The $5.7 billion United Nations Development Program bills itself as the UN's flagship anti-poverty agency, but when it comes to actually helping the world's 1.3 billion desperately poor people, that description appears to be more of a facade, according to a report commissioned by UNDP itself that is slated for closed-door discussion at the end of this month.
According to the document, UNDP's efforts often have "only remote connections with poverty." Its anti-poverty programs are "disconnected," and are frequently "seriously compromised" by a lack of follow-up to help poor countries learn "what works and why."
Bottom line: after spending more than $8.5 billion on anti-poverty activities between 2004 and 2011 -- and just how much more is something of a mystery -- UNDP has only "limited ability...to demonstrate whether its poverty reduction activities have contributed to any significant change in the lives of the people it is trying to help."
Those devastating conclusions come in a densely worded, official "evaluation of UNDP contribution to poverty reduction," which will be presented to the agency's 36-nation supervisory board at its next meeting, which begins on January 28 in New York.
Among other things, the document casts significant doubt on the extent to which UNDP is actually living up to its declared identity as "the United Nations anti-poverty organization--a world partnership against poverty," a claim the report says was made by UNDP's then-chief--James Gustave Speth--in 1995.
Moreover, it lays a significant part of the blame for that failing on the way that UNDP has spread itself across a growing range of activities in the name of promoting "development" –from environmental projects to trade promotion and border management--that "dilute" its anti-poverty effort.
In other words, an extensive form of mission creep.
The sharply critical evaluation was ordered up in 2009 by UNDP's executive board, and based on work carried out in 2011 and 2012. The assessment was provided by UNDP's own Office of Evaluation backed up by a team of external consultants and an advisory panel of independent experts, according to a UNDP spokesman. He did not provide the names of the consultants and advisory experts when queried by Fox News.
So far, only a 13-page executive summary of the evaluation is available. The full report, a much weightier document, will be made public in the wake of the meeting, which ends Feb. 1, according to a UNDP spokesman.
But what is available so far is troubling.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 01/14/2013
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