The ODS exemplifies how UN staff are often caught between idealistic expectations and meager resources.
He also noted that they were migrating to a substantially more sophisticated system, so it made little sense to expend enormous energy and resources fixing an older system that was just going to be replaced in the near future. He also noted that contrary to allegations to the contrary, the UN was moving away from Microsoft-based systems towards more linux-based systems. So much for the Microsoft conspiracy.
The most interesting bit was the end of the email where he expressed frustration that the UN staff often get accused of incompetence or negligence when in fact they are usually under-resourced and over-mandated. That is, only two staff people have been assigned to maintain both the public and the private ODS systems.
So the claim that the UN is some sort of super-bureaucracy with vast funds at its disposal simply does not jive with the reality of the situation of the staff. At times the UN seems more like young David, but without a slingshot.
I keep thinking that more needs to be done to bring together the UN NGO community and the UN staff community. Both are populated by people who are supportive of the ideals of the United Nations but are critical of how those ideals are not met. The difference is that the staff often have more direct insight into the difficulties of translating the vision into action. I believe much could be learned and gained by greater communication and coordination between the two camps.