United Nations Partner Portal

Inter-Agency Business Process Application

The United Nations Partner Portal (UNPP) is a web application built for a group of UN agencies to simplify their business processes and streamline collaboration with Civil Society Organizations.

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Year: Jun 2017 - April 2019

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The United Nations is a complex, distributed organization composed of multiple agencies working with countless corresponding partners on various projects throughout the world. The distribution and organizational complexity of the UN made collaboration with partner organizations difficult to manage. UN agencies had no single source of truth for engaging with partner organizations. Working with a mix of disconnected systems that required manual data entry, siloed data and inefficient workflows.

The UN Partner Portal is a cross-agency initiative led by the The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP). It aims to remove operational bottlenecks  by presenting a single source of truth and a streamlined digital process for managing UN Agency Partners.

Background

Tivix has a long-term development agreement with UNICEF. They came to us for this project because they needed a reliable development team that could effectively work with multiple stakeholders to execute a project.

Since this was an inter-organizational effort involving three UN agencies (UNICEF/WFP/UNHCR), strong communication skills and an understanding of how UN agencies work was essential.

Tivix led the development process for two portals, handling the entire UX/UI design, development, production, and support work. We were tasked with translating high-level requirements into technical specifications, delivering on these and testing the applications for usability.

Design philosophy

A major goal was to stay consistent with design across all UNICEF projects. Tivix used Google’s Material Design approach to craft clean layouts using design elements that are commonly seen across the web. Material Design components are easy for users to understand and are used throughout the UNICEF ecosystem. Elements such as Tooltips, Cards and Tabs behave in the same way ensuring consistency and intuitive UX.

Using Polymer as a frontend framework allowed us to easily create these common user interface elements.

Project management

Tivix built the entire platform from the ground-up, over the course of 2.5 years, with 3-6 team members engaged full-time on the project at any one time. Work was conducted in collaboration with UN employees based out of their New York and Geneva offices.

We used a hybrid agile approach: during the requirements phase, we followed a waterfall methodology; then transition into agile sprints for the main development phase. Every 2 weeks, we showcased the latest set of deliverables and incorporated our feedback for the next demo.

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Outcome

Tivix created two portals:

UNPP for Agencies: This handles the RFP process – allowing agencies to request Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from civil society organizations, typically the requests are related to the supply of goods and services for humanitarian projects.

UNPP for Partners: This second portal allows partner organizations to view documents and reports related to their work with the UN.

Upon completion the project was transitioned to United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC), who will maintain and roll-out the system across different UN agencies worldwide.

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It’s a fully open-source project that can be found on GitHub. Documentation lives on Gitbook.

“Tivix is a capable firm that’s committed to producing results. They understand how to transform business requirements into technical solutions.”

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Program Manager

United Nations

3

Participating UN agencies

1000+

Registered partners worldwide

2

Complementary user portals

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