Programmes and projects

While this is not an ICT/infrastructure-related project, its start and evolution provide important lessons as far as the implementation of complex multi-country initiatives under the UN aegis is concerned. The case itself is well described in the analytical report produced by the UNDP IGF project (the author is Mr. Vasif …). This report wishes to highlight a few key lessons that are essential for EurACA’s consideration. Firstly, such initiatives are slow to start, with a very prolonged planning phase that may take several years; it has taken six years for the Alliance of Civilizations to become truly operational possessing its clearly articulated strategy. Secondly, is a high-level of the sponsorship representing regionally important states – Spain and Turkey in this case – with a diverse background to reflect upon the initiative’s goals and stakeholder interests; indeed, the initiative’s co-sponsors represent countries (and regions) whose vitality and human progress crucially depend on how the different cultures they possess are aligned internally, regionally and globally in terms of policies and actual multi-level cooperation.

Moreover, the fact of the authoritative co-sponsorship (from Turkey) is highly important for eventual success given the UN’s interest and priority given to multilateralism. Thirdly, the objectives of the UN-mandated initiatives should have a clear link to the international agenda, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Fourthly, the involvement of the UN’s high-level bodies/representatives – such as the UN Secretary-General, the UN Secretariat, the institution of special representatives – is critical for being institutionalized as a UN initiative. In fact, the European Union experience reaffirms this lesson from a different context – for example, the involvement of the European Commission and its funding was indispensible for its pan-European status and further implementation. And, finally, the institutionalization of the initiative’s management and operations is a must; that is, the initiative has a well thought through management structure, functions, strategy. This is also an experience from Europe.