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Development Account Projects

Online network of regional institutions for capacity-building in public administration and finance

The United Nations global conferences in the economic and social fields have stressed that strong public institutions, efficient public administration systems and a competent civil service are essential for the development efforts of developing countries and countries with economies in transition. However, deficiencies in institutional, financial and human capabilities of the public sector most negatively affect the delivery of essential social services.

Many developing countries have embarked on administrative reforms and are in the process of undertaking programmes for modernizing public administration. To succeed in these reforms, access to relevant and reputed expertise, successful practices and experiences and training facilities is critical. The project assists existing regional/subregional institutions in the developing countries in creating electronic networks to exchange expertise and share experiences and lessons learned in the area of public administration and finance.


To strengthen the institutional and human resources in developing countries through a network of regional and subregional centres for the exchange of knowledge, experiences and practices in public administration and finance

Expected accomplishments:

  • Strengthened capacity of developing countries to carry out administrative reform and modernization through the introduction of the Global Online Network on Public Administration and Finance (UNPAN) of the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs;

  • Increased self-reliance in addressing issues of public administration and finance;

Effects and Impact:

The UNPAN online network fostered the exchange of information and best practices and to provide capacity-building knowledge, expertise, and support for developing countries. The number of UNPAN users has been dramatically increased due to the improvement of the quality and quantity of the contents posted on UNPAN by its members. 72% of the users in average consider UNPAN excellent and good and 43% of its most frequent users are from developing country, a 3% increase from the previous 6 months survey. With the technical assistance provided by UNPAN programme and continued help desk services to the UNPAN-ORCs, the IT capacity and the skills of the human resources of the recipient ORCs have been further strengthened, particularly those in the regions of Africa, Central Eastern Europe, and Middle East.

UNPAN is a unique global database for public administration and development. It is a widely used and effective mechanism for building government capacity in both developed and developing countries. UNPAN is generally effective as a capacity-building mechanism (at least, based on the level of resources invested), in that it provides easy access to knowledge and information in the field UNPAN is unique, based on the diversity of its constituency and its universality as an online public sector policy and management information and knowledge network. By disseminating latest practices and outcomes of conferences, UNPAN can catalyze capacity-building activities.

The project evaluation reported that 17,384 documents are posted on the UNPAN server. Most are public administration papers, but there are also presentations, web pages, databases and periodicals. Currently, 25 organizations regularly post information to the UNPAN website. There have been some 2.3 million site views since the inception of UNPAN; and there were 225,000 visits in September 2004 alone.