Building Global-Scale SWP in Constant Volatility and Uncertainty

Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 12:00 PM - 12:35 PM
  • How do you plan when your core business is to respond to unplannable emergencies worldwide?
  • Is Strategic Workforce Planning possible in a volatile, uncertain business context with an unpredictable funding?
  • Can public international organisations strategically plan their workforce?

Pilar Cortés will share her experience designing and implementing Strategic Workforce Planning at the UN World Food Programme, the largest humanitarian organisation in the world fighting hunger.

Anticipating workforce needs is more important than ever in a highly volatile geopolitical, economic and human resources landscape. With an unprecedented expansion in the number of operations and emergencies in recent years, accompanied by an exponential growth in staff, it became critical for the WFP to plan in a more systematic way our workforce needs, both in capacity and in capabilities, to be able to meet the demands of our stakeholders now and in the future.

While international organisations face unique challenges compared to those in the private sector (from tight budgets to talent attraction and rigid rules), planning longer term and managing the workforce in a strategic manner is also possible.

At the WFP, by implementing SWP across the organisation, we are trying to change the mindset vis a vis people management, align our workforce to our strategic goals, and ensure the organisation has the people and skills needed at the right time and in the right place to achieve our mandate of ending hunger worldwide.

This session will explore:

  • Why Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP)? The burning platform
  • The SWP Journey and process at WFP
  • SWP Outcomes and Benefits 
  • Lessons learned.

Learning outcomes:

  • Learn about the journey of designing, piloting, and implementing SWP at the World Food Programme
  • Find out what helped us to be successful in the journey
  • Discover some of the challenges that we faced
  • Learn about some ways we have tried to overcome them.