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OCS Phase II Centres

Welcome to the Phase II Centres (ICARDA, AfricaRice, ILRI & ICRAF) OCS collaboration site. It is the central point for information, plans, documentation, contact information and all material relating to the implementation of OCS in ICARDA, AfricaRice ILRI & ICRAF

OCS Team

OCS Team

OCS regional training

posted May 25, 2016, 2:06 AM by Caroline Nzui

Group photo of the participants

The OCS training for East and Southern Africa and Latin America was 
held from Monday 4th April 2016 to Wednesday, 20th April 2016. There were a total of 13 participants drawn from Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda Tanzania, Peru, Uganda and Malawi. 

The launch of the training began with an introduction by Isaac Ochieng who gave a brief introduction on the four OCS workstreams and introduced the Process Experts for each module. This was followed by a more detailed presentation by Laksiri Abeysekera, the Project Sponsor who began with a brief introduction on what OCS is. He noted that it was currently being implemented by eight other Centres including the Consortium Office, and that all of them were at different stages of implementation. 

Highlighting that there had been a number of challenges encountered during implementation, he stated that most of these had been addressed or are being addressed together with the vendors. He noted that a lot of time had been put into the development of the One Corporate System (OCS) and that he had a lot of faith that the system would be a success. Laksiri concluded his presentation by asking the participants to focus on learning the system during the training weeks and to stay in touch with the Process Experts once they returned to their respective countries. “You must be 100% present during the training as ICRAF will not revert to the old systems.” After this, Linus Kabutha the OCS Project Manager went on to highlight some of the advantages of the new system, the progress so far and the plans for implementation of Phase II. 

During the training weeks, participants were first taken through the four common modules: Introduction to UBW, Requisition, Leave and Travel. The different groups then went into more detail and covered modules such as General Ledger, Procurement, Applicant Tracking, Accounts Payable and Receivable, among others. They were also joined by administrators from HQ during the first week when covering the Human Resource modules on Contract Management, Applicant Tracker and Request for Personnel. 

During the closing session on 20th April 2016, participants had anopportunity to interact with Key Business Users (KBUs), System Builders and Process Experts. They sought clarification on areas that they had not understood well. They were then confirmed as Champions and KBUs in their respective areas and are now expected to train staff based in their countries. Laksiri encouraged the participants to embrace OCS which would promote efficiency in the Centre, ensure access to realtime data and improve the quality of reporting. He informed them that once they returned to their countries and the system is implemented, manual reporting would be a thing of the past. 

So far, training has been conducted at HQ, Southeast Asia, South Asia, East and Central Asia, East and Southern Africa and Latin America. The system has gone live in Asia and HQ. Training for the West and Central Africa region is slated for June 2016.

OCS training in Bogor

posted Oct 19, 2015, 5:32 AM by Caroline Nzui

The OCS team from HQ travelled to ICRAF Bogor to conduct User Acceptance Training (UAT) for staff from Southeast Asia, South Asia, and East and Central Asia. Participants from the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, India and China, as well as field staff from Sulawesi in Indonesia, converged at CIFOR where the Southeast Asia Regional as well as the Indonesia Country Offices are hosted, from the 24th August to 14th September 2015. During the first week, participants went through the common modules which comprised Introduction to UBW, Leave Application, Travel and Requisition. On 31st August 2015 while participating in the training workshop, Dr. Ujjwal Pradhan, the Regional Coordinator for Southeast Asia expressed strong support for the One Corporate System initiative that is anticipated to enhance internal controls and cut across all participating CG Centres. Acknowledging that OCS, if well implemented, would provide uniform and efficient access to valuable resources required for both technical and financial reporting, Dr Pradhan noted that ICRAF SEA would remain in the forefront in ensuring co-ownership of the system by providing all the support required for trainers, both from the region and HQ.

The trainers from HQ comprised OCS Project Manager, Linus Kabutha and two Process Experts, Beatrix Gacho and Francis Kinyanjui. They were accompanied by their KBUs namely, Richard Kaittany (HR), James Nyakundi (FSU), Betsy Ngugi (FSU), Faith Murigi (MIS), Daniel Mwangangi (FSU) and Leah Kiura (Training Consultant). Hellen Ochieng and Isaac Ochieng, in partnership with the SEA team led by Ceres Pasamba, were in charge of the logistics. The training team was also assisted by Fikri Dewi, Vinny Iskandar, Indra Suteja, Marisha Tengku Sherly and Indah Fajarwati. After the training workshops, key experts were identified who will serve as the focal points for each of the modules. They comprise:
  • Procurement – Vinny Iskandar v.iskandar@cgiar.org
  • Travel – Sry Marta Manik m.manik@cgiar.org
  • Finance – Dewi Fikri r.fikri@cgiar.org
  • Human Resource – Indah Fajarwati i.fajarwati@cgiar.org
  • Technical Support – Donny Arisandi d.arisandi@cgiar.org & Robert Coombs r.coombs@cgiar.org
The Southeast Asia, South Asia and East and Central Asia teams have formed specific expert groups and are communicating on Whatsapp and other social media accounts to share experiences, concerns and seek clarification. From Southeast Asia the OCS training team will move on to the East and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa and Latin America Regions. (By Isaac Ochieng)

