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Updated December 11, 2006, as part of Inner City Press' UNDP Series --Intro followed by second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth

     While people with knowledge of hiring favoritism and corruption within the UN Development Program continuing coming forward on day six of this series, this page will be devoted to UNDP's responses. First, however, two points on which to focus. UNDP has a $5 billion budget, which is supposed to help the poor. Its chief executive Kemal Dervis as of the date this page beings, December 5 of 2006, has not held a press conference in 14 months.

            Despite or perhaps due to Mr. Dervis' silence, UNDP demanded that the written responses it provides, sometimes six paragraphs in length in answer to a three-line question, should be published in full. That is not, cannot and will not the practice, not only at Inner City Press but at nearly any other independent publication. Due to the request that emails be presented in full, also included below is an email from outgoing Communications deputy William Orme, who is moving on with some irony to encourage independent journalism. On December 8, after stating among other things that UNDP would not longer response or comment on "UNDP’s recruitment and personnel practices," UNDP withdrew its request for presentation in full.

-----Original Message-----
From: cassandra.waldon [at]
To: Inner City Press
Sent: Fri, 8 Dec 2006 7:20 PM

Dear Matthew,

... for the record, we would like to point out that we never asked for our replies to be published in full.

-----Original Message-----
From: cassandra.waldon [at]
To: Inner City Press
Sent: Fri, 8 Dec 2006 7:13 PM
Subject: Your UNDP queries

Dear Matthew,

UNDP is working to address the numerous questions you have asked us. As many of your concerns touch upon similar kinds of issues we thought it might be helpful if we were to state, for the record:

That we do not release the reports of our internal audits and investigations. The results of these reports are communicated on an annual basis to the UNDP Executive Board in the form of an annual Administrator’s report on Internal Audit and Oversight, which we believe you already have. The reports of UNDP’s external audits are available at

That we will no longer be responding to unsubstantiated allegations about UNDP’s recruitment and personnel practices.

From: [CW at]
To: Inner City Press
Sent: Fri, 8 Dec 2006 5:20 PM
Subject: RE: deadline today 5 p.m.

...we are still working to provide you with a response to your 1 December question on our Russia Country Office (you asked about "any and all investigations undertaken in the past 10 years", not just about the 2005 investigation). In response to your above request for the 2005 investigation report, please note that we do not release the reports of our internal audits and investigations. The results of these reports, however, are communicated on an annual basis to the UNDP Executive Board in the form of an annual Administrator’s report on Internal Audit and Oversight (this is the longer document that contains the text you have pasted above). The reports of UNDP’s external auditors are available at

-----Original Message-----
From: cassandra.waldon [at]
To: Inner City Press
Sent: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 6:27 PM
Subject: RE: Additional Qs re UNDP, response to your Q re deadlines, thank you in advance

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for posting the full text of our note to you of 5 December. We would encourage you to integrate our points into your stories as well, as we believe doing so would present a more balanced picture of UNDP.

We hope the below addresses some of your outstanding concerns.

On the Millennium Project:

The Millennium Project was set up in 2002 as an independent advisory body to the Secretary-General, charged with proposing the best strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It is funded by donors on a voluntary basis and administered by UNDP (contracts, human resources policies, etc.). It has been led since the outset by Professor Jeffrey Sachs. Guido Schmidt-Traub is its Associate Director.

The Millennium Project was designed from the beginning as a time-bound exercise. Its mandate expires at the end of 2006. In order to bolster progress towards the Goals, we have decided to merge the work of the Millennium Project into UNDP. To this end, UNDP has set up a new sub-unit in our poverty group, which will consist of some 20 positions.

To complete the integration by the end of the year, UNDP management is using an expedited competitive recruiting process for five lead positions. These five positions have been advertised and are in the process of being filled.

Five other positions do not require a competitive process under UNDP recruitment procedures and will be filled with people currently working for the Millennium Project.

All other positions will be recruited according to standard UNDP recruitment procedures, and this process is on-going.

For the record, Jeffrey Sachs will continue to be involved with the UN’s effort on the Millennium Development Goals. As of 1 January, he will serve as Special Adviser to UNDP on the Millennium Development Goals. His salary will continue to be $75,000 per year.

