Lack of coordination of UN information systems
Despite their broad similarities, numerous differences prevent UN bodies from having a unified information system. The problem starts with the absence of a unified policy or systematic organizational and procedural approach to cooperation. There does not yet exist a framework within which UN inter-agency programmes can make cooperative decisions, nor a system for managing cooperation activities. Decisions affecting development cooperation resources and activities are made in numerous places without sufficient knowledge of, or reference to, one another. As a result, most information systems or system design efforts have suffered from the same fragmentation. This fragmented approach, in turn, leads each Agency to classify differently data relating to the same or similar objectives and to the same or similar types of activities. As a result, government bodies and senior officials throughout the UN system do not have the information necessary to make rational system-wide policy and programme decisions. In short, there are simply too many separate, inconsistent, incomplete information systems relating to some facet of development cooperation activities, and these systems are undirected or uncoordinated by any central authority.
The Advisory Committee for the Co-ordination of Information Systems (ACCIS) was created in 1983 to address such problems. ACCIS works in many ways, chief among them the selection of standards and the recommendation of guidelines throughout the system. One example is the registration of all serial publications of the UN into the ISDS, the International Serials Data System.