United Nations System-Wide

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
WEBSITE URL:http://www.undp.org

See check list in annex.


Data Collection, Observation, Monitoring

Collection of processed data and meta-data; information on periodic progress of ongoing projects and project outputs; specific data requests, questionnaires. Coordinating role in teleconference on sustainable agriculture indicators. Data comes rom other organizations, particularly UNEP, and project personnel.
Data gathered is pre-processed GIS (IDRISI) data on aridity (areas) and land degradation in Africa; meta-data on activities and projects in the field of environmental information systems development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The aridity and land degradation data is mainly from UNEP, so does not require a great deal of coordination. Environmental information systems' development data is from the World Bank, World Resources Institute/USAID, UNITAR, UNEP and some bilaterals.

Methodologies, Quality Control, Harmonization
Harmonization is via a corporate data model to ensure data compatibility to be built. Systems integration through common data definitions. UNDP will review and unify its set of business rules.

Integrated Programme Management System (IPMS) to address management needs of UNDP country offices and headquarters for information systems to be built. Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) being developed by UN addressing the needs of finance, human resources and administration adopted. Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) will extend UNDP produced data to other development partners. Sustainable Agriculture Networking and Extension Programme (SANE) will enhance capacity-building, south-south networking and human resource development. Methodology for development of Environmental Information Systems in consultation with World Bank, UNITAR and UNEP.

Assessment and Analysis
UNDP/UNSO provides technical support to the Ecological Monitoring Centre (ECM) in Dakar, which carries out assessment and analysis of rural land resources in the Senegalese Sahel. Products are in the form of reports, maps, and statistical databases. In house, UNDP/UNSO perform GIS analysis of cartographic data on aridity and soil degradation for policy planning purposes.

UNDP/UNSO is a user of UNEP/GRID databases, retrieving and manipulating aridity data.

At the ECM, remote sensing and field data collection techniques are applied for data collection. Much of this information is analyzed in a GIS environment. Furthermore, desertification mapping is supported in Tanzania.

Joint activities of UNDP Office to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNSO) and UNEP on indicators pertaining to sustainable development e.g. cooperation on desertification control as well as on sustainable agricultural indicators. Development of Human Development indicators.


Expert Systems/Decision-support systems

Early Warning Mechanisms

Reports/Information dissemination

Dissemination is via brochure and report form, mail, fax, e-mail, electronic bulletin boards, discussion forums. Increasing outreach by developing a global Wide Area Network linking more than 126 UNDP country offices and promoting SDNP and related projects such as Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSnet).

UNDP/UNSO is disseminating information, such as availability of technical expertise to African Governments in the Sudano-Sahelian zone (22 countries), various donor agencies and other UN agencies.

Coordination of data dissemination done by UNEP, World Bank, WRI, UNITAR.

At country level information filtering is done via computer. Country SDNP responsible for building a basic, low cost, national network which will allow access to information by all sectors. Key element of SDNP is to give decision-makers accurate and up to date information via the SDNP node with help of national SDNP staff. UNDP/UNSO provides support to national workshops that put information users and suppliers in contact hence UNDP provides a brokering service. Participation in other networks acting as brokers (EIS Advisory Committee, WRI and its USAID supported Natural Resources Information Consultative Group, AFRICAGIS network).

As a meta-inventory, UNDP/UNSO produces an EIS matrix and database: inventory of all activities and projects related to Environmental Information Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.

To promote the use of the information contained there, SDNP attempts to identify key and existing sources of information relevant to sustainable development both at national and international level. Fosters creation of national directories of organizations and experts that can help in process of development. National SDNP teams responsible for this. UNDP/UNSO focuses on environmental data in the Sudano-Sahelian Zone including communication, coordination and information exchange among users and producers, needs assessments and workshops.

Network Development and Support
Global Wide Area Network of 131 field offices managed. Centralized service at headquarters and network of 18 sub-regional Information Managers provide information management and communication support.

SDNP uses UNDP existing networks and Internet connectivity to coordinate its networks. SDNP has developed several UUCP networks in 3 to 4 countries. Works closely with APC (Econet), UNEP Infoterra, CABI, IRDRC, CIESIN, and Rockefeller LEAD Programme among others.

Network interaction supported by UNDP/UNSO Système d'Information du Sahel (SIS) information network building initiatives among NGOs in Senegal, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. Access to NewsEdge service with UN/DPA hence access to non-UN sources of information.

UNDP assists countries in building capacity to integrate environment into development planning and decision-making through training in the application of Environment Management Guidelines, Capacity 21 and other programmes.

National SDNPs install computer equipment and software for networking and provide capacity to use systems effectively by training on information sources (where to search etc.) and use of information obtained.

Internet Access

Access to Solutions for Sustainable Human Development (hyperlinked sites):
Info21: http://www.undp.org/info21/index.htm
Sustainable Development Networking Programme: http://www.sdnp.undp.org/
HORIZON Solutions: http://www.solutions-site.org/
SIDSnet - Small Island Developing States: http://www.sidsnet.org/

Responsible Office/Person (for inquiries or follow-up):
Ms Karen Jorgensen
Assistant Director
Sustainable Energy and Environment Division (SEED)
UNDP, DCI-Building
One UN Plaza, 16th floor
New York, N.Y. 10017, USA

Mr. Peter Gilruth
Office to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNSO)

Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP)
Mr Chuck Lankester
Director, SDNP
UNDP/SDNP, FF-Building
304 East 45 Str.
New York, N.Y. 10017, USA

Earthwatch Focal Point

Date of preparation: September 1994, updated April 1999

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Check list - mark (X) areas of major or minor focus.

ORGANIZATION: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Chapter 12. Desertification
12A. Info, monitoring
12B. Combating land degradation
12C. Integrated development 
12D. Anti-desertification programme
Chapter 14. Agriculture/rural development
14A. Agricultural policy
14E. Land conservation/rehab
Chapter 17. Oceans
17G. Small islands
Chapter 40. Information
40A. Bridging the data gap
40B. Improving availability

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UN System-wide Earthwatch Coordination, Geneva