BOS annual review - 2024


In December 2017 report to the General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General (SG) called for scaling the roll-out of the Business Operations Strategy (BOS), mandating all UNCTs to ensure compliance with an improved BOS by 2021. In 2019, the UNSDG/BIG developed and endorsed the BOS 2.0 guidance, supported by the BOS 2.0 online platform for global roll-out.

Development of the BOS in all UNCTs and its implementation in 2021 and its subsequent annual reviews in 2022 and 2023 demonstrated several lessons learned and the need for corrections and revisions in the guidance to further enhance the inter-entity collaborations at the country level. Key lessons learned focused on assuring data quality and accuracy and reporting efficiencies. Over time, feedback and lessons learned shared by the UNSDG entities warranted a review of the BOS initiative in the short, medium to long term.

In September 2022, the United Nations Representatives of Internal Audit Services (UNRIAS) started an assessment of the BOS roll-out and implementation, sampling 8 countries. The result of the UNRIAS assessment is pointing toward a review of the BOS guidance in 2024 to incorporate suggestions that are based on the lessons learned and feedback received from entities, both Headquarters and country offices.

Efficiencies estimated and realized from the inter-entity collaboration through the BOS are reported to the ECOSOC annually in the UN Secretary-General's Report. Since this report will be prepared in April, the UNCTs are expected to conduct in January-March a review of their BOS, update the country-level collaborations, and efficiency future estimates, and report the efficiencies realized from collaboration within the UN System every year.

In 2024, the UNSDG/BIG will undertake a comprehensive review of the BOS guidance, for implementation in 2025 and beyond, therefore, the UNCTs are expected to continue to utilize the existing BOS methodology to evaluate the relevance of their BOS and report on the efficiencies estimated for future years and realized in 2023. To assist the UNCTs/OMTs, the attached supplemental guidance is issued guiding the annual review exercise.

This supplemental guidance also introduces information regarding a forthcoming transition in our BOS platform infrastructure. Specifically, the existing BOS platform, currently hosted by UNDP, is set to be succeeded by a new BOS platform within the UNINFO enviroment. This move aligns with the larger ecosystem where other UNSDG inter-agency platforms are situated. The transition aims to centralize and enhance our platform capabilities and user experience while preserving the integrity of data.

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