Making the UN Refugee Agency More Tangible, Business Proposal Example
Words: 4111Business Proposal
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Office was created in 1950. This creation was during the Second World War Aftermath. It was designed to help the millions of people who had lost their homes. They had decided that the Office would last only three years then become disbanded. It is now 70 years since its inception ad it is still working hard to protecting and helping refugees across the World. The Office also organizes how these refugees will get transport and packages to assist them when they are returning home and create an income-generating project that will help them resettle down. The help offered by UNHCR helps in lifting broken lives. Therefore, this paper shall shed light on this Office and various ways of transforming it to become more tangible.
Key Words: Tangible, Intangibility, Asylum
UNHCR is a refugee agency that is recognized globally. It is dedicated to protecting people’s rights, saving lives, and creating a better future for refugees, stateless people, and those who have been displaced forcibly. This Organization works very hard in ensuring that every person has got a right to seek asylum. It ensures that the person seeking asylum can find safe refuge after running away from violence, wars at home, and persecution (UNHCR, 2021). UNHCR works hard to ensure that every person has gotten the right to a safe refuge and find asylum in another state. It makes sure that this person has got an option of returning to their own home and integrate to resettle down. When there is the displacement of people, this Office provides critical assistance that is highly required. This emergency assistance includes offering clean water, giving health care services and sanitation, and offering shelter, warm blankets and food staff (UNHCR, 2021).
The Organization has faced very many crises on multiple continents since 1950. It has provided significant assistance to asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and stateless people. UNHCR focuses on helping have got no one else to turn to since the governments in their countries where they operate are dysfunctional. It also helps save lies and make sure that they have built a better future for many people who have been forced to move out of their homes (UNHCR, 2021).
UNHCR won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 in Europe for the groundbreaking work that it had done. This was long before it faced a significant emergency in 1956. This emergency involved resettling 200,000 Hungarians who had led from their country to Austria during the Hungarian Revolution. Hungarians were considered as “prima facie” refugees. This revolution shaped how the refugee crisis would be dealt with by humanitarian Organizations in the future. The decolonization of Africa in the 1960s led to the numerous refugee crises considered the first in the continent. This Agency helped people from Asia and Latin America who were uprooted from their homes for two decades. The Organization received their second Nobel Peace Prize in 1981 for refugees’ worldwide assistance (UNHCR, 2021).
UNHCR has helped with the major refugee crisis in Asia, Africa and the Middle East during the 21st century. It has also used it’s expertized to support those who have been internally displaced by conflicts and help those who do not have any state. The Refugee Convection of 1951 has been strengthened by adding regional legal instruments in Africa and Latin America (UNHCR, 2021). Therefore, this paper shall highlight how UNHCR is organized, the importance of marketing the Organization, Problems facing the Organization, marketing issues faced by the Service Industry, and converting Services offered by the UNHCR from intangible to tangible ones as Marketing strategies used by UNHCR.
Organization of UNHCR
UNHCR have more than 17,324 employees who are working in 135 countries in the World. It is organized so that it protects the most vulnerable people in Society. It provides shelter to those people who need it and advocacy, which is used in transforming services and policies that affect displaced persons. It ensures that people who forcibly flee from their own homes have access to life-saving health care. The Organization works hard in helping millions of people to rebuild broken lives. It assesses people’s needs by providing a blueprint for planning and how to act during crisis time. UNHCR budget has grown from US$300,000 to US$8.6 billion in 2019. UNHCR celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2020 (UNHCR, 2021).
The Environment of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The environment of any business refers to external and internal factors that affect the operations of the company. In the case of the UNHCR, these factors include employees working for the Organization, the refugees’, IDPs and Stateless Peoples’ expectations and needs to be met the supply and demand of the items and services in the Organization the management. Also, factors such as innovation in technology, social trends and Partners of the Organization are regarded as the UNHCR environment. These factors affect the Organization of the Agency at large (Toppr, 2021).
This environment is used to identify the Organization’s opportunities and to tap the available resources, and plan the Organization’s activities. It improves UNHCR general performance, making it to become the highest performing humanitarian Organization in the World (Toppr, 2021).
Macro and Micro Environments are the two general types of business environments. Microenvironment refers to the suppliers, competitors such as other humanitarian organizations in the World, marketing intermediaries, people in need and the general public. These factors affect the Organization’s decision-making process and general performance (Monash University, 2020).
Macro environment refers to those conditions that exist in the whole economy at large. These factors include inflation trends, employment, gross domestic product, fiscal policy, and monetary and spending. This environment is linked to the general business cycle (Investopedia, 2020).
