I have an embarrassing crush on Ban Ki Moon. You really can’t blame me. He raps! He married his high school sweetheart!
His op-ed in the New York Times tomorrow just made it worse. In it, he announces the launch of the Global Impact and Vulnerability Alert System:
“We know the big picture: countries with low financial reserves; countries that face shrinking foreign investment, remittances and aid; countries where demand for exports has fallen. But we need a sharper lens with finer resolution.
I am marshalling the resources of the United Nations to monitor the impact of the crisis in real-time.”
Ban then calls on donor countries to maintain their support for international aid, pointing out that we already have evidence for what works in international development. He finishes with a call for the reform of international institutions, and an argument for multilateralism.
“Challenges are linked. Our solutions must be, too.”
Other than the Global Impact and Vulnerability System, he’s not saying anything new here. But it’s all things that need to be said. It would border on disaster to reduce foreign aid right now, and we are marshalling institutions created in response to the second world war to respond to a global financial crisis of unprecedented shape.
On the new alert system – I can’t find any additional information beyond a reference from UNDP and a blog post from iRevolution. UNDP says “The UN system is also working with other development partners to establish a ‘Global Impact and Vulnerability Alert System’, to track the impact of global crises on the most vulnerable, and to provide decision makers with evidence which can guide specific, rapid, and appropriate responses to countries suffering from the crisis.” iRevolution cites an unnamed UN report which also mentions tracking real-time data to support effective decision-making by leaders.