Weekly Update – 18 May

Interesting meeting with a rep from Ushahidi who is based not in Nairobi but in cosy San Francisco. Meeting lasted an hour more or less but I think we managed to bore the guy as he was yawning quite a bit while we spoke about exciting UNDP stuff. Or maybe it was too early for him (9am on a Monday morning, common on!) to have any sort of meeting. In any case, I suggested we build a partnership around the participation and voice angles to ensure that in the end institutional mechanisms that allow for participation of stakeholders are built into public decision making processes. Here, crowdsourcing can play a role by showing that people do indeed want and can be part of such processes.

I also met with a rep from DOCO and discussed the UNDAF and ICT issue among others. I think I now have it clear how this is going to work. For starters, we do really want to add additional required guidelines to an already cumbersome UNDAF process. What we want to do instead is  to have a HOW-TO note on ICTs that can be used by countries that have interest in having ICTs in the UNDAF’s and CDPs. This being the case, we need to follow a different process which I understand is simpler than otherwise.

We first need to ensure that we have the item on the next UNDAF  Programming Network (UPN) which will take place in July. A concept note will need to be prepared for that purpose and presented at the meeting. At the meeting we will ask for volunteers to help with this (ITU, UNESCO, UNDESA are there so we can work UNGIS style on this one!), work on the final document and come back to UPN for another presentation and hopefully approval.  The document will then be distributed to all UNDG members. Looks sort of simple but I am sure it is not that simple.

Follow-up meeting with BCPR showed that we are not moving as fast as we had initially thought. So we agreed to speed up things a bit. BCPR needs to have a one page concept note for the panned CoP on ICTs, Governance and Crisis as they need to raise some resources to contribute to the overall meeting  -and in addition to our own contribution. The note should be completed within two weeks. We are using the Wiki to write the note on collaborative fashion. I am preparing an outline for the guidance note on ICTs, Governance and Crisis and using some of the materials and experiences we have to plug them in there. This will also be on the Wiki.

Finally, BCPR’s study on crowdsourcing and conflict prevention, which is being undertaken by IPI (International Peace Institute) and in collaboration with USAID, is finally taking off. I have been invited to be part of the advisory committee for the project. The first meeting will be taking place the last week of June. Both the guidance note and the study will be shared at the CoP as drafts to ensure that COs can provide inputs and have some ownership of the final product.

Post-2015 stuff continues to demand increased attention and time. This week I had to go to two related meetings. The first one focused on the platform itself and involved rep from civil society. After two hours of conversation we agreed to explore more concrete options for the platform itself. We also ruled out the need to created a new platform from scratch.

The second meeting was only for UN agencies and included UNDG members as well as other agencies. We discussed the draft ToRs for the overall steering group, Global Pulse’s proposal to use crowdsourcing to capture, analyze and aggregate the conversations, and our draft proposal for the virtual platform. Participants provided many comments specially on the global governance mechanism. A new draft ToR will be circulated next week. We also asked fro volunteers from the various agencies with adequate technical expertise to join our technical advisory group. UNDESA expressed interest and UNV offer to provide volunteers not only for the platform but also for the actual running of the platform and management of the conversations.

Cheers, Raúl




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