>From: Don Richardson <[log in to unmask]>
If you really want to see someone become uncomfortable, ask the next
UNDP speaker on any networking conference about "Higgins".
Boy will you be able to see someone sweat. It's something like FIDO
or UUCP running on PCs but not Internet compatible. New York phones
the field offices and several hours international phone costs are
Nobody cares, because it submerges in Head Office's budget.
>In one example I know of, it costs the donor agency about $12,000 US per
>month (not including extortionate set-up fees) to keep ONE of its
>regional field offices serviced with email and web access via a
>dedicated leased-line network. Meanwhile, the ISP and telecom
>environment in the host country is more than capable of providing the
>same level of service, with good security, at about 1/5 that cost.
And of course the field offices don't allow others on, right? Or rather
the head offices.
UNEP and UNESCO in Nairobi have one each of their own I think, and FAO
offices are instructed to use the SITA X25 system (slowww) whether they
like it or not, and then there is UNDP's Higgins.
On the other hand, you *CAN* get it right :-)-O.
All UN field offices in Windhoek, *TOGETHER*, pay 1090 $US per month for
a 64KB DIGICON link, ending in their CISCO router which is about to get
it's second WAN port connected via 64KB to the outlying UNESCO field office.
They field office run their respective corporate software and an old
linux clunker holds it all together with 4 ethernet cards :-)-O.
>The real issue here seems to involve the mis-guided, paranoid corporate
>culture of some of the big donor agencies. The top decision-makers are
>not typically IT users and are often "clueless" and easily swayed by
>internal IT managers that want to build global leased-line IT empires
>and build bigger and bigger IT budgets. For an IT manager who has
>little or no training/experience in capacity building development, it is
>much easier to manage their own machines and lines than to manage the
>capacity building initiatives that could leverage donor purchasing power
>to assist local ISPs.
If they just did it right, and share the bandwidth. Their bandwidth
requirement goes to Zero at 16h30 and 12h00 on Fridays :-)-O.
If they just allowed others to share, and programmed the modem banks
to open up after hours...
>Ultimately, the donor agencies separate their own internal management
>functions, IT functions and dollars from their capacity building
>functions and dollars. This wall of bureaucracy prevents donor
>purchasing power from enhancing capacity building functions. A savvy IT
>manager only has to mention the "security bogeyman" once or twice to the
>decision-makers and the IT dept. gets its toys and wires.
If there is a will from the local office, they can support his from
the Common Services budget without problems.
I have read regulations from two UN agencies specifying that local
offices are *AUTHORIZED* to make use of local ISPs.
In fact when I traced the way to www.unicef.unon.org I found out that
the Class B network 18.104.22.168 (United Nations (NET-UN-NET)) is
coordinated by UUnet. Which might *EXTREMELY* helpful for the countries
where UUnet has outlets...
>The $1.2 million for the African Virtual University is peanuts compared
>to the money the donors pump into their personal networks in Africa. To
>be frank, I find this obscene.
Why can't they plug into the UN lines going into Nairobi and Addis?