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Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) (1955-present) Serie
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Office of the Assistant Secretary-General

Series consists of the records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary-General, including those of ASG David Owen (1946-1950), and his assistants. Also included are the records of the Regional Commissions Section (see S-0932 for the remaining records of this Section). Arranged in the order cited above.

Related records: Series S-0932 is part of the same series.

Fiscal Division / Fiscal Commission

Series consists of administrative files of the Division and the files of the Fiscal Commission. The latter include interaction with non-governmental organizations and special economic missions. Arranged in the following order: administrative files of the Division, Fiscal Commission files, followed by the Director's correspondence and ephemera.

Capacity Development: Project files, training and study activities

The records in S-1917 document the project files and training and study activities of the Office of Technical Co-operation (OTC) with United Nations member states, in the regions of Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe.. The bulk of the records dates from 1973 to 1978 and details the planning and implementation of fellowships and training programmes for developing countries. The function of S-1917 is derived from DESA.DEV.062 and DESA.DEV.063 of the retention schedule of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), dated 21 January 2013.

The records largely consist of country files documenting the Technical Assistance Fellowship Programme, in addition to records related to interregional seminars, as well as regional and interregional training centres.

Technical Assistance Fellowship Programme

The OTC’s Fellowship Section oversaw the Technical Assistance Fellowship Programme for developing countries. Nominated by country governments, individuals were awarded fellowships under the Technical Assistance and Regular Programmes of the OTC for study in academic institutions, participation in training courses, observation studies and seminars. The fellowship programme encompassed the following fields: economic development, environmental development, social development, demography, public administration, narcotics control and human rights. Following the completion of the fellowship, fellows were required to submit a final report evaluating the course to the OTC Fellowship Section. The records are arranged alphabetically by country and include memoranda, correspondence, project documents, and final reports.

S-1917 also documents fellows who attended the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Commercial Policy courses. The GATT Commercial Policy courses were established in 1955 and held twice a year, once for English-speaking fellows and once for French-speaking fellows. The principal aim of the courses was to give the participants a better understanding of trade policy matters and to provide them with full, up-to-date knowledge of the work undertaken by GATT and other international bodies to assist with their work within their own administrations. The records include schedules and programmes of the courses as well as the final reports written by fellows.

Interregional Seminars

The OTC’s Interregional and Regional Projects Section oversaw the planning and implementation of interregional seminars, symposiums, workshops, training courses, study tours and expert group meetings. Participants included fellows and experts intending to gain more experience in their field. The level of knowledge and ability of participants ranged from the novice to junior and senior levels and determined the type of meeting. For example, senior experts would participate in an expert group meeting, such as the meetings of the United Nations Group of Experts for the Establishment of an Investment Bank of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of Countries.

The records in S-1917 document interregional seminars in the fields of economic planning, public administration, finance, statistics, demographics, housing, natural resources, energy and water resources and include: the Interregional Seminar on Petroleum Refining in Developing Countries(New Delhi, India, 22 January-3 February 1973); United Nations Meeting on Co-operation among Developing Countries in Petroleum (Geneva, Switzerland, 10-21 November 1975); and the Interregional Seminar on Development and Management of Resources of Coastal Areas (Berlin, Hamburg, Kiel and Cuxhaven, Federal Republic of Germany, 31 May-14 June 1976). The files include correspondence and memoranda pertaining to implementation and planning of interregional seminars, country monographs and final reports.

Regional and Interregional Training Centres

The files contain documentation related to UN regional and interregional demographic training and research centres including: Institut de Formation et de Recherches Démographiques (IFORD), Yaoundé, Cameroon; Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana; Centre Demographique ONU-Roumanie (CEDOR), Bucharest, Romania; International Institute for Population Studies (IIPS), Bombay, India; and the Interregional Demographic Research and Training Centre, Cairo, Egypt where training courses and seminars were held.

In addition to documenting the recruitment of fellows, consultants, associate experts, professors and directors to training centres, the records include job descriptions; course syllabi; work programmes; project budgets and revisions; cables detailing travel arrangements; and reports.

