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Elements of Business

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The aim of any organization, both profit-making and nonprofit-making, is to achieve the goals and objectives that made its formation necessary. The path of attaining success is influenced by numerous factors, which include both internal and external ones. An example of a nonprofit-making organization is the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The primary business and tasks of this organization concern children welfare, which includes children rights, protection and survival among other functions. The operation processes, structures and resource managements of the UNICEF is attributed, guided and controlled by various business elements.

Elements of Business at UNICEF

Law is an important element in any organization as compliance is essential in the registration before the issuance of an operating certificate. Different kinds of organizations require diverse legal compliances that are dictated by the business activity. UNICEF has a major challenge that is legally related to its business of ensuring that the children’s rights are adhered to. This is a mandate that has raised a lot of criticism, whether the organization is indeed legally registered as a human rights organization or a humanitarian aid organization concerned with the children’s welfare. On the other hand, UNICEF has advocated for changes in the legal status concerning children’s rights, such as the right to clean water, food and education as a responsibility of parents and government - a move which has not received approval from the politicians and law makes (Forsythe, 2009).

Subsequently, social element is of great influence on the UNICEF’s activities, since the society the organization operates in is overwhelmed with children’s health problems and poverty, which the organization has to actively handle. Consistently, the organization faces a social challenge of a high infant mortality rate which, according to the UK report in the year 2008, states that 5.9 deaths occur per 1000 births; the organization is going to take pains and reduce and curb this crux completely (Owen, S. Kane, R. & Paul, L., 2011).

Conducting business within a changing global economy has uncontrollable impact on the UNICEF’s operations as such a situation exists in an external environment. In its business operations UNICEF applies diverse operating systems in order to raise funds to sustain its existence and functioning by means of partners, supporters and government. Accountability to individual support, government and sponsors in the financial management is another element in the UNICEF’s business activities that it has to cope with in order to receive more funds to run its business. A good example of proper management and accountability could be witnessed in 2009, when UNICEF was forced to capitalize its resources in its aim to provide children with a better life by redesigning its measurable programs and streaming efficient  operations with partners in order to attract more funds (UNICEF, 2009).  

The management of business at UNICEF

UNICEF is a nongovernmental organization that has its branches in one hundred and ninety countries in the world. The management and administration are overseen from its headquarters in Copenhagen, where the global policies on children’s welfare are designed. UNICEF has a managerial team in every country it operates, which is comprise of staff, divided into five hierarchical levels. Such teams are led by the chief executive director, followed by the director of staff, deputy director of staff, regional directors and regional officers respectively; the junior staff report to the immediate senior staff in the hierarchy.

The UNICEF’s goal, as it is mandated by its authorities, is to carry out the mission of children’s welfare, which includes the children’s rights under the host countries’ offices of all member states as part of the United Nations. All the operations of UNICEF are partnerships between the headquarters in Copenhagen and the host nations. The financial management of the organization is a key factor to consider in this mission. Since UNICEF is a humanitarian aid organization, which operates on voluntary funds from donors, the governments are required to contribute two thirds of the funds; individuals and private groups also contributes a larger percentage of the total funds through the national committee (UNICEF, 2012).    

Project Timeline, Implementations and Financial Contingencies

Most of the UNICEF’s projects are carried out in a time frame of five years. Diverse projects are implemented in various countries at different times, with the major programs relating to the children’s rights, such as education, health and feeding programs. However, the projects might fail to achieve their objectives within a given timeframe, as a result of various financial issues including delays in donor finding and funding. UNICEF has adopted several implementation strategies in its operations to avert financial shortages at any time in order to ensure accountability and efficiency. These strategies include:  improving monitoring tools to ensure timely reporting of donor funding; collecting all the receipts reports from the recipients of funds in order to account for the proper funds management by host countries; hiring consultants and temporary experts in various research projects in order to comply with the human resource requirements implementations in all countries. In addition, UNICEF has distributed reporting tools in all member countries as an implementation strategy of ensuring that all the travelling claims are met according to the travelling policy of the year 2009 (UNICEF, 2009). 

Staffing Needs and Tools

UNICEF is an equal opportunity employer with a great consideration of gender parity across all levels of positions. It is one of the organizations that have managed to achieve the 2006 United Nations goal of gender equality among staff, particularly at senior levels of management. This has been possible through the provision of two major tools that are key factors in the human resource development. The first tool for human resource growth is the provision of assessment and competence based on performance for all together with developing talents and friendly policies. The second tool involves developing work culture that takes the gender strengths into account, thereby allowing cooperation and coordination at workplace (UNICEF, 2007).  The critical path of UNICEF that facilitated attainment of gender equality over the years is as shown below.

Conclusively, the operations of any organization are influenced either positively or negatively in its endeavors of conducting business. Some of the business elements, which determine the organization’s success, include the legal element, when the certain country’s laws dictate what actions the business should or should not employ; the economic environment, which determines the levels of income an organization is able to attain; economic factors, like receiving enough revenue, indicating the positive growth of an organization, while lack of revenues hinders its operations. Lastly, social environment is a business element that may support the organization’s operations or hinder them; when the surrounding population is supportive of the business operations then the organization’s success is achieved much easier.

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