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Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) (1955-present) Series
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Technical Assistance Projects Files - Americas 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.

Accession numbers - 74/66; 77/80; 78/17; 78/144; 79/108; 79/184; 82/139; 82/168; 83/147; 83/148; 84/13

Technical Assistance Projects Files - Country Programme 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.Accession numbers - 83/195; 87/95; 88/85; 88/199; 89/147; 90/81; 90/82; 90/83; 90/84; 90/85; 90/183; 90/184

Coordination, partnership: Regional economic commissions, funds and programmes, and specialized agencies

The records in S-1916 document the coordination of projects and partnership between the Department of Technical Co-operation for Development (DTCD) and the United Nations regional commissions, funds, programmes and specialized agencies. The bulk of the records date from 1978 to 1983 and describe the planning and execution of technical assistance projects in developing countries.

The records are arranged alphabetically by regional economic commissions, funds, programmes and specialized agencies and contain draft project documents, correspondence, memoranda, progress reports, and mission reports. Project documents are official proposals that include project objectives, work plans, budgets, and other information relating to the implementation of a project.

Regional Commissions

The records of the UN regional economic commissions contain requests for large-scale regional technical assistance projects in the regions of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe and include the records of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), and the Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA). The records contain draft project proposals, correspondence and memoranda and reports prepared by regional advisers. .

The regional economic commissions served as independent executing agencies or worked in cooperation with the DTCD on projects such as: a 1981 Training Workshop on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (ECA); the Improvement of Management Skills and Delivery Capability in the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ECA/DTCD); and the Population Information Centre in China (ESCAP/DTCD). The DTCD also served independently as an executing agency for regional projects including the 1980 Population Census in Ghana and the Critical Poverty project in Panama.

S-1916 consists of project documents, project budget revisions, job descriptions for technical experts, memoranda and correspondence between the geographic branches of DTCD and the Technical Assistance Units of the regional economic commissions. The records also contain progress reports and mission reports authored by regional advisers that identify project objectives and work plans; describe activities undertaken by regional advisers during each phase of the project; and provide conclusions and make recommendations for the project’s future. Regional advisers were assigned to projects in fields such as energy, statistics, social development geology, and demography, and submitted their reports to DTCD and to the regional economic commissions for review.

Funds, Programmes and Specialized Agencies

Records in S-1916 also document the coordination between the DTCD and the UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies to implement country and regional technical assistance projects. UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies include: the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO), World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The DTCD reviewed all project proposals for which a UN fund, programme or specialized agency served as the executing agency. These project proposals include: a 1979 Study Tour on Foreign Exchange Budgeting in Bangladesh (UNDP); an Automated Programme and Project Monitoring System for Technical Cooperation in Brazil (UNDP); Some Forms of Behaviour of the Population After the Earthquake in Montenegro in 1980 (UNFPA); Integrated Agricultural Development under Irrigation in the Central Valley of Tarija in Bolivia (FAO); and the Research and Post-Graduate Training in Mineral Exploration in Nigeria (UNESCO).

The records also contain project documents, project budget revisions, memoranda and correspondence exchanged between DTCD and the UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies. Memoranda and correspondence detail coordination of technical assistance, project implementation, and project financing. In addition, there are reports unique to each project and include “The Approach to Evaluation of WFP Development Aid,” issued by the Intergovernmental Committee of the WFP.

World Population Conference, 1974

Records in S-1935 document the planning and implementation of the 1974 World Population Conference by Ralph Townley and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United Nations. Mr. Townley served as the Director of the Office of the Secretary-General of the World Population Conference. Antonio Carillo-Flores served as the Secretary-General of the conference.

The 1974 World Population Conference was held in Bucharest, Romania from 19 to 30 August 1974 and was the first world-wide intergovernmental conference to be held on the subject of population. Two population conferences were previously held in 1954 and 1964, but the 1974 conference was the first to include representatives of member states’ governments in addition to experts in the field of population.

