What We Do
Stay In Touch
Sign up for DESA News
Volume 15, No.10 - October 2011
Trends and analysis
Reinforcing International Mutual Accountability
Ongoing efforts to promoting accountability and transparency will be reviewed at the Expert Group Meeting on Global Mutual Accountability taking place in Luxembourg on October 17
Mutual accountability between donor and programme countries is important to hold each other to account on commitments made regarding aid and aid delivery. Mutual accountability at the global level plays an important role to promote progress on implementing such commitments at the country level. An expert group meeting will be held to exchange ideas on this topic and to prepare for the 2012 United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (DCF).
The meeting will reflect on how the evidence base for decisions by development cooperation actors at country level might be improved by making better use of global-level monitoring initiatives. The efficiency of existing accountability mechanisms in affecting development cooperation behaviors will also be considered as will be the extent to which independent assessments (e.g. by think tanks) are being recognized by national bodies.
Analysis conducted for the DCF shows that information comparing the performance of provider and recipient countries at global level is not sufficiently used in national mutual accountability forums. It has also been recommended that programme countries agree on clear targets for individual donors, as part of national aid policies, which can then be reviewed against ongoing national development efforts.
If information on compliance with commitments made is to be better shared and understood, it appears important that developing countries are able to choose indicators and to design assessment tools and processes.
This expert group meeting stems from the decision of the 2010 DCF to continue to conduct regular assessments of progress in mutual accountability and aid transparency. The DCF will continue to review progress in mutual accountability, placing an emphasis on Least Developed Countries as they have the most to gain from well managed development initiatives.
For more information: http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/newfunct/pdf/egm_background_note.pdf
Review of MDG monitoring across the globe
The twentieth Inter-agency and Expert Group Meeting (IAEG) on MDG Indicators will take place in Manila, Philippines on 17-18 October
The meeting is part of the yearly consultation with national experts and international agencies to review and discuss issues related to the global MDG monitoring. It will focus on identifying technical cooperation needs and defining statistical capacity development strategies to improve MDG monitoring.
For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/newsletter/globalstat_unsd_calendar.htm#17-18oct2011
With a focus on MDG Statistics
The Second International Conference on MDG Statistics will take place in Manila, Philippines, on 19-21 October
DESA’s Statistics Division, in collaboration with the Philippines National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) is organizing an international conference on Millennium Development Goals statistics. The conference will bring together representatives from national statistical offices, national government agencies, international agencies and civil society to review the MDG monitoring strategies in place and propose recommendations for improved monitoring approaches, aiming at reaching those who are lagging behind in progress towards the MDGs.
For more information: http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Host.aspx?Content=Capacity/manila.htm
High-level event spotlights Geospatial Information Management
The inaugural session of the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM) and the High Level Forum on GGIM will take place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on 24-26 October
The UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management, established by ECOSOC on 27 July as the official UN consultative mechanism on GGIM, is convening its inaugural session on 26 October. The meeting will bring together experts from Member States and observers from international organizations to adopt the terms of reference of the Committee, review its rules of procedure and discuss its contribution to the Rio+20 Conference as well as an inventory of critical issues to be addressed by the Committee in future sessions.
Immediately preceding this event, the UN is jointly organizing with the National Geographic Information Institute (NGII) of the Republic of Korea, a High Level Forum on Global Geospatial Information Management at the COEX Convention Centre in Seoul on 24-26 October. Arranged for the first time, the Forum will provide an opportunity for in-depth discussions of current critical geospatial information issues and consultations among governments, NGOs and the private sector.
At the opening of the Forum, a Ministerial Segment will be convened in the morning of 24 October. The Under-Secretary-General for DESA Mr. Sha Zukang will deliver the opening address. The Segment will provide a platform for Ministers, representing all the regions of the world, to discuss national policies on geospatial information, to provide direction in evolving common frameworks and methodologies across countries; to promote the use of geospatial information to address key global challenges; and to give guidance on capacity development and enhance technology transfer.
In addition, two thematic side-events will be arranged, namely an ‘Exchange Forum with the Geospatial Industry’ on 23 October; and a ‘Seminar on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information’ on 27 October.
