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Concept of the Future UN Development Information System

Part of: International Organizations and the Generation of the Will to Change (UAI Study Papers INF/5)

Development bias
Country bias
UN/UNDP bias concerning control information
Operational information bias
Bias against some categories of operational information
Lack of interest in effects of programmes
Documentation bias

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The proposals for an information system are a key feature of the Study. It points out that each Agency functions in a similar fashion. Each has to deal with program planning and budgeting, formulation of projects, program information and evaluation, data on projects.

"But, despite the broad similarities, numerous differences prevent UN bodies from having a unified information system. The problem starts…with the absence of a unified policy or systematic organizational and procedural approach to UN development cooperation. There does not yet exist a framework within which UN development cooperation decisions are made nor a system for managing development cooperation activities. Decisions affecting development cooperation resources and activities are made in numerous places without sufficient knowledge of or reference to one another. As a result, most information systems or system design efforts to date have suffered from the same fragmentation...This fragmented approach, in turn, leads each Agency to classify differently data relating to the same or similar objectives and to the same or similar types of activities....As a result, governing bodies and senior officials throughout the UN system do not have the information required in order to make rational system-wide policy and program decisions. In short, there are now simply too many separate, inconsistent, incomplete information systems relating to some facet of development cooperation activities, and these systems are undirected or uncoordinated by any central authority." (II, pp. 222-3)
ted or uncoordinated by any central authority." (II, pp. 222-3)