Ralph Townley joined the United Nations in 1951 as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs before moving to the Special Fund as a Project Officer in 1959. Mr. Townley held various positions in the Special Fund and its successor, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) from 1959 to 1972. In January 1973, Mr. Townley was appointed as the Acting Director of the Office of the Secretary-General of the World Population Conference. His title changed to Director in January 1974.

Records in S-1935 include Mr. Townley’s chronological files, which contain correspondence and memoranda, reports, and cables documenting the planning and financing of the conference. A small amount of records are Mr. Townley’s personal files, which include correspondence and memoranda from his friends and family and relate to his other positions within the United Nations. S-1935 also contains subject files that are arranged alphabetically by topic and include: conference facilities, cultural activities; population policies of Brazil and the United States of America; public relations; and publications. These records include correspondence and memoranda, reports, cables, agendas and meeting minutes, and drafts of the official conference pamphlet and the World Population Plan of Action (WPPA). The records also document coordination with the United Nations regional economic commissions and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

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.

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.

United Nations Development Programme/Special Fund Records

Records contained in S-0553 document the establishment, expansion and activities of the United Nations Special Fund from 1959 through 1972 and highlight Ralph Townley’s involvement with the Fund.

The Special Fund commenced operations in 1959 as a vehicle for providing technical assistance to under-developed United Nations member states by conducting surveys on the utilization of geographical, material, and human resources and supporting the development of training institutes and research centres. On 22 November 1965 the General Assembly approved the merger of the Special Fund and the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance (part of the Technical Assistance Administration which later became DESA) to create the United Nations Development Programme on 1 January 1966.

Ralph Townley joined the United Nations Secretariat in 1951 as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. Mr. Townley was selected as a Project Officer for the Special Fund in 1959. By January 1963, he served as Chief of the Special Projects section and in December 1965, earned a promotion to Deputy Chief of the Special Fund, a position he retained until January 1967 when he became Deputy Chief of the United Nations Development Programme’s Research Division. By February 1968, Mr. Townley’s title had changed to Chief of the Agricultural Research Division. He held this position until early 1971 when he transferred to the UNDP’s Animal and Fish Programme as Chief of the department. Later that same year, Mr. Townley served as a consultant for the Technical Advisory Services division of the Continuous Cash Benefit Programme (BPC).

The records of S-0553 are comprised of Mr. Townley’s chronological and subject files. The chronological files are further divided into administrative files and personal files. Mr. Townley’s administrative files focus on Fund initiatives and contain funding allocations; project timelines, guidelines, and regulations; and governmental agreements. Interoffice memoranda, external correspondence, trip itineraries and reports, policy briefs, meeting materials and program reviews also found within the files hold additional information about the Fund. The administrative files also contain proposals submitted by the governments of under-developed nations which concern the development of fisheries; desert locust campaigns; food crop improvement centres; land use and agricultural diversification; wildlife management; water resources; animal husbandry; dairy production and training, milk processing and distribution; and the prevention and eradication of animal and insect-born and bred diseases.

There are also four folders of chronological project files, the contents of which match those of the administrative files. An additional folder pertains to the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Science (IAIAS), while another contains personnel records.

Like the administrative files, Mr. Townley’s personal files document his work with the Special Fund through correspondence, interoffice memoranda and reports. Trip planning correspondence found within the personal files frequently takes on a private tone as Mr. Townley often coupled his trips with visits to colleagues and friends. There are also condolence letters written following the deaths of Mr. Townley’s father and brother, and letters written to him by his children.

Mr. Townley’s subject files are comprised of mission reports, meeting minutes and materials, and memoranda. The meeting materials consist of Consultative Board reports, United Nations Agency reviews, country briefs for the Food and Agriculture Organization’s 1967 review, and proposals discussed at the United Nations Development Programme’s January 1968 meeting. Additional files document the March 1968 mission to evaluate rice production in West Africa conducted by Vu Van Thai, special consultant to the United Nations Development Programme, and discussions regarding the establishment of a Swine Science Institute in Taiwan.

Series was created for ARMS relocation from Park Avenue to LIC/FF.

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