The United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance (UNPAN) is a specialized service with the mission of promoting the sharing of knowledge and best practices in public policies, public administration and civil services, by enhancing experience sharing and cooperation among Member States. The main topics are governance systems and institutions, public service and management innovation, governance and finance, knowledge systems and e-government. Full-text papers, conference speeches, reports, studies and UN and partners’publications can be retrieved for free, usually in pdf format. Records are stored in the Virtual Library, the UNPAN repository by region, language, content type (legislation, statistical database, country profiles, etc…) and core theme (governance system, e-government, etc…) and, when available, documents dating back to 1949 are retrievable. Also provided by this website are news, coming conferences, updated reports and studies upon UNPAN’s main topics, e.g. papers on e-gov worldwide, public administrations, etc. Navigation is completely open and free. Some search facilites are also developed.
The UN online network in Public Administration and Finance
The UN network on