These records contain correspondence and memoranda between the UN and the training centres’ country’s government addressing, for example, the agreement between the UN and the Government of Cameroon regarding continued support of IFORD as well as draft versions of the 1977 renewal of the agreement between the UN and the Government of Egypt for the Interregional Demographic Research and Training Centre. In addition to drafts and finalized agreements , these records document project and training activities, such as: Demographic Surveys to Estimate the Initial Population and Future Growth of Nigeria’s New Federal Capital City project document; a 1976 request for additional funding to RIPS submitted by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and the Government of Ghana; and correspondence and memoranda concerning fellowships for the IIPS course in demography.

S-1917 also contains files related to the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), Nagoya Japan which was established in June 1971 under the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Resolution 1086-C (XXXIX) through a Funds-in-Trust arrangement with the Government of Japan. UNCRD provided training in regional development to officials who were engaged in the planning, management and implementation of development activities in developing countries in the Asian region. Training and staffing of the UNCRD was provided by UN consultants and experts.

The UNCRD records include: budget plans and proposals; reports; job descriptions; correspondence and memoranda regarding the planning and implementation of advisory meetings, expert group meetings, and seminars; as well as administrative records regarding arrangements for UNCRD experts and consultants.

Coordination, partnership: United Nations Programme on Public Administration and Finance

Records in S-1923 document the coordination of projects and partnerships between the Division of Public Administration and Finance (DPAF) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the United Nations specialized agencies, regional economic commissions, member states and external organizations. The records date from 1965 to 1978 and detail the planning and implementation of projects, training activities, and development of publications and training material in the field of public administration and finance.

In 1974, the Public Administration Division (PAD) of DESA was reorganized into DPAF. As a result of this reorganization, DPAF became responsible for public finance projects and carried out activities in the following fields: personnel administration and training; organization and management services; development programme management; government budget and financial management; and development of financial institutions.

DPAF collaborated with UN regional economic commissions and specialized agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and World Health Organization (WHO). The records include correspondence and memoranda concerning: the production of training materials and publications; attendance at conferences and expert meetings; and coordination and implementation of country technical assistance projects. A small amount of records pertain to correspondence exchanged between individuals and DPAF requesting assistance in the field of public administration.

The records also document the production of final reports of studies, as well as newsletters, manuals, and handbooks on topics in the field of public administration and finance. S-1923 includes revisions and correspondence about draft final reports of studies, including: the Study on Local Government Reform; the Study on Public Administration Component of Integrated Project on Environment of Human Settlements; and the Study on Public Administration of National Family Planning Programmes. Other records include country reports prepared for expert meetings; correspondence and revisions for the “Handbook of Public Enterprise;” and requests from individuals and organizations for the “Public Administration and Finance Newsletter.”

A small amount of records pertain to the Public Administration Division (PAD) and date from 1965 to 1972. These records document the planning and implementation of the following projects: Assistance in the Field of Public Administration, Dominican Republic; Escuela Superior de Administración Pública (ESAP), Peru; Public Service Training, Uruguay; and Central American Institute of Public Administration (ICAP), Costa Rica. The records include: job descriptions for expert posts, project documents, progress reports, cables, and correspondence and memoranda documenting planning and implementation.

Technical Assistance Projects Files - Country Programming and Evaluation Branch

The series consists of records which deal with the origination, formulation, execution and evaluation of the relevant projects. The types of records include any of the following: proposals, preparatory documentation, agreements, plans of operation and various reports such as progress, technical, mission, evaluation, etc. There are also departmental supporting documents which comprise background data, guidelines, studies, terms of reference and other relevant papers that bear elements further elucidating project activities. The department which is responsible for providing the necessary advisory services and assistance to the governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to strengthen their national capacities has been re-organized several times under the following names:
Dept. of Economic Affairs, ca 1946-1954
Dept. of Economic and Social Council, ca 1955
Technical Assistance Administration, ca 1955-1958
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1955-1978
Office of Technical Co-operation, ca 1967-1977
Dept. of International Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1979-1993
Dept. of Technical Co-operation for Development, ca 1979-1993
United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, ca 1985-1993
Dept. for Policy Co-ordination and Sustainable Development, ca1994-1997
Dept. for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, ca 1994-1997
Dept. for Development Support and Management Services, ca 1994-1997
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1998 up to present.
To preserve their identity, the records of the various technical assistance projects are maintained according to their provenance, i.e. the actual name of the organizational element which originated the records forms a part of the series title.

