UNOPS / UNVIM / Djibouti - The development of the verification and inspection database to increase UNVIM's efficiency in processing shipments
To effectively operationalize and manage services of the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) sought to establish a verification and inspection database. The UNOPS was requested by the United Nations and the Member States to oversee the operations of the UNVIM in helping to ensure essential goods continue to flow into Yemen to reach people in need.
The existing database of UNVIM slowed its efficiency in performing its main activities: management of clearance requests, verification, inspection, and monitoring of operations. UNVIM was notified of upcoming shipments by Yemen-based traders and importers, and shipping companies were to submit their clearance requests to UNVIM upon their departure from their port of origin.
UNVIM then reviewed the requirements of the requests and documents based on its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and internal guidelines for verification and inspection. The collected data were cross-checked with existing databases from a third-party provider. The external stakeholders were notified about the results of the review within 48 hours. The existing database delayed internal decision-making and reporting. To ease the workload of data collection and improve accountability and dependability, there was a need to establish a verification and inspection database system.
The design and development of the verification and inspection database system were contracted to Bewsys by UNOPS. In scoping through the requirements of the task, the Bewsys consulting team developed a database that served as an interface between UNVIM and stakeholders and performed desired functions such as processing clearance requests, archiving records, records, notifying requesting parties of missing and/or additional documents, and/or upcoming inspections, and auditing and summary reports.
The verification and inspection database was built on the registration, monitoring and evaluation, document library, report generation, system administration, and integrated content management modules of the Bewsys Regulatory MIS. The database the Bewsys technical team developed, featured data from the existing database.
The team also uploaded and configured the database to the UNOPS hosting server. The system was created to send notifications to clients or external users when new requests were submitted. Error reports from requesting parties were made to be automatically sent to the UNVIM database team or processing team for timely action. To easily manage users, forms, and access control, a user-friendly interface for internal users to view a summary of all submitted applications and details of each application were featured. To ensure that data inputs from requesting parties were complete and valid, the technical team featured data validation in the design process.
Internal users of the database were provided with the right to modify certain template information without requiring the assistance of the technical team. The system architecture was designed to minimise performance degradation and reflect the highest security measures. Also, the Bewsys technical team utilised Content Delivery Network (CDN) to reduce the search time and minimise the retrieval process. Automatically-filled text fields were provided for unique tracking and clearance numbers on the certificates. Additionally, digitally signed and electronically sealed certificates and notifications were considered in the development process. After the development of the application, a pilot test was conducted to ensure functionality and feasibility. Additionally, the Bewsys technical team provided capacity building support and hands-on training to the UNVIM staff.
The database (view the verification and inspection database solution) increased the efficiency of UNVIM by enabling them to perform their functions without the need for data from external stakeholders. This has supported the monitoring and inspection of commercial and bilateral assistance of cargo delivered to Yemen ports. Procedures that cause significant delays and blockages in delivering goods to people in Yemen have been resolved with the development of this database.
Between May 2016 and December 2018, 875 commercial vessels were cleared, out of which 271 vessel inspections were undertaken to confirm compliance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. This has facilitated the delivery of over 10 million tonnes of food, fuel, and supplies to the ports of Hodeidah, Ras Isa, and Saleef. This support reflects significant contributions to reducing poverty, hunger, and inequalities.