The Competitive Environment of UNHCR
The Competitive Environment of the University refers to the external system in which the Organization functions and competes. These are other humanitarian organizations that compete with UNHCR. Some of these organizations are the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East(UNRWA), among others. Direct competitors refer to those organizations that offer services similar to those you are offering. Indirect Competitors deal with different products and services even though they compete with your Organization (Study. Com, 2021).
Competition helps organizations to last long enough in the market. It is because it motivates firms to continue improving their services. Competition means that UNHCR has to improve the services that they offer to people Market share. Other organizations have got the capability of taking away potential partners. Competition means that UNHCR has to provide quality services to the people involved since it can ruin the Organization’s reputation and affect its Performance (Study. Com, 2021).
The Competitive Strategies
A competitive strategy refers to a plan of action that is long-term. This plan is devised by the Refugee Agency so that it gains a competitive advantage over its competitors. UNHCR achieves this point after examining its competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and compares them to those of its own. These actions are used to ensure that UNHCR has remained the most performing humanitarian Organization in the World (Luenendonk, 2019).
Some of the strategies that the Organization uses include differentiation, Cost leadership, and Focus strategy. Differentiation strategy aims at gaining a competitive advantage over other humanitarian organizations by marketing their unique products and services. For example, UNHCR can launch an emergency operation within 72 hours has made it to be recognized in the whole World. The experts working in this Organization are ready and willing to be deployed anywhere in the World. Then, UNHCR has received Nobel Peace Prizes for the outstanding performance in helping refugees. Cost leadership strategy is where the UNHCR employs highly skilled experts to deal with any humanitarian issue in the World (Luenendonk, 2019).
Focus Strategy makes the UNHCR tailor its services towards helping those people who are in need. These people are internally displaced persons, refugees and stateless persons. (Luenendonk, 2019).
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Therefore, a SWOT analysis in the University environment refers to a tool used by the UNHCR’s management to study what is practical and less effective. It is used in preparation for assessments, audits, and quality checks plans in the Organization.
This analysis enables the UNHCR’s management to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the Organization’s various departments. It is also used in planning activities that significantly impact the Organization’s administration, financial and planning decisions (Morrison, 2018).
Strengths refer to those factors that contribute positively to achieving the objectives of the Organization. In contrast, Weaknesses refer to those factors that are considered barriers to achieving the Organization’s goals. On the other hand, Opportunities are external factors that positively affect the meeting of the UNHCRs’ aims and goals, which were not considered previously. Threats are factors that harm the process of achieving the Organization’s objectives by making them unachievable or redundant (Morrison, 2018).
A SMART and clear goal is required to start a SWOT analysis in UNHCR. This kind of goal is used as a guide in goal setting. According to Corporate Finance Institute (2021), SMART is an acronym that refers to Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic ad Timely. Therefore, this kind of goal incorporates this criterion in focusing your efforts towards achieving your objective. SWOT and PESTLE analysis are the primary tools that are used in achieving the set objectives. PESTLE is a tool that the UNHCR uses to track its operational environment to launch a new program. It is an acronym for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental Issues. It gives an overview of the Organization’s environment to evaluate from all sides (Pestle Analysis, 2021).
A team of Support staff is created to conduct SWOT Analysis at the Organization. This team is used in sharing the goals to be achieved, which helps in running the brainstorming session. The brainstorming session is best carried out by an independent person who does not belong to UNHCR. The activity is carried out in different phases: sharing the intended goal, collecting data using PRIMO-F, and taking a break of about one hour. After the break, there will be filtering, sorting, and analyzing the data into the four areas. In this stage, the team is required to be very critical and SMART. Therefore, they will avoid vague ideas at this stage. Elements will be prioritized during this session. A second session will be carried out to plan how to analyze data into a realistic phase (Morrison, 2018).
When carrying out a SWOT analysis in the UNHCR, the team should not underestimate the threats and weaknesses. It is because these threats can come back and haunt the Organization at some stage. They can also damage the Organization a great deal. The main reason for carrying out a SWOT analysis session is to understand the threat or the weakness in UNHCR’s management. The SWOT analysis will help the administration to take actions concerning these risks or threats. Therefore, SWOT Analysis is generally used to plan UNHCR and deal with the Organization’s local and global challenges and issues (Morrison, 2018).
Role and Importance of Marketing UNHCR
Marketing of the UNHCR helps create awareness to people regarding the kind of services offered by the Organization (Juneja, 2021). It also supports many refugees have a shoulder to lean on since this Organization provides them with the requirements they need to move on with life (Leonard, 2019).
Marketing of this Organization has made to become ranked among the top-performing humanitarian Organization in the World and differentiating it from other organizations.
It ensures that it has remained known throughout the World, especially in areas where there are crises. Through marketing, a good relationship between the general public and UNHCR has been retained. (Juneja, 2021).
