Weekly Update – 27 January

I was on leave all of last week so no real updates to report from trying to rest  -although I did spent a lot of time trying to finalize the Mobiles primer.

It seems that my mission report on Costa Rica was apparently not well received by project staff. Not sure I understand the reason for this as the report is not really critical. It just depicts the current situation after having spent close to 200k. I am not in talks with project staff and trying to link the initiative with the Junta de Andalucía and its support for FOSS in the public sector (with support from the private sector).

Also me with the head of the UN Democracy Fund about the web application we have been hosting for them since 2005 or so. I recommended to UNDEF to recruit a consultant to assess the current application which has been developed from scratch by a private consultant. As UNDEF is planning to open the data to the public ans start using data mining tools, it is essential that they have in house a scalable platform. I suggested they move to something like Drupal which can also be easier to maintain and manage. Secondly, I strongly suggested that they move the web site to their own platform somewhere in the cloud. Not only does the child that we have reared needs to grow and become independent but also, the new plans by UNDEF certainly require a dedicated platform. UNDEF agreed on both and suggested we provided names and ToRs for doing this.

At the request of the CO, I had a conference call with UNDP Macedonia. For a few months, we have been informally discussing the possibility of support OGP (Open Government Partnership) in the country. The WB has also been pushing this but since they have no operational capacity in Skopje they have come to UNDP MKD to get support. The latest developments however do not reflect this. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is the focal point for OGP. However, the WB  is in contact with the Ministry of Information Society and Administration (MISA). It has also secured a 50k small grant to support the establishment of a national Cloud service as a priority and then support OGP. The WB is now asking UNDP to help  solve this impasse. A mission from the WB will be in Macedonia next week. We have agreed to have a joint conference call to talk with WB staff whom I happen to know personally.

BTW, Tunisia is also asking for some help on OGP. And I am in discussions with Brazil, co-chair of OGP, to create a partnership to support OGP action plans and implementation. This is still in early stages.

We also has an interesting meeting with a high-level representative from Ericsson. Am NTF has been share with the team. But what was really interesting is Ericsson’s suggestion that the UN should fund some of the CSR initiatives in Sudan and other places. They seem to be having a hard time getting support from development organizations, including SIDA.

Cheers, Raúl



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