This engine is powered by Azure Cognitive Search technology, which enables efficient searches, both based on specific parameters and using free-text queries. This enhancement significantly boosts the discoverability of relevant information, making the platform even more user-friendly.
The UVP goes above and beyond by seamlessly integrating with a wide array of APIs, establishing connections not only with UNV's internal applications like Salesforce and data platforms, but also with external volunteer reporting systems, forecasting applications, and more. This integration forms a cohesive technological ecosystem that simplifies the complex volunteer management process – one that involves more than 50 steps and engages UNV personnel, volunteers, candidates, and host entities.
The user-centric design of the UVP is evident in its intuitive interface, presenting users with easy-to-understand dashboards that provide essential insights. Users can access details about Descriptions of Assignment, ongoing assignments, candidate information, and payment statuses.
With task-oriented guidance, the dashboard empowers users to carry out various actions, including assignment creation, payment requests, and the initiation of contract milestones such as extensions or resignations. Administrative users benefit from specialized management tools that allow them to handle content templates, translations, and other utility functions seamlessly.
Since its initial launch, the UVP has consistently evolved, leading to remarkable efficiency improvements across the entire spectrum of volunteer management. A noteworthy achievement has been the successful integration with UNDP's Quantum Enterprise Resource Planning platform.
This integration has facilitated real-time data exchange, enabling smooth HR and payroll actions and automating critical processes. These enhancements showcase the UVP's adaptability and emphasize UNV's unwavering commitment to operational excellence.
Behind the scenes, UNV's in-house development team collaborates with vendors distributed across the globe to nurture the ongoing development of the UVP. This collaborative effort ensures that the platform continues to evolve in response to the ever-changing needs of its users.
Looking ahead, the upcoming developmental phase will introduce even more functionalities, driven by valuable user feedback and refined through careful consultation. Furthermore, the UVP will undergo accessibility enhancements to ensure inclusivity and equitable participation, reflecting UNV's dedication to serving all individuals.
As ongoing enhancements and developments take place, the UVP is positioned to maintain its pivotal role in UNV's digital transformation journey. Ultimately, it will play a vital part in enabling volunteer engagement on a global scale – a testament to the power of technology in driving positive change.