2nd Global Perception Survey - 2013 Emerging Economy Country Analysis

by FutureUN

Summary of Survey Findings

The results of FUNDS' second global biennial survey, conducted in 2012, on the Future of the United Nations Development System (UNDS), have recently been re-analyzed with a particular view to gauge the perception of the public in key emerging economy countries (EECs).  In this study, the responses from 14 EECs (the BICS - Brazil, India, China and South Africa - along with Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey) were grouped together, to yield collective views of EECs and see where consensus lies, and compared with the survey results from both high and low income countries.  Some examples of such consensus are summarised below, for more detailed results and a wealth of graphs illustrating the survey outcomes, please read the full Results in pdf here.   Further analysis can also be found in FUNDS Briefing No. 10 on Emerging Economies and the UN Development System.


2013 Analysis of the Perception of Emerging Economy Countries on the Future of the UNDS

The opinions of those surveyed from the 14 EECs, taken as a whole, reveal slightly more optimism (or less skepticism) about the UNDS than the rest of the global sample, based on perceptions of the UN's capacity to change and face new challenges.  


When asked about the effectiveness of the UN in 20 different domains, the EEC respondents judged that the four most effective areas are health, human rights, education and gender.  The EEC public placed more importance on regional cooperation than the global sample, possibly reflecting the growing interest in South-South cooperation.  This also extends to the EEC respondents awarding a higher rating to all the UN regional commissions than the global sample.

Three principal challenges for the UNDS to address in the future, in the opinion of the EEC, emerged in the survey:


Challenge 1:  Lack of Financial Resources for the UNDS


To respond to this challenge, a large majority of respondents agree or strongly agree that over the next five years the UNDS should:

-  merge agencies in similar fields (78% agree);

-  increase funding from non-traditional donors and developing countries (78% agree);

-  augment funding from private sources (77% agree);

-  reduce overall system-wide costs of management (72% agree).


Challenge 2: Ineffectiveness of the UNDS

There was strong consensus on proposed future changes to increase effectiveness:

-  simplify business procedures (85% agree);

-  establish harmonised system-wide independent evaluations (76% agree);

-  develop single system-wide information and communications platform (75% agree);

-  develop unified system-wide development results indicators (75% agree).


And in the longer-term, up to 2025, the UNDS should:

-  include NGO and private sector representatives in governing bodies (65% agree);

-  appoint a single specialized head of the UN Development System (63% agree);

-  reduce the number of UN organisations (53% agree).

Challenge 3: Access to competencies of the UNDS

To increase this access, EEC respondents were in agreement that, in the next five years, the UNDS should:

-  merge agencies in similar fields (78% agree);

-  shift people and resources from headquarters to the field (74% agree).


Optimism triumphs overall, however, despite the acknowledgement of much room for improvement, as over 80% of respondents from the 14 key emerging economy countries believe that the UN Development System is capable of handling its own organizational challenges.  

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