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.
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.