Sunday, May 09, 2010

The first ‘user conference’ for UN information.

Information about it can be found at:

The first ‘user conference’ for UN information.

The vision for ‘UN-connecting the World’ is to hold a ‘user conference’ for providers and consumers of ‘UN information’ – much like the yearly user conferences of any notable IT company. User conferences provide a space where users and providers of information services can liaise, bringing critically needed user feedback into the information system to identify user needs and to develop creative ways to satisfy those needs. Per our definition, providers of UN information are any source within or outside the UN system disseminating the vast amount of newsworthy information pertaining to the wide array of UN thematic areas. Examples of providers range from any UN website or database - e.g. UNBIS, ReliefWeb, Universal Human Rights Index - to websites outside the UN system working to provide UN information to their stakeholders - e.g. Huridocs,, Users of UN information, likewise, come from both within and outside the UN system and can be defined as anyone who uses or could find UN information beneficial to their activities. Examples include members of domestic or international NGOs, desk officers at national ministries and missions, journalists, corporate responsibility divisions of private sector companies, or students and professors.

The idea for the conference derived from two years of research on the part of [Making Communications Matter]MCM, which identified currently existing hurdles to effective information communication and knowledge exchange between providers and users of UN information. Through interviews with users (and potential users) of UN information, MCM has developed creative ways to lower these hurdles. In addition to two new information sources – and –, which will be presented at the conference, MCM wanted to also provide a collaborative space where feedback could be more broadly and directly shared with information providers in the UN System and where providers could liaise with each other (in some cases for the first time) to identify potential partners or synergies.

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