Programme Implementation Division

The series consists of records which deal with the origination, formulation, execution and evaluation of the relevant projects. The types of records include any of the following: proposals, preparatory documentation, agreements, plans of operation and various reports such as progress, technical, mission, evaluation, etc. There are also departmental supporting documents which comprise background data, guidelines, studies, terms of reference and other relevant papers that bear elements further elucidating project activities. The department which is responsible for providing the necessary advisory services and assistance to the governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to strengthen their national capacities has been re-organized several times under the following names:
Dept. of Economic Affairs, ca 1946-1954
Dept. of Economic and Social Council, ca 1955
Technical Assistance Administration, ca 1955-1958
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1955-1978
Office of Technical Co-operation, ca 1967-1977
Dept. of International Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1979-1993
Dept. of Technical Co-operation for Development, ca 1979-1993
United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, ca 1985-1993
Dept. for Policy Co-ordination and Sustainable Development, ca1994-1997
Dept. for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, ca 1994-1997
Dept. for Development Support and Management Services, ca 1994-1997
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1998 up to present.
To preserve their identity, the records of the various technical assistance projects are maintained according to their provenance, i.e. the actual name of the organizational element which originated the records forms a part of the series title. Accession numbers - 1986/0167; 1987/0195

Development Advisory Service

FOR RE-WRITE
The series consists of records which deal with the origination, formulation, execution and evaluation of the relevant projects. The types of records include any of the following: proposals, preparatory documentation, agreements, plans of operation and various reports such as progress, technical, mission, evaluation, etc. There are also departmental supporting documents which comprise background data, guidelines, studies, terms of reference and other relevant papers that bear elements further elucidating project activities. The department which is responsible for providing the necessary advisory services and assistance to the governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to strengthen their national capacities has been re-organized several times under the following names:
Dept. of Economic Affairs, ca 1946-1954
Dept. of Economic and Social Council, ca 1955
Technical Assistance Administration, ca 1955-1958
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1955-1978
Office of Technical Co-operation, ca 1967-1977
Dept. of International Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1979-1993
Dept. of Technical Co-operation for Development, ca 1979-1993
United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, ca 1985-1993
Dept. for Policy Co-ordination and Sustainable Development, ca1994-1997
Dept. for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, ca 1994-1997
Dept. for Development Support and Management Services, ca 1994-1997
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1998 up to present.
To preserve their identity, the records of the various technical assistance projects are maintained according to their provenance, i.e. the actual name of the organizational element which originated the records forms a part of the series title. Accession number - 1983/0218

Programme Service Division

The series consists of records which deal with the preparation, formulation, execution and evaluation of the relevant projects. The types of records include any of the following: proposals, preparatory documentation, agreements, plans of operation and various reports such as progress, technical, mission, evaluation, etc. There are also departmental supporting documents which comprise background data, guidelines, studies, terms of reference and other relevant papers that bear elements further elucidating project activities. The department which is responsible for providing the necessary advisory services and assistance to the governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to strengthen their national capacities has been re-organized several times under the following names:
Dept. of Economic Affairs, ca 1946-1954
Dept. of Economic and Social Council, ca 1955
Technical Assistance Administration, ca 1955-1958
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1955-1978
Office of Technical Co-operation, ca 1967-1977
Dept. of International Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1979-1993
Dept. of Technical Co-operation for Development, ca 1979-1993
United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, ca 1985-1993
Dept. for Policy Co-ordination and Sustainable Development, ca1994-1997
Dept. for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, ca 1994-1997
Dept. for Development Support and Management Services, ca 1994-1997
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1998 up to present.
To preserve their identity, the records of the various technical assistance projects are maintained according to their provenance, i.e. the actual name of the organizational element which originated the records forms a part of the series title. Accession numbers - 1984/0272; 1991/0120; 1992/0181; 1994/0083

Coordination, partnership: Partnered project planning, Member States

The records in S-1911 document the coordination of projects and partnerships between the Department of Technical Co-operation for Development (DTCD), United Nations Member States and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The bulk of the records date from 1979 to 1983 and detail the planning and implementation of technical assistance projects in developing countries. The function of S-1911 is derived from DESA.DEV.018 of the retention schedule of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), dated 21 January 2013.