ICRAF is Live!

posted Mar 30, 2015, 3:03 AM by Caroline Nzui   [ updated Apr 26, 2015, 11:39 PM ]

OCS goes live at Headquarters

By Betty Rabar

On Tuesday, 31 March 2015, ICRAF Nairobi was awash with bright green and orange, the official colours of the One Corporate System (OCS). Screens throughout the campus were lit with OCS messages. We were finally going live after years of hard work.


Linus Kabutha, the Project Manager kicked off the event by highlighting the history of the initiative. He noted that it had begun way back in 2006. “It has been a long and arduous journey and I cannot believe that we are finally here. Live in HQ.” He noted that activities in regional offices would be launched in June and would run till October. Adding that just like anything new, the system is not perfect, he urged staff to get in touch with any member of the team if they detected any glitches.


Laksiri Abeysekera then introduced everyone who had been working on the team including process experts, the system builders, key business users and the support staff in charge of capacity building, administration, change management and communications. He also gave a brief historical background, noting that the idea for a common system was birthed in Nairobi almost a decade ago during a meeting between ILRI and ICRAF. It was funded by the World Bank, but unfortunately the funding ceased and the project stalled. It was later picked up and revived by other Centres.


“The effort and dedication put in by the team has been tremendous. However, this is just the beginning and there is still much to be done. In the end we will have a system that is fully integrated, efficient and powerful. Staff will be able to customize reports depending on their needs, which was impossible to do earlier.” He also noted that now that ICRAF HQ had gone live, a formal launch would be organized sometime in October once OCS has been implemented in all the regions. He thanked the team for maintaining their enthusiasm in the past three years even when things seemed to be falling apart and requested the staff to support the process by providing feedback.


During his brief speech, Christo Erasmus of Unit 4 South Africa noted that he was very proud of the work that the ICRAF staff had done so far. “The level of commitment has been very encouraging. I have worked with several organizations and usually towards the end things do get extremely difficult. However, in the case of ICRAF the team has remained united and totally committed to seeing the project through which is a rare occurrence.” He concluded by saying that OCS is an amazing and exceptional system and encouraged staff to keep providing feedback on how it could be improved.


Leah Kiura, the consultant trainer, thanked staff for their cooperation and punctuality in attending the training sessions. Christine Larson-Luhila, the Director of HR, speaking on behalf of the Senior Leadership Team, recognized that the team had put in a tremendous amount of time and truly appreciated it because this meant that they had to sacrifice time they should have been spending with their families.


ICRAF is at a stage where it needs to change the way it does business and OCS is critical for supporting this. The system will support harmonization of processes and data across programmes, promote information sharing and automate systems to ensure improvement and streamlining of processes in the organization.

End User Training at ICRAF

posted Mar 11, 2015, 6:48 AM by Caroline Nzui   [ updated Apr 26, 2015, 11:53 PM ]

OCS end user training commences

By Betty Rabar


The OCS end user training was officially launched on Monday 16 March 2015. The event began with a brief welcome by the OCS Project Manager, Linus Kabutha. He then introduced Laksiri Abeysekera, the OCS Patron, who noted that it had been a long journey. He observed that several training sessions would be conducted for ICRAF staff and encouraged all participants to provide feedback, especially on how the system could be improved.

Tony Simons, the Director General, in his speech began by saying that OCS was not voluntary and that this was a decision that had been made by the senior leadership team way back in 2012. “We expect to have some teething problems at the beginning but it is important to streamline our organization’s systems and processes. The system is definitely not perfect so feedback from the participants in the next few week will be crucial.”

The first session was run by Leah Kiura, a Training Consultant, and Edwin Kipchumba, one of the system builders. Leah noted that the main aim of the training workshops was to guide all ICRAF staff to navigate ABW to efficiently perform various tasks.

During the initial training participants went through the login process and some of the key features on the homepage. A number of issues were raised during the training workshop. One of the main ones was ensuring that the system is intuitive, replacing terms with those that the organization was already using, and looking into the possibility of downloading it as an app on the mobile phone

The OCS training workshops, which will run from 16 March to 9 April 2015, aim to train over 325 staff from ICRAF in Nairobi plus the hosted institutions. All staff will receive training on introduction to Agresso, how to apply for leave, procurement and travel. The event was also attended by a representative from Unit4 South Africa.

OCS training will be rolled out to all regions in the next few months.

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