On the allegation that Kemal Dervis’s paramount interest is Turkish politics:

Prior to joining UNDP in August 2005, Mr. Dervis was a high profile Turkish public figure. Because of this, journalists around the world often ask him for his views on issues involving Turkey. The suggestion on your website that the resulting media coverage means he is somehow "aiming for a position in Turkey" and "using UNDP money to further his own goals" is contemptible. Mr. Dervis does have a junior Turkish-speaking member on his staff to assist with correspondence and other matters relating to Turkey, as well other general office and research duties. Her job does not involve media relations.

In response to the allegations on the Inner City Press website relating to the 2006 Report of the Office of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Ombudsperson: An Ombudsperson’s work is, by nature, concerned primarily with complaints and conflicts within an organisation. UNDP, like every organisation large and small, has its share of complaints and conflicts. It works to resolve those problems through the Ombudsperson and also through other means. For the record, other sections of the Report state that "Most staff members who have contacted the Ombudsperson either in the country offices or at headquarters have also indicated their satisfaction at the outcome following intervention by the Office," "The [Ombudsperson's] recommendations have resulted in appropriate disciplinary measures at all management levels," "The Executive Heads have made their position on [retaliation for contacting the Ombudsperson and 'pretaliation'] extremely clear," and "The Administrator and the Executive Directors have given whole-hearted support and have themselves sought the services of the Ombudsperson."

Further, Inner City Press published its allegations relating to the Ombudsperson’s report on 5 December, then sought official comment from the UN Spokesman on 6 December. Further still, for the record, UNDP takes pride in its leadership in establishing channels, including the Ombudsperson, through which staff can air grievances or report misconduct. Among other measures, UNDP has put in place an anonymous fraud hotline, a disciplinary committee and a workplace harassment reporting mechanism for staff concerns. Moreover, UNDP’s most recent Global Staff Survey shows overall morale at UNDP higher than ever, at all levels of the organisation, and for both men and women: 74% of those surveyed would recommend UNDP as a good place to work to their friends and associates.


Cassandra Waldon

-----Original Message-----
Subject: RE: Additional Qs re UNDP, response to your Q re deadlines, thank you in advance
From: cassandra.waldon [at]
To: Inner City Press
Cc: kemal.dervis [at], etc.
Sent: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 10:45 AM

One further response for you:
Allegations that Ad Melkert has instituted new policies or directives which prohibit UNDP staff members from speaking to the media, and has explicitly threatened to summarily dismiss any staff member found to be  speaking with the media are absurd.  And no, we are not aware  of any staff members who have disciplined or have had their careers sidelined in  retaliation for speaking out of channels?
 We also wish to put the following on the record:
 On the general allegations that have been appearing regularly on the Inner City Press website: Publishing anonymous, defamatory allegations from UNDP staffers, and those who purport to be UNDP staffers, is reprehensible.  UNDP has been a leader in establishing channels through which staff can air their grievances or report misconduct without fear of retaliation. Among other measures, it has put in place an anonymous fraud hotline and a mechanism to file complaints on sexual harassment and abuse of authority.  
On the allegation that UNDP has been unresponsive to your questions: From June 2006 you have asked us approximately 50 questions.  We and our colleagues in UNDP Country Offices around the world have spent hundreds of hours providing you with detailed responses, many of which you have willfully ignored or distorted.
On the specific allegation that you had to wait 80 hours for answers to questions posed 1 December: You asked questions on a Friday and got answers on a Monday. 
 On the nature and cost of the UNDP history book: You published only part of our answer.  You assert in your headline that UNDP paid for a book “to praise itself”, even after our answer clearly stated that the book was editorially independent (as anyone who looks at it will see).  You also chose to ignore our statement that the overall cost of the project was in line with or significantly lower than similar projects at other multilateral institutions.

