Welcome to the Office of the Ombudsman

Our Office offers dedicated informal dispute resolution services to all contract holders from UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS and UN-Women. We are a confidential place to discuss workplace issues and to explore options relating to workplace conflict.

We do not take sides in disputes and operate independently from the administration. We will listen to your concerns and help you to develop strategies on how to address your workplace concern. If you need assistance on how to resolve conflict or want help clarifying what options you have to address a dispute, get in touch with us. We can help you to identify alternatives, untangle a complicated situation, provide information or clarification on policies and procedures, facilitate a discussion, research pertinent facts, mediate a dispute or refer you to another focal point within the organization that may be able to provide assistance.

We also help UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS and UN-Women to examine the root causes of conflict in the workplace and make recommendations on how to address systemic causes of conflict constructively in the organization.

This website contains all the information you would need about our work. If you need further help contact us, we will only be too pleased to help.

Our Principles

Confidentiality

The Office of the Ombudsman takes all precautions necessary to protect the identity of the contract holder while working on a case; however, especially in complicated cases, it is sometimes necessary to engage all parties in an attempt to work together towards a solution. In these instances, the Ombudsman will explore with the visitor how best to move forward when it does not appear feasible to maintain anonymity.  In examining options, the Ombudsman will present them in as objective a manner as possible. In any event, the Ombudsman would never mention the name of the contract holder without his/her approval. In this regard, it is often understood during preliminary discussions whether the contract holder is giving full permission for the Ombudsman to inquire on his/her behalf.

Impartiality and neutrality

An Ombudsman cannot become an advocate to any party in a dispute and is also not in a position to find fault but rather to ensure that due process is followed. If the Ombudsman finds that justice has not prevailed in a given case, he/she would make a recommendation to the executive body. An Ombudsman does not implement a decision and is not a policy maker, but rather strives to find a fair resolution to a dispute brought to his/her attention.

Independence

The Office of the Ombudsman is independent in structure and function from other organizational entities and officials. The Ombudsman gives an account of the work of the Office to the organizations through the annual report. The Ombudsman also holds informal meetings with the Executive Heads of the organizations.

Informality

The Ombudsman does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure of the Funds and Programmes relating to workplace disputes or concerns.

Our latest Annual Report is here

Annual Report Cover 2016

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Services Provided

Listening

The Office of the Ombudsman is a safe space to discuss workplace concerns in complete confidentiality and without fear of retaliation. An Ombudsman will be an active listener to your concern and will help you explore options on how to deal with workplace issues.

Identification and Evaluation of Options

An Ombudsman will help you identify your options when it comes to dealing with a difficult workplace situation. He or she will help you evaluate those options in an objective and confidential manner.

Facilitation of Dialogue

When the Ombudsman has obtained permission from you, he or she can intervene as a facilitator of dialogue between you and a third party.

Mediation

An Ombudsman can help mediate between two conflicting parties. Mediation is a deliberate process aimed at bringing resolution to conflict. It is a more involved process than facilitation of dialogue and may require that parties are brought together in the same room to discuss workplace issues of concern.

Feedback about Systematic Trends

The Ombudsman collects and analyses data derived from its casework. The Office of Ombudsman publishes its annual report. It offers feedback to the administration on systemic issues and suggests recommendations on how to address some of the root causes of conflict within the organization.

Shuttle Diplomacy

There could be situations where the two parties prefer not to face one another in person but allow the Ombudsman to become a “shuttle diplomat” and go in between the two parties as they attempt to resolve their conflict.

Coaching

An Ombudsman can coach you on how to deal with a particular workplace situation. He or she may be a sounding board for a particular solution you are exploring or may coach you on how to have difficult conversations or how to give feedback for example.