Friday, November 17, 2006

UNESCO's Decentralization Policy

UNESCO's decentralization policy seeks to ensure that UNESCO designs and implements programs that, although global in scope, are adapted to the needs and specific circumstances of Member States. Special attention is given to developing countries and their local socio-economic, geographical, cultural and political contexts.

UNESCO's Decentralization Action Plan groups Member States for service by a global network of multi-disciplinary Cluster Offices, National Offices, Regional Bureaus and Liaison Offices. The Bureau of Field Coordination is responsible for ensuring the smooth implementation of this new field network and provides a clear, single line of management. In addition, UNESCO Institutes and centers with well defined mandates and operations exist worldwide.

Click on the subtitle below for linked lists of the relevant offices.

Cluster Offices
These are the main platform for delivery of all UNESCO activities. They are multidisciplinary, ideally with each Sector represented. The Head of Office, while often having a background in a particular field, mostly play executive roles, managing the Program Specialists covering the various domains. The office implements a cluster program which is the result of consultation and consensus; National Offices join that cluster program.

National Offices
National Office programs are more focused, according to their individual purposes. They implement a time-bound national program, which results from consultations within that country. They assist in devising the cluster program where that Member State is concerned.

Regional Bureaus
Each Regional Bureau is responsible for the program in a given region and program domain; the programs are implemented through the Cluster and National Offices and drawn up through regional consultations. Regional Bureaus are almost always located in a Cluster Office and as such benefit from staff in a variety of fields, but often have an additional complement in their own substantive domain. Those staff with regional responsibilities based in offices other than Regional Bureaus act first and foremost as Program Specialists answerable to the Head of their Office. Regional Bureaus have no representational authority, nor do they oversee the Cluster and National Offices in hierarchical terms.

Liaison Offices
Liaison offices in New York and Geneva maintain close relationship with the Headquarters of the United Nations and other United Nations organizations.

Websites of UNESCO Institutes and Centers
There are two UNESCO international Centers and nine Institutes. They are all linked to this website.

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