[Here is the question and full two-paragraph answer, the second paragraph of which Inner City Press did not include but now happily does here, on the day it was raised:

Question: Please disclose how much UNDP money, and from what source or  channel, was used to produce "The United Nations Development Programme: A Better  Way?" by Craig N. Murphy.
Answer: This two-year project, which kicked off in summer 2004 following a competitive application and interview process leading to Mr. Murphy’s appointment as the official UNDP Historian, cost $567,379.  Of this total, $252,000 in salary was paid to the author over the course of 21 months, $87,639 went to the project coordinator, $91,559 went to research and editing, $37,299 was devoted to travel for interviews, and $26,752 for office space. UNDP paid the book’s publisher, Cambridge University Press, $55,452 for copies of the book for distribution to UNDP’s partners and wider network, e.g. libraries.  Miscellaneous expenses have accounted for $16,678 in expenditure. UNDP’s financial support to the book came from the organisation’s regular resources. Cambridge paid publicity and marketing costs.
The author had full editorial independence in researching and writing A Better Way?. He wrote it while on leave from Wellesley College. The book represents the first published history of UNDP in its 40 years of existence. The costs of this project are in line with or significantly less than those of similar history projects at other multilateral international institutions.]


 On the length of Cherie Hart’s field assignment in Bangkok: Communications positions at UNDP are not rotational. The suggestion that there is something irregular in the length of time Cherie Hart has served as a Regional Communications Officer in Bangkok, and that Mark Malloch Brown has in any way been involved, is absurd.
 On allegations concerning Nora Lustig: Ms. Lustig was hired in April 2006 to Head UNDP’s Poverty Group following a transparent and competitive recruitment process.  All staff hired into the Poverty Group since Ms. Lustig’s arrival have been recruited via UNDP’s standard procedures.  Ms. Lustig has not been abusive toward any staff members.  
 On your question regarding Kori Udovicki’s appointment: For the record, you asked whether Kemal Dervis knew Ms. Udovicki before her appointment. We responded that he did not. You asked about her supervisory relationships during her short term assignments at the World Bank. We suggested you check with the Bank. Ms. Udovicki takes up her duties in the first week of February. We would be happy to put your questions to her at that time.

On Bill Orme’s new assignment: Ben Craft, the Communications Officer you spoke with last evening, not only asked you “not to mischaracterize” Bill Orme’s new assignment.  He told you unequivocally that it was not a demotion.  For the record, after four successful years in the Office of Communications, Mr. Orme has been asked to lead a new initiative on Independent Media Development within our Democratic Governance Group.  This move has been in the works for months and formally took place 1 December. 

* * *

From: William Orme []
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 3:45 PM
To: Communications Net
Subject: [com-net] Goodbye & Hello

4 December 2006
Dear friends in UNDP communications offices around the world:
This is both a goodbye and hello. After four years in the
communications office I am relocating this week to the Democratic
Governance Group in the Bureau of Development Policy, where I will be
devoting my full attention to UNDP's work in support of independent
journalism in the developing world. This runs the gamut from
professional skills workshops for reporters to targeted training
seminars in UNDP's areas of core expertise (elections, post-conflict
nation-building, human development strategies and  indicators, and so
on), as well as analysis and policy advice on legal frameworks,
security  and other issues affecting media independence and vitality.
As many of you know, this is an area which has long been a
preoccupation of mine personally and, more important, has become
increasingly important to UNDP's advisory and support work in
democratic governance around the world. I am extremely grateful that
BDP has decided to create this new advisory position, with the full
support of the Office of Communications, with which I will continue to
be working extremely closely.
UNDP's media relations globally and regionally will now be overseen by
the extraordinarily capable and unflappable Cassandra Waldon, under
the continued overall leadership of David Morrison, as director of the
Office of Communications. The far-flung External Relations group has
gone from strength to strength in recent years and will only get
better in their ability to support our country offices and regional
bureaux. We now have or will soon have regionally outposted OC media
specialists in all regions as well as exciting and effective new video
news capacity, plus increasingly effective daily interaction with our
essential OC partners in the Communications Services and Internal
Communications/website teams.
David and Cassandra make an incredibly experienced and effective
leadership team. Besides, as many of you know, they are both
personally nicer and professionally better organized than I am, so
this too will only get better. And I am not just saying this because I
will absolutely need support from both of them to make my new
assignment a success.
So this is not a farewell, but instead a kind of re-introduction --
and a transparent plea for your help as well.  Especially yours.
Because UNDP will need your direct assistance and support and advice
if we are to make UNDP the world leader in independent journalism
development, as it has the potential and I would argue the
responsibility to become: the High-Level Panel on UN Coherence
recommended unequivocally that UNDP take the lead for the UN system in
democratic governance, of which the development of an independent
professional news media is an essential and integral part.
The absolute high points of my tenure at the Communications office
since November 2002 have been my individual and group meetings in the
field with all of you, my fellow communications officers.  My
colleagues at the Secretariat and elsewhere in the UN system are a bit
tired of me boasting that UNDP has the smartest, most energetic and
effective corps of media professionals on the national and regional
level of any organization in the multilateral universe, other UN
agencies not excluded -- but they have seen in practice that it's
true. You folks are a lot of fun to be with too.
The main reason that I am convinced that UNDP can and should take the
lead in journalism training and media development is the combination
of our democratic governance mandate and our network of communications
officers in more than a hundred countries, most of whom are
experienced media professionals, with extraordinary knowledge of their
own national media communities in all their complex political
contexts. Our work with journalists must be a permanent, ongoing
relationship, based on mutual understanding and trust. This is why our
communications officers at the national and regional level must play a
central role in our journalism development projects, as has not always
been the case. And we will be doing much, much more. So I look forward
greatly to working with all of you in this exciting new capacity – and
I wanted to thank you all again for making my work here for the last
four years so rewarding and enjoyable.

