leNews – The United Nations: more consultants, fewer rights

The United Nations both here in Geneva and worldwide is relying increasingly on consultants with short-term contracts to do its work, seriously hampering the organization’s overall professionalism. Consultants, many who have come to Switzerland with their families from other countries, or may be on mission elsewhere in the world, are sometimes only told on a Friday that their contract will be renewed Monday. Not only do such personnel often lack basic social or employment rights enjoyed by Switzerland and other European countries, but such fickleness is leading to a situation whereby many aid workers wonder whether it is worth continuing to commit to the UN and its members agencies.

According to an internal document procured by the Swiss newspaper, Le Temps, nearly 40 percent of those working with the UN and its agencies are hired on short-term or “non-staff” contracts, creating a two-tier system with full-time or tenured employees with complete social benefits on the one hand, and independent consultants with few if any trimmings on the other.

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swissinfo.ch – Swiss aid worker kidnapped in Sudan

A Swiss aid worker has been abducted in Sudan’s northern Darfur region, the Swiss authorities have confirmed. Reports say the woman, who has lived for years in the country and collaborated with the United Nations, was taken from her home on Saturday evening.

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NYTimes – How Not to Get a Job

What do a fragrance designer, New York City cop, bed-and-breakfast manager and youth hockey coach have in common?

Each of them recently applied for an account director position at my public relations firm, along with 500 others whose experience and skill sets ranged from vaguely on-point to off-the-charts irrelevant. Auto collections manager? Home health aide? Visual merchandiser? Count them all in.

It’s not that my postings on Indeed, LinkedIn and other career sites weren’t explicit in outlining desired qualifications. I added instructions urging candidates to contact us only if they had backgrounds in journalism, P.R. or law. There was nothing to suggest I was looking for a fiscal benefits analyst, emergency medical technician or brand ambassador, but they showed up anyway.

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devex – How the UN is attracting and retaining millennials

“Jobseekers today are looking to work for an employer that aligns with their values and vision. In a recent Devex survey, 60 percent of jobseekers said it was important to find a work culture that fits their preferred working style. The same survey showed that an employer’s “mission, culture, and values” was the second most important thing for a candidate to know before applying to a job. Having a strong employer brand is therefore important in competing for talent and this is something that continues to attract applicants to the U.N.”

“The organization is also deliberate in who it hires, explains Huckerby, and the brand — which promotes the organization as a place where you can have a real impact — helps attract “like-minded people who want to contribute and make a difference,” she adds. Huckerby believes that young people, millennials in particular, are looking for purpose in their work and want to be able to contribute to society. “They also want to work for an organization which has values that aligns with theirs,” she adds. “That’s great, and we have absolutely those.”

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Stern – „Bewerbungsgespräche wird es in zehn Jahren nicht mehr geben“

Harvard-Professorin Iris Bohnet über richtige Personal-Entscheidungen

Ihr Buch „What Works“ ist in den USA erfolgreich, auf Kongressen wie hier in Boston erklärt die Schweizer Ökonomin Iris Bohnet, 50, wie kluge Mitarbeiterauswahl funktioniert.

Aggressive Frauen wirken unsympathisch, sanfte Männer schwach. Die Harvard-Professorin Iris Bohnet erforscht, wie Stereotype Unternehmen daran hindern, die besten Mitarbeiter zu finden.

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impactpool – How Talent pools can contribute to achieve Gender parity at the UN


The use of talent pools is one recommendation in the Secretary-General’s System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity, in this article we list 7 best practices to build effective talent pools in your organization and what has made talent pools to fail in the past. Use our tips how you best use talent pools to reach gender parity in your organization!

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KM4Dev – Liberating Structures App

When you feel included and engaged, do you do a better job? Do you think teams in which people work well together produce much better results? Have you noticed the best ideas often come from unexpected sources? Do you want to work at the top of your intelligence and give the same opportunity to others?

If YES, we have found this is the kind of organization and community that people want to be part of. AND, Liberating Structures help make it happen.

While there will always be some justification for blaming leaders (or professors and administrators in education), the more compelling and useful explanation is not that people involved are bad, stupid or incompetent, but rather that the practices they have all learned are neither adapted to today’s realities nor designed to achieve the ideals listed above.

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UN News Centre – Interview: UN should be flagbearer when it comes to gender parity, stresses top official

This week Secretary-General António Guterres launched a new strategy to achieve gender parity across the United Nations – something he described as “an urgent need, a moral duty, an operational necessity – and a personal priority.”

The System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity provides a roadmap to reach parity at the senior levels of leadership by 2021, and across the board by 2028. In particular, it covers targets and accountability; special measures; an enabling environment; senior appointments; and mission settings.

A key focus of the strategy is increasing the recruitment and advancement of women, in particular in the middle to senior management levels, where the gaps are the greatest and a glass-ceiling persists.

Leading this key element of the Secretary-General’s effort to create a modern Organization and workforce is his Senior Adviser on Policy, Ana Maria Menéndez.

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Humanitarian Leadership Academy – New online course : Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring

Welcome to an Introduction to Coaching and Mentoring that has been specifically designed to help you develop your understanding of coaching and mentoring and the benefits of using them when working in an emergency response. With this course and accompanying toolkit, you will be able to recognise how to structure and carry out an effective coaching or mentoring session.

This course uses video and scenarios to help you to build and strengthen your understanding of how to put coaching and mentoring skills effectively into practice.

On completion of this course you will:


    • Understand the differences between coaching and mentoring
    • Explain the purpose of both approaches and how they can be used within the constraints of the humanitarian sector
    • Recognise the benefits of coaching and mentoring for different stakeholders
    • Describe the steps of a coaching model: What? So what? Now what?

Be able to

  • Hold a coaching and mentoring session
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the approach used and identify how to improve it
  • Implement the coaching/mentoring phases – set up (contracting), establish the relationship, structure conversations, review the process


  • Have the confidence to practise the skills
  • Be prepared to coach
  • Be curious to improve your skills further

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