The records primarily consist of country files containing draft project documents and related correspondence, regional and interregional technical assistance programme materials, project files, and records relating to Operational, Executive and Administrative Services (OPAS) expert posts.

Country Files
Arranged alphabetically, the country files include requests for technical assistance from developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. Additionally, there are project proposals, draft project documents, and budgets prepared by country governments, and correspondence and memoranda exchanged between the DTCD and the UNDP, which served as the primary funding agency for technical assistance projects executed by the DTCD. Requests for technical assistance and project documents were issued by the UNDP Resident Representative in the developing country, prepared in consultation with the country government, and submitted to the DTCD for review. Project documents were official proposals that included project objectives, work plans, budgets, and other information relating to the implementation of project.

Country files also include draft and final versions of UNDP Country Programmes, comprehensive summaries detailing the economic and social priorities for each developing country, as well as a list of proposed and in-progress projects. These records also include country project files documenting specific projects where the DTCD served as the Executing Agency and consist of draft project documents, related correspondence and memoranda, and mission reports of United Nations Technical Advisers. Projects were implemented in the fields of natural resources and energy, statistics and public administration. Examples of country projects include a Population Census project in Algeria, the Development and Conservation of Water Resources in Malta, and Mineral Exploration of the Madhya Pradesh State in India.

Operational, Executive and Administrative Services (OPAS) Expert Files
S-1911 also documents the activities of OPAS experts. OPAS experts were recruited by the Technical Assistance Services (TARS) of the Programme Support Division of DTCD but were not considered UN employees. Fully accountable to the government of the developing country to which they were assigned, OPAS experts temporarily held existing civil service positions while their local counterparts received the appropriate education and training in order to assume the post. OPAS experts’ contracts were renewed annually, and, at the request of the government, they could be promoted to UN technical advisers. In some instances, large projects required the collaboration of UN technical advisers and OPAS experts. OPAS experts were assigned to posts in the fields of: public administration and finance, natural resources, social welfare, statistics, and economic planning. These files are arranged alphabetically by country.

The files also include records of Associate Experts, characterized as recent graduates and new professionals; and UN Volunteers (UNV), who were assigned to technical assistance projects. The records consist of job descriptions detailing expert responsibilities, project documents, correspondence and memoranda concerning the relationship between experts and country governments, funding of projects, and comments on experts’ reports. The files also contain progress reports authored by technical experts and submitted to the DTCD, which identify project objectives; the political, social and economic background of the country; and activities undertaken by experts during each phase of the project. Additional information found in the progress reports includes summaries of meetings with other experts in the field, lists of fellows in the field, and lists of titles of reports and papers, and other activities.

Regional and Interregional Technical Assistance Programme
Other records in S-1911 provide information on the regional and interregional technical assistance programme of the DTCD, which coordinated with country governments and the UN regional economic commissions to develop large-scale regional projects, interregional seminars and training programmes in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Projects and seminars were held in the fields of economic and social development, natural resources and energy, public administration, and population. These files consist of requests for technical assistance, as well as project and seminar proposals, seminar reports, and related correspondence and memoranda. S-1911 also includes job descriptions for expert posts and advisory service reports prepared by UN technical experts. Regional projects documented in these files include a Water Resources Assessment, Development and Management project in the Caribbean, Project Identification in Energy Matters in Asia, and Research on the Impact on Women of Socio-Economic Changes in Africa South of the Sahara.

Records related to interregional seminars and training programmes also include agreements between the DTCD and country governments hosting the seminar, project documents explaining the objectives and timetables of the seminars, and memoranda detailing travel arrangements for lecturers. Seminars were held on a variety of topics, including population, public administration and finance, natural resources and energy, water resources, and rural development. Examples of interregional seminars and training courses include the UN Conference on Least Developed Countries, a Seminar on Topographic and Hydrographic Surveying, and a training course on the Use of Computers for Water Resources Development.

S-1911 contains a small group of records pertaining to administrative arrangements of DTCD staff. These files include memoranda and correspondence documenting travel arrangements of staff, DTCD participation in conferences, and the preparation and publication of the DTCD Handbook.

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