For more information: http://ggim.un.org/
Challenging corruption to improve public services and attain MDGs
The International Workshop themed “Engaging Citizens to Counter Corruption for Better Public Service Delivery and Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals”, will be arranged in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 26-27 OctoberThe Development Management Branch of DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, is organizing this event. It will be one of several meetings arranged by different UN agencies in the context of the 4th Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CoSP) to the UN Convention against Corruption. The overall conference is expected to be attended by more than 500 persons from around the world. The workshop will take place in the venue of the 4th CoSP, the Palmeraie Golf Palace Complex in Marrakesh and will be attended by approximately 75 corruption prevention and citizens engagement experts and practitioners from around the world. It will address the following issues and themes, along a series of thematic sessions:
overall approaches, trends, best practices and key challenges in the eradication of corruption in public services; concepts and terminology; engaging citizens to eradicate corruption: scope of analysis and rationales; practices and institutions to engage citizens in the eradication of corruption; initiatives from citizens and civil society organizations, including uses of ICT technologies; initiatives from governments, including eGovernment and eParticipation; initiatives from the private sector; public policy and strategy: building capacities and creating enabling conditions; and eradication of corruption in the provision of public services: international cooperation.
Calls for nominations to reward public service excellence
The UN is calling for nominations for the UN Public Service Awards 2012. This is an international contest designed to promote and support innovations in public service delivery worldwide. Nominations can be made online until 31 December
The award is open to public organizations of all kinds, including governments and public-private partnerships, involved in delivering services to citizens around the globe. An annual UN event, the Public Service Award is bestowed on those public institutions that have distinguished themselves in the following categories: Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service; Improving the Delivery of Services; Fostering Participation in Policymaking Decisions through Innovative Mechanisms; Advancing Knowledge Management in Government and Promoting Gender-responsive Delivery of Public Services. The award highlights cutting edge innovations and recognizes that democracy and successful governance are built on a competent civil service.
“The United Nations has long recognized that effective governance and efficient public administration are central to the global development agenda, and particularly in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We need sound public policies and supportive governance structures. We need to respond swiftly and coherently”, said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his address to the 2009 United Nations Public Service Day.
The United Nations Public Service Day was established by the Economic and Social Council in 2003 to promote better delivery of services by governments and to encourage excellence in the public service. As Mr. Sha Zukang, DESA’s Under-Secretary-General rightly emphasized during the 2010 United Nations Public Service Awards ceremony held in Barcelona, Spain: “The winners have shown great dedication to upholding the values and virtues of excellent public service and have provided examples of efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability. In transmitting their lessons-learned they are assisting all governments in devising ways to improve the lives of citizens everywhere”.
The 2012 Public Service Awards will mark the tenth anniversary of the programme. Selected by the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration, the winners will receive a trophy and a certificate of recognition during the United Nations Public Service Awards Ceremony and Day on 23 June 2012. The global event is organized by DESA’s Division of Public Administration and Development Management, in partnership with UN Women and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
While contenders cannot nominate themselves, interested institutions deemed to have very good performance in any one of the prize categories can have their name put forward by Governments or civil society organizations.
In addition to the Public Service Awards, United Nations e-Government Special Awards will be issued at the United Nations Public Service Day. The e-Government Special Awards will recognize the success of each world region by distinguishing the top-ranked countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
For more information:
Nominations must be made online at (deadline 31 december 2011):
For details about the UN Public Service Awards and past winners: http://www.unpan.org/unpsa
The winners of the UN Public Service Awards from 2003 to 2011 are also available as iPad and iPhone applications at:
It can be downloaded for free and as an eBook at: http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan046119.pdf .
Realizing the boundless potential of the Internet
The Sixth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), hosted by the Government of Kenya, was held in Nairobi on 27-30 SeptemberThe overall theme was “Internet as a Catalyst for Change: Access, Development, Freedoms and Innovation”. This broad theme reflects the outcome of a broad and inclusive multi-stakeholder consultation process. It also reflects the mandate of the IGF to develop a common understanding of the best way for all stakeholders to realize the boundless opportunities offered by the Internet.
The meeting was open to all entities accredited by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), as well as other institutions and persons with proven expertise and experience in matters related to Internet governance.
For more information: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/nairobipreparatory