UNDAF Support: Inputs to Suriname

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After the Administrator’s message on integrating ICTs into UNDAF, we have started to get queries from COs as to how to acutally do this. Since we still do not have guidelines, I have been trying to respond to a few of the queries. Below is the example of Suriname. I read the Suriname’s UNDAF is here: http://undpsuriname.org/images/pdf_documents/undaf.pdf

1. Although the UNDAF does mentioned that the country want to harness ICT as part of the development process, the idea is seems to be really developed only when it comes to outcome 1. MDGs and service delivery being part of the focus, this is indeed a step in the right direction -and related to the ICTD programme UNDP is currently supporting in the country.

2. Being that as it may, the third outcome can certainly (and should) use ICT to store, manage and distribute information. So in this context ICT use could be further expanded.

3. Looking at the indicators of the UNDAF, ICTs are only mentioned in indicator 1.7; and there the focus seems to be on access to information, and not pro-poor service delivery as mentioned in the body of text.

5. At any rate, we should bear in mind that ICTs are a means to an end and thus are an enabler for development. So we should be able to harness them in many contexts. The issue is, as is the case with the MDGs, that such approach is not always adopted.  This is a sort of policy gap that we can help address.

6. Now, in terms of the programme information you sent, I clearly see that the UNDP project is linked to indicator 1.7 if we are flexible enough to see e-services as part of information access.

7. The UNICEF entries are a bit more complicated to match even though we could linked them to indicators 1.2 and (been generous again!) 1.6. Needless to say, neither of them have any ICT components.

8. Not that this situation is entirely new to us. On the contrary, this seems to be the default case. And this is why the Administrator’s letter on ICTD and UNDAF had to go out.

9. One way out of this conundrum is to let one thousand flowers bloom but make sure we are able to capture the aroma somehow. In other words, since ICTs are crosscutting and could be use in many of the outputs and indicators of the UNDAF, then we will need to set a ICTD “marker” for each of the programmes and projects. That is, we could specifically asked all projects to have a distinct ICTD section and, more importantly, ask the m to keep track of the activities which use ICTs, the related expenses and selected from a number of indicators to measure progress,

10. In terms of the indicators, we can start by using the UN ICTD indicators, which you can find here:

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/iiss/Core-ICT-Indicators-2010.ashx

11. Although this are good I also think they are not complete. So it is possible then to add some indicators at the local and which can better capture and depict what is really going on on the ground in terms of the relevance of ICTs in the development process.

Cheers, Raúl

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