Attracting and retaining talent has always been a top priority for us. From day one, we focused on building a highly capable team that would help us deliver on our ambitious goals. Our mandate is very challenging and we need to set ourselves up for success. Building a strong team is core to our strategy.
Our account managers and analysts are highly motivated graduates from top Universities with strong analytical, problem solving, and communication skills. They greatly value preparing and participating in stocktake meetings with Ministers, the PM, and President – where their engagement with ministry counterparts and the front line of service delivery inform important decisions to drive progress. They are also attracted by the fast-paced but laid-back work environment. The exposure to top officials and ability to influence key decisions at the highest levels of government is a unique value proposition of the UCG. In many ways, the UCG feels like a public sector start-up, where innovation and learning are part of the routine, and some of the most exciting work in government is taking place.
The former Head of the Unit, Ernesto Balarezo, set the tone for the UCG from the beginning. One thing he said still stands out: “One of my main functions in this Unit is to find, develop and empower the best talent. If I am successful at that, all else will follow.” He knew that his time leading the UCG would be limited, so we put a succession plan in place at the start. For months, we were deliberate about the transition, so that the Unit would be set up for success through the process. We jointly led routines and the engagement with Ministers and their teams.
Our focus on people, culture and clear processes is already paying off. Among other things, our people have worked with the Ministry of Interior and National Police to reverse a decline in quality of service in police stations – a key performance indicator in our security priority. Getting these and other departments to work together – and with us – has been possible only due to the extraordinary facilitative skill and diplomacy that our team brings to the work. No matter how much time it takes, the best investment I can make as Head of Delivery Unit is to keep attracting and developing the best available human capital. A historical trend is now reverting. We trust this is just the beginning.