Usage of Data

CBO Design and Planning

Table of contents

1. Objective

This page prepared by UNDCO outlines the purpose and use of the data collected as part of the Common Back Office (CBO) design and planning stages. The document has been prepared to ensure all stakeholders have an overall understanding of the purpose of collecting the data requested. The explanations are organized in four sections:

  1. Data collection and quality assurance

  2. Baseline

  3. Proposal evaluation

  4. Business case

The information provided by entities at the country level will be used to support UNDCO, prospective hosting entities and service providers to establish the operational baseline workload and costs, inform the scoping of the services to be included in the country CBO, and orient the design of the CBO in terms of capacities and organization.

The descriptions below aim to provide transparency and clarity on the process.

2. Data collection and quality assurance

The data collection is the first step of the process and consists of gathering data to understand the status of each entity’s back office activities in terms of costs and workload, design the capacity needed in the future CBO, and serve as the baseline for the cost-benefit analysis.

The data collection template is composed of 7 tabs:

Tab nameDescriptionObjective

1. Instructions

Instructions on how to fill in the template, including:

·File structure

·Color coding

·High level description of each tab


Provide an overview of the structure of the file, clarify possible questions regarding how to fill each tab, and clarify key terms and definitions

2. Dashboard

Summary tables and graphs showing the percentage of completion and aggregated data entered in other tabs

Allow the visualization of aggregated data in real-time, the progress update of the data collection and the detection of major issues in the template

3. Overview

General overall entity and main office information (e.g., total number of personnel, total expenditure, etc.)

Understand the size of operations of the entity in-country and clarify for which location data need to be provided

4. Service line (L1)

Back-office FTEs[1] providing services from the main office location allocated by grade to each Service Line[2] in-country within the entity

Understand the breakdown of FTEs by Service line and personnel expenditure incurred to provide services in-country

5. Service (L3)

Service modality (e.g., in-house, outsourced, etc.) to each service at L3 level[3], service provider in case of outsourced services, measurement of quality, and back-office FTEs providing services from the main premise location allocated by grade in case of in-house services

Understand the current service provision modality and assess FTEs time allocated across services, and calculate personnel expenditure incurred to provide services in-country

6. Workload drivers

Total workload driver volume performed in the year by the FTEs inputted in the previous tab (if in-house) or requested by the entity to the service provider (if outsourced)

Calculate workload across services in ‘As-Is’ state to be used as a base to estimate the future LSSC structure and to define productivity norms (i.e., # FTEs/transaction)

7. Operational capacity

Number of personnel assigned to each service line (L1) based on an entity's organizational chart

Understand the general structure of the service lines (L1) within an entity to compare with the back-office FTEs

[1] Full Time Equivalents (both regular staff and affiliate workforce)

[2] Six Service lines identified: Administration, Finance, HR, ICT, Logistics and Procurement

[3] Services for each Service Line were based on BIG/ UNSDG service catalogue

Once entities complete filling in the information requested, an important part of the process is to quality assure the data collected to identify and resolve issues before creating the baseline.

In the quality assurance part of the process, UNDCO technical and data leads check for inconsistencies and possible misinterpretations based on expected productivity and functional knowledge.

3. Baseline

The data collected will be consolidated at country level to define the cost of the current structure. For each service, the transaction volumes, back-office FTEs, personnel cost, and outsourcing expenditure will be stated.

Note prior to February 2023, the data was used as the base to support the elaboration of a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) related to consolidating the provision of services through the CBO.

4. Proposal evaluation

This document, referred to as the 'proposal evaluation', contains the guidance and templates to be used for the formal consultation to be carried out by UNDCO, on behalf of the UNSDG. The consultation aims to register the interest of UN Entities in a country to serve as the Host of the CBO and operate as a provider of common services to other UN Entities. The templates in this document will have to be filled in with the relevant information by each interested UN Entity. The information collected with this exercise will be reviewed by a panel endorsed by the UNCT to make recommendations with regard to the Host and service provider of the CBO. The UNCT endorses the recommendations with regard to the Host and Service Provider, and the process completes with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.

Whilst the default operating model is to have one UN Entity be the Service Provider for all CBO services, it is foreseen that multiple UN Entities may be service providers in some countries.

To achieve transparency and fairness in the process, this formal consultation has been formatted as if it were a procurement process.

The proposed features set out in this consultation include:

  • An assessment of the technical capacity of Proposers to serve as Hosting Entity and/or Service Provider;

  • An assessment of the costs and service levels proposed;

  • A comparative examination of analogous proposals from other UN Entities, when more than one UN Entity expresses its interest.

This document:

  • Is a tool developed by UNDCO and endorsed by the UNSDG to support the UNCT decision-making process for the selection of the Hosting Entity and, when applicable Service Providers among UN Entities;

  • Serves to ensure that prospective Hosting Entities and Service Providers have carefully considered what will be required to successfully deliver the services in scope.

5. Business case

The business case recommends establishing a CBO based on considerations made in the previous steps of the process. It summarizes the Cost Benefit Analysis, outcome of the Proposal Evaluation, key aspects of the organizational design, the governance arrangements, as well as the budget mechanism, and work plan for the CBO based on a proposed scope of services for each one of the functional areas.

Since this is the last part of the process, the data presented in this document reflect the final version that should be considered by entities to plan for the implementation of the CBO.

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