Bill Scott's blog

Thoughts on learning, sustainability and the link between them

Speaking truth to self-serving impotence

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Well done Mrs M (NB, this is our Mrs M, not the somewhat recently-chastened, once-saintly, "Angie") for telling the UN (and its myriad competing agencies) what's wrong with its bloated, wasteful, inefficient and ineffective self.  Building on the most recent UK Multilateral Aid Review, she spoke of a “crisis of faith” in global bodies.  The UK is the sixth biggest contributor (out of 193 members), and provides ~4.5% of the UN budget.  The UK government has been critical of UN waste, and of the way that its different bodies operate independently of each other in various countries, and it wants UN teams to have one office in each country rather than operate independently as they do now in many places.  The aim is for UN agencies to be more integrated in order to work more effectively, to reduce inefficiencies, and to be much more transparency over expenditure.

Last December DfID named UNESCO, as one of three UN organisations performing poorly – just as it did in 2010.  This should come as no surprise to anyone, and it beats me why so many people seem to think that the UN is so fantastic.  Whenever I'm tempted to do this (confusing purpose with effect), I just remember UNESCO's Mr M'Bow.

 

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