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International Organizations and the Generation of the Will to Change

The information systems required (Part #1)


UAI Study Papers INF/5, February 1970


A study of some implications of the:

  • United Nations Development System Capacity Study (Jackson Report)
  • IBRD Commission on International Development (Pearson Report)
  • Report on the Mobilization of Public Opinion (CESI Report)
  • Report on Scientific and Technical Communication (SATCOM Report)

in terms of the total network of organizations making up the world system and the complex network of interacting problem areas.


Summary

The Capacity Study of the United Nations Development System is examined here in some detail, firstly with respect to its terms of reference, then as an analysis of the UN development system. Some implications of the recommended organizational changes are considered. Then the consequences of the approach examined in the earlier section for the proposed UN information system are considered.

The Report of the Commission on International Development, the Report on the Mobilization of Public Opinion for the Second Development Decade, and the Report on Scientific and Technical Communication are then examined briefly.

Finally the implications of these reports for the future of nongovernmental organizations, and for the improvement of the attack on world problems are considered.

The UN reports, particularly when compared with the SATCOM Report, accord little attention to nongovernmental bodies or to non-UN organizations and their programmes and problems in general. At the same time these reports recognize the vital importance of public opinion and the development of political will. No link is established between public opinion and nongovernmental bodies. The UN reports all consider that the participation of volunteers may be emphasized and the nongovernmental bodies representing their interests ignored. The reports reveal a similar lack of interest in non-development programmes.

The lack of attention to all aspects of the UN environment leads to a situation in which any new organization or information system proposed may (a) duplicate better funded non-UN programmes, (b) ignore management problems of importance to the UN which have their origin in non-UN organizational structures, and (c) ignore problem areas affecting, or affected by, the development programmes of concern to the UN.

Finally, three tools -- planning, network approach, and computers -- are discussed as important to the resolution of the difficulty of handling cross-jurisdictional, multidisciplinary problem areas and inter-organizational relationships.


-jurisdictional, multidisciplinary problem areas and inter-organizational relationships.