Problems Facing Marketing of the Humanitarian Services Offered by UNHCR
The four major problems that face humanitarian services are Intangibility, Variability, Perishability, and Inseparability.
Intangibility. It refers to a situation where a person cannot assess the value of the service. These services cannot be smelled, seen, felt, or touched before purchasing them. Therefore, it is tough to evaluate its quality. For example, one cannot know the humanitarian service quality unless they become refugees, a stateless person or an Internally Displaced Person (Ronisky, 2016).
Variability. Variability refers to changes in the quality of humanitarian services that various organizations provide. This change happens because of the person providing the service. Also, the time of the day or the year when the service is being offered determines variability. There are different types of Service variability. Some of these variability’s include; Arrival, Request, Capability, and Subjective preference variability (Sven, 2017).
Arrival variability deals with how needy people such as refugees, stateless persons and IDP contacts UNHCR. Request variability occurs when needy persons have various requests. If the requests are the same, then the answers will be the same, but the answers will be different if the requests are different. Thus, research needs to be done to come up with the required solutions.
Capability variability is where each refugee visits UNHCR with their skills, knowledge, and motivation. Subjective preference variability shows reliability and offers useful services such as accuracy, speed efficiency, and friendliness. It is good to note that good services lie in the eyes of every needy person.
Perishability. It is the characteristics of a service, which means that a service cannot be offered later. In a steady demand, the perishability of services is not a problem. Therefore, UNHCR’s services cannot be stored to be used later. They are required to be offered immediately; they are needed to be useful (Claessens, 2015).
Inseparability. It is where there are production and consumption of service occur at the same time. Therefore, a service cannot be separated from its producers. Therefore, there is the production and consumption of humanitarian assistance by UNHCR and people in need, respectively, in times of crisis. (Claessens, 2015).
Process and Ways of Converting Intangible Humanitarian Services to Tangible Ones
Intangibility. UNHCR is turning the intangibility of service to become tangible by encouraging people to sign up for updates and reporting any fraud or abuse. It provides before and after pictures together with the videos of the successful missions they have had in various parts of the World. Their website looks very professional and is very easy to navigate. This website identifies the services that are offered at the Organization. They have included testimonials from the various people who have received their humanitarian services (Ronisky, 2016).
Variability. The UN Agency can change arrival variability by offering Self-service in their Organization. This is where information is made readily available on their websites, such that each person in need can access it. The Organization has also introduced messaging support and live chat on their websites, helping reach so many people instead of visiting their offices (Sven, 2017).
UNHCR deals with request variability by reducing the number of solutions offered. It also trains and empowers its employees on how to deal with various requests. It also provides the best communication channels, such as email, live chat, and phone calls (Sven, 2017). UNHCR changes capability variability to a tangible service by educating people in need of various challenges and effectively communicating these challenges.
The Organization deals with subjective preference variability by distinguishing refugees’ needs, being flexible in their communication, and using messenger channels (Sven, 2017).
Perishability. To overcome perishability, UNHCR uses testimonials from the people that they have helped. They also put these testimonials on their website together with these people’s photos (Pereira, 2018).
Inseparability. UNHCR changes the Inseparable humanitarian services by training other members within the Organization. UNHCR must work hard to prepare its staff under a specific expert. Thus, an increase in the number of people who are served simultaneously (BMS, 2013).
Marketing Strategies Being Used By UNHCR
UNHCR has a marketing strategy that focuses on the Marketing mix. A marketing mix is a set of marketing tools that are tactical and uncontrollable. UNHCR uses these tools to produce the desired outcomes from the general public. It involves using the UNHCR’s resources to influence the demand for humanitarian services offered. It helps in marketing, planning, and execution. UNHCR uses these strategies to differentiate it from other humanitarian organizations, thus giving it a competitive advantage (Learn Marsdd, 2021).
A good marketing strategy that UNHCR combines the 5 Ps listed below. This marketing strategy is meant for achieving the UNHCR’s objectives of providing value to the people in need. These 5 Ps below are related, and they are combined to develop humanitarian services. (Learn Marsdd, 2021).
There are five Ps that form the group of variables for this product mix. These 5Ps in terms of UNHCR include;
Product: This refers to the education, advocacy and helping of refugees services, among other services offered to the people in need by UNHCR. The decisions involving these services include their quality, function, and appearance. Therefore, the humanitarian services provided by UNHCR are tailored to meet the needs of refugees, stateless people and IDPs (Corporate Finance Institution, 2021).
Price: It refers to the pricing strategy used to value the Organization’s products and services. When determining this strategy, the price effects on the needy are put into consideration. Typically, services offered by UNHCR are free since they rely on donations from individual, organizations and countries in the World (Corporate Finance Institution, 2021).
