It’s often said that ‘easily doing what others find difficult’ is the hallmark of talent. But then, talent comes to nothing without steadfast persistence and nurture.
In the Asia-Pacific region, UNDP’s ranks are swelling with digital champions who are applying technology to find solutions to wicked development challenges. Some prime examples of these include the implementation of an Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network in India; another is our support to Digital Bangladesh Agenda through the a2i Initiative, led by the Prime Minister’s Office to simplify government services to the citizens.
We’re doggedly determined to nurture this talent and achieve more!
With the launch of UNDP’s Digital Strategy early this year, the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific made a choice to focus on Digitalization – the use of digital technologies to change our ways of working, including creating new or improved ways of delivering services, and improving the quality of what is delivered.
Taking a cue from what we have achieved with our Government partners, it is clear that our progress and success in applying digitalization to our work and for improved internal efficiencies will depend on our staff and leadership to experiment and lead UNDP to thrive in the digital age.
Thus, we made a conscious decision: Digital upskilling is a business that should be grown around our people and culture.
Even before fall approached, we had the blueprint of our Lighthouse Initiative – a Digital Talent Framework, an apt name, as we navigate fast into new development landscapes. In simple terms, this time-bound initiative will equip our workforce at all levels to be more comfortable with #NextGen technologies and an open mind to embrace the unknown. This Framework is intended to better understand the subject areas we need to better cultivate, given our diverse working environment
We are grounding the Digital Talent Framework on the People for 2030 Strategy being rolled out by the Office of Human Resources in UNDP, a perfect place for this “vine” to grow. It was an easy decision then to join hands with the Talent Development Team housed in the Office of Human Resources of UNDP. We knew that additional cooks in our digital kitchen will help up craft the best strategy!
So, what’s next? A gap analysis of our workforce to explore the areas where are we falling short. We have engaged with Ernst and Young (India) and developed a Digital Capability and Culture Assessment to conduct a gap analysis of our workforce spread across 36 countries. This was launched few days earlier. Once validated in a few weeks’ time, this would provide us with the baseline to co-create upskilling plans for our staff, mid-level managers, and leadership.
The gap analysis will form the bedrock of our Digital Talent Framework (DTF) and will also identify the core capability needs that are critical to UNDP’s long-term successes. A differentiated learning path will then be created, so that we don’t continue with a “one-size-fit-all” approach.
In the initial pilot, a cohort of 200 personnel chosen from the entire workforce in Asia-Pacific will be offered and a customized suite of learning leading to provision of “Digital Badges” for the participants. We are partnering with Credly, a globally recognized firm for assessing skills, capabilities, and achievements used by industry leaders for “badging” our champions. Once gained, these Acclaim badges can be used by those who earn it and is introduced with the goals of increasing employee recognition, motivating skill progression and making the workforce more inclusive and can be shared to professional networking sites and social media.
In 2020, we expect these “digital champions” are equipped to better their functions; can collaborate intelligently with external actors; and be able to find pioneering solutions at the country level, by leveraging technology.
What are our ideas for how to harness the power of digital to influence the way we work? Let us know! Follow us on Twitter @undpasiapac and join the conversation.