* * *

From: William.Orme [at]

To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Cc: [2 in OSSG, 2 in UNDP]

Sent: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 14:40:03 -0400

Subject: RE: NE Uganda and UNDP

   Matthew, I'm sorry I missed you yesterday...Your main line of questioning has to do with the Ugandan military's operation in the area over which UNDP and the UN generally has no connection or control... We can inform you about our own operations, though. You can use all of this on the record if you wish... A summary:

UNDP in no way supports “involuntary” or “forceful” disarmament in eastern Uganda. UNDP advocates voluntary disarmament linked to the strengthening of human security as the best way forward. UNDP supports peacebuilding and development in Karamoja and has encouraged voluntary weapons collection processes, as outlined in the Government’s Poverty Eradication and Action Plan, that first take into consideration and address the root causes of insecurity and work together with local communities towards finding sustainable solutions. 

UNDP does not support the recent operations of the Ugandan military (UPDF) in “cordon and search” in any manner and has warned that such approaches undermine the possibility of achieving lasting peace and development for the region. UNDP has joined with other development partners in Uganda to voice concern about this exercise to Ugandan authorities. 

There is no and has never been any UNDP or UN funding of or involvement with UPDF disarmament activities, contrary to published assertions to the contrary. The UPDF neither informs nor coordinates with the UN nor requests support from the UN in its actions. UNDP and other donors strongly urge these operations to cease and to return to agreed strategies. 

In 2006 UNDP began work on an independent community development and human security project in the Karamoja region, one component of which was the encouragement of voluntary disarmament. The project was budgeted initially for $1 million, to be financed from UNDP’s Uganda country office [Due to a misunderstanding on my part I erroneously identified to you in our conversation Tuesday the government of Denmark as a funder of this project.] Only $293,000 has been spent to date and all UNDP activities in the region are now halted, given that they are unworkable at this time, for the reasons noted.

Regarding your query as to specific reports of human rights abuses and other incidents in the region: UNDP, as stressed in our previous conversations, does not have the mandate or capacity to carry out investigations of human rights abuses. UNDP has no staff working in the villages cited in your question and no direct knowledge therefore of these particular incidents. However, UNDP is aware of these reports, takes them seriously, and, as noted above, has conveyed its concerns about UPDF actions in the Karamoja region to Ugandan national authorities and suspended work its own work in the region.

 There is extensive information about UNDP’s DDRR work and the funding of such on our website: Please bear in mind however that our (now suspended) work in NE Uganda is not a DDRR program, which typically take place in post-conflict situations with international involvement and oversight, usually in the context of the presence of a peacekeeping force. As we have discussed, none of this is the case in northeastern Uganda.

 William Orme

 Chief, External Communications

 United Nations Development Programme - UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439