Box 5.2 Knowledge sharing and information technology in support of the MDGs
Work is underway within the framework of CEB to forge new directions and establish new channels for exchanging ideas and knowledge within the UN system. Underpinning these efforts is a UN System Information and Communication Technology Strategic Framework developed by the ICT Network of CEB. Building on past evaluations of ICT opportunities in the system, this Strategic Framework represents a collaborative initiative geared towards the improvement of communication channels and the development of common ICT infrastructure elements across organizations of the UN system. The Strategic Framework sets out the charter for UN system organizations to pursue ICT investments in a way that could result in savings and improved efficiency in technology operations upon which any knowledge sharing initiative rests.
Two key initiatives under the ICT Strategic Framework involve creating a more connected UN, with an expanded UN system network, and a more informed UN, with an initiative for knowledge sharing. The UN System Development Network envisions an unparalleled ability to communicate amongst all the organizations of the UN family. Currently, most organizations of the system maintain and operate independent global networks that allow them to communicate with their own staff but hinder full cross-institutional collaboration. Work currently underway seeks to eliminate this redundancy, resulting in lower overall operating costs and enhancing the ability of all organizations to communicate throughout the system.
Sharing information across organizations is another major initiative under the Strategic Framework. Knowledge management initiatives are ongoing in many parts of the UN system, but widespread sharing of knowledge outside individual organizations has yet to be realized. Building on lessons learned by the World Bank, this ICT Network initiative seeks to identify the most appropriate tools and techniques to facilitate the widespread dissemination of knowledge existing in individual organizations across the UN system.