To ensure efficient management of resources, in 2002 TDR moved into a new planning and management mode based on expected results and specific products. This entailed a move away from input-based planning,where planned budgets were built up around funding expectations and organizational units, to output- based planning built up from defined deliverables and providing, for the first time, the possibility to receive large designated contributions. This meant changes were needed in the way TDR operated internally.
To improve the efficiency and adapt the management of the programme, initial steps included developing a new information technology system to cope with the changes. These changes include: an increase in use of flexible dedicated product development teams; growth in use of different contract types issued by TDR; alignment of activity costs to the technical product level rather than simply to the budget element (operations, personnel, operational support).
In 2001, TDR created a product master database as its principal planning and technical monitoring tool. To enable closer monitoring of funded projects, a number of internal procedural and process measures were conducted. As a result of this tightening, it is now conditional that, in order for a grant receiver to continue to be funded, all previous technical and financial reporting liabilities must be completed.
To ensure that changes the programme has been undergoing are clearly documented, and to improve understanding within the programme, TDR issued a general operations guide which is frequently used as a reference document by TDR staff and provides TDR partners and others with an insight into how the Programme operates. Also compiled were standard operational procedures on e.g. processes for organizing meetings, promoting efficient use of the electronic system, and administrative management of product development teams.
TDR also took part in a pilot trial of the WHO electronic expenditure approval system.Work to further improve the managerial systems of the Programme will continue.
During most of the biennium, TDR was constrained by less than optimal office accommodation. In October 2002, the Programme finally moved to new premises situated near Geneva airport. The new premises provide adequate and modern facilities to support new ways of working, and flexible meeting rooms, quickly adjustable to the needs of a large or small meeting.
To ensure good communication with WHO headquarters, TDR remains on the WHO telephone system and local area network, and a shuttle bus service links the new TDR premises to the main WHO offices seven times a day.
1 TDR general operations guide 2002-2003. TDR/GEN/GOG/02.1 Rev 1, also available at: http://www.who.int/tdr/publications/ publications/operations_ guide.htm