Sunday, 24 January 2010

United Nations poor communications - Malawi

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Whilst the UN staff work incredibly hard on the ground trying to save people's lives and sort out the mess in this world left by poorly conceived governments' foreign policies, I deplore the way the seem to be utterly incompetent when it comes to basic communications.

Malawi is one of the poorest nations on earth with the average age around 44 years and an average income of $240 dollars. There is a huge injection of hundreds of millions of dollars poured into the country from umpteen UN agencies but they can't provide up to date information. there are honourable exceptions but a few examples:-

The latest press release is January 2009 - one year ago:-

The link to the Road Map to Maternal Mortality seems to be broken:-

The Equity in health and healthcare in Malawi report is now over three years old (Oct 2006):-

Are the Human Development Index Trends up to date (I appreciate there can be a time delay with this sort of data)?

The UN monthly newsletter was last updated in July 2009:-

I can't see any future UN events listed for Malawi, which is greatly concerning:- 

UNICEF last updated their press releases in December 2007 

World Food programme last updated its News in September 2009 

The UN Business Plan 2008-09 is now out of date:- 

Now you can argue that helping people on the ground after repeated earthquakes in Malawi is much more important and you would be right. But does that mean that someone somewhere within the bureacracy can't put together a regular news release or update a report? No, sorry poor excuse. The consequence is that a) it makes the UN look like an incompetent bureaucratic, disorganised machine and b) businesses wonder what kind of organisation would they find on the ground to help them invest, to create jobs and improve the quality of lives. 

Malawi has a bright future in spite of its many problems, but please UN come on, get your act together and keep us all informed of the great job you are doing. 

A friend.

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