The pricing strategy for the humanitarian services offered by UNHCR is determined after considering the position UNHCR budget in the current World. The UNHCR’s budget has grown from US$300,000 to US$8.6 billion in 2019 (Corporate Finance Institution, 2021).
Place: It refers to the location of the product or service. The place determines where the product is first made and where you can find it. It also refers to the place where the product is distributed or sold. The UNHCR’s location was arrived at after considering the accessibility of the Organization and ensuring that it was for people in need to access it. Humanitarian services are also available to many people in the World since they have highly trained staff that deliver quality services. UNHCR provides online services through their websites. UNHCR physical location is in Geneva, Switzerland, but it has around 17 300 employees working in 135 countries. (Corporate Finance Institution, 2021).
Promotion: It refers to those activities whose primary goal is to make the business accessible and known to customers. These activities include Public Relations, advertising, and Sponsorship. It is necessary to carry out an analysis meant to break-even since promotion-related costs are substantial before deciding. Understanding the Customer’s value is very important to determine if it is worth carrying out promotions. The UNHCR understands the importance of the public in spreading the news about its availability. Therefore, they conduct advertising mainly through their websites. Thus, a lot of information can be obtained from their websites without visiting the Organization in Person (Corporate Finance Institution, 2021).
People: These are the staff that works at UNHCR. The marketing decisions regarding people are customer service centred. Therefore, the Organization treats needy people with dignity, making many of them develop trust (Corporate Finance Institution, 2021).
Operation Efficiency at UNHCR
To operate efficiently in the UNHCR, remote operations and office business, such as human resources, work together. It is because the two operations are intertwined, and there exist efficiency opportunities across the board. The main thing is to focus on the goal that is to be achieved by the Organization. Therefore, the expected outcome is to support needy people to have shelter, food, health services and protection. Therefore, to make the process more efficient, the leaders have had to look at the whole picture. They make sure that the back office operations are more efficient, lean, and deploy people in areas where they add value to the needy people (Sandeen, 2014).
There are various misconceptions that internal stakeholders hold regarding the efficiency of operations in the UNHCR. Technology has been introduced to make sure that the UNHCR operates efficiently, and processes are streamlined. UNHCR has partnered with other institutions on various activities that are carried out in the Organization (Sandeen, 2014).
The Organization staff are expected to improve their services and change how they handle the Agency’s business according to technology and external forces’ changes. Organization leaders have come up with different ways of obtaining more significant forms of saving costs. This kind of change will help do things better than in the past (Sandeen, 2014).
The internal stakeholders’ misconceptions are that there will be job elimination when the systems are streamlined and economized. There has been the introduction of a highly paid professional who runs and manages the complex UNHCR’s system. Therefore, these professionals can run a robust information technology infrastructure. There is the staffing of the UNHCR to deal with a high level of compliance.
The other misconception in the organization operations regarding the degree to which the operation side can be slashed and still deliver the required outputs (Sandeen, 2014).
External stakeholders have the misconception that there exists an opportunity for huge cost saving in the UNHCR. It is done by streamlining the operations of the Organization. These cost protection can be achieved in the effort of increasing the set goal. The savings and the speed of enabling these changes are often overestimated. Operational efficiency has helped the UNHCR to grow as well as remain viable. (Sandeen, 2014).
UNHCR has become financially stable and, therefore, operating almost at the peak of efficiency. It has allowed the Organization to have an investment capital that is used in innovating new practices. Operation efficiency has helped in learning analytics and predictive analytics since a survey is conducted to identify the area that needs intervention (Sandeen, 2014).
Finally, it is essential to note UNHCR is a refugee agency that is recognized globally. It is dedicated to protecting people’s rights, saving lives, and creating a future that is better for refugees, stateless people, and those who have been displaced forcibly. This Organization works very hard in ensuring that every person has got a right to seek asylum. It ensures that the person seeking asylum can find safe refuge after running away from violence, wars at home, and persecution. UNHCR have more than 17,324 employees who are working in 135 countries in the World. It is organized so that it protects the most vulnerable people in Society.
The environment of any business refers to external and internal factors that affect the operations of the company. The main reason for carrying out a SWOT analysis session is to understand the threat or the weakness in UNHCR’s management.
The SWOT analysis will help the administration to take actions concerning this risk or threat. Therefore, SWOT Analysis is generally used to plan UNHCR and deal with the Organization’s localized challenges and issues.
The marketing of UNHCR helps create awareness to people regarding the kind of humanitarian services offered. The marketing mix refers to a set of tactical marketing tools that are uncontrollable. Intangibility, Variability, Perishability, and Inseparability are significant problems in education services. The 4 Ps compose the mix of marketing. Therefore, there is a need to make informed data-based decisions in the Organization. These decisions will help improve the UNHCR’s efficiency since the outcomes will be better than before.
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