UNV is undertaking a digital transformation that will improve the impact UN Volunteers have on the 2030 Agenda and beyond. The UNV Digital Transformation (DT) project is a major digital leap to ensure that UNV succeeds in its ambitious plans to better serve the UN system in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through digitalization, we are committed to increased productivity, higher client satisfaction and reduced workload for staff.
UNV is modifying its systems to make becoming a UN Volunteer and recruiting a UN Volunteer both intuitive and digital savvy. The organization-wide DT project, which is supported by the Government of Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), leads to new organizational capabilities, augmented by frontier technologies such as AI, Big Data and cloud computing. With efficiency gains and real-time engagement with candidates and UN host entities alike, UNV will better respond to the most pressing needs of the UN and its Member States.
In particular, this digital overhaul will:
- facilitate volunteer mobilization by establishing an intuitive single-entry point for candidates to offer their services and for organizations to request services of volunteers; and
- optimize efficiency by digitalizing analogue and partially digitalized business functions within the organization.
How is the transformation happening ?
The UNV DT is about introducing a Unified Volunteering Platform, which will:
- remove inefficiencies in recruiting and managing UN Volunteer assignments.
- introduce self-services, full and advanced automation to candidates and host managers, including with Artificial Intelligence; and
- improve inclusiveness through better accessibility, usability and language coverage.
It is important to note that UNV is aware of the research on AI and gender, and is taking precautions at every step of the DT project to make sure the digital environment is as inclusive as possible, including in gender. A priority for UNV is organizational readiness and training personnel to use digital tools for everyones benefit, including their own work satisfaction.
So, what has changed so far?
First-phase of AI-powered Chatbot is in use at https://vra.unv.org/ Through this we are seeing a seven-times reduction of cases for UNV staff to handle.
Revampled Special Recruitment calls part of the website. Here you can quickly scan what special recruitments assignments are open for UN Volunteers. Likewise, this improved system makes it more efficient for UN entities to recruit the type of talent they need quickly at https://www.unv.org/special-calls.
With this digital transformation, more UN Volunteers, in more locations, will provide crucial support to Governments and the UN System in achieving the SDGs. In addition, UNV strives to inspire other UN Entities’ in digitalization and best practice for rapid and emergency deployment of personnel. In short, UNV hopes to set a ‘new standard’ for the United Nations in the field of talent sourcing and recruitment.
We are grateful to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for its support to UNV’s Digital Transformation project, which has enabled our innovative pathway.