Have you heard of PRISM? 

Author: 
Hasan Lesevic
"It gives us the edge to do our work best we can."

IOM has over 1,700 projects spanning all over the globe. In order to carry out its activities, IOM needs to manage the financial, administrative, and procurement-related aspects efficiently. One of the key tools to achieve this is a system called PRISM (you will learn more about it, when reading the text). With the help of PRISM we are able to do our work the best we can.   

If one were to ask me what IOM Finland’s developments are as of late, I would probably say that today:

  • We implement a wider array of projects than ever before, many with a truly global mandate. Check our work under: http://iom.fi/en/our-work
  • We work with a variety and multitude of donors, have closer cooperation with both governmental and non-governmental partners, and,
  • We continue having committed staff that share IOM’s international spirit. We work in a multi-cultural and diverse environment, we speak at least a dozen different languages in our office.

While the above has certainly helped us to do more humanitarian work than ever before (check our news updates), it certainly increases the complexity of our work and contributes to a greater scrutiny applied by donors and Member States.

Efficiency and integrity

Whether we organize a pre-departure orientation training in a refugee camp, assist a migrant with his/her voluntary return, or organize a conference in Helsinki, we are bound to use the resources by the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity regardless of location. Likewise, we must provide accurate and timely data to different stakeholders.

If you want know more on how our administration is governed, the IOM Constitution and Financial Regulations are a good starting point.

Go beyond the usual

From a resource management point of view, one of IOM’s contributor to the success has probably been PRISM. PRISM stands for Processes and Resources Integrated Systems Management. It is a SAP-based Enterprise Resource Planning system and it goes beyond the usual accounting programme you might be acquainted with. PRISM is interlinked with different modules critical in the operations we undertake, such as:

  • PRISM covers all financial processes, from accounting, project budgeting to reporting (think IOM running 1,710 projects across 393 Offices)
  • PRISM is linked with procurement (think of IOM undergoing large procurements relating to refugee assistance or airline tickets) and human resources (think of managing more than 10,000 staff spread all over the world).
  • PRISM data is available on real-time basis, it allows project managers to monitor expenses up to a very detailed level in an easy way regardless of location and time.

Complying with standards

While at it, PRISM also helped IOM to reach compliance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), making IOM comply with all standards for the first time in 2012. IOM's decision to adopt IPSAS followed the United Nations concluding that IPSAS represent international best practices for non-profit organizations. IPSAS adoption improves the quality, comparability and credibility of our financial reporting.

PRISM has certainly influenced the way we work and the terminology we use within IOM. It gives us the edge to do our work best we can.

The writer works as the Resource Management Officer at the IOM country office in Finland. IOM’s Resource Management deals in general terms with finance, administration, human resources, and procurement.

The views expressed by the authors in the IOM Finland blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the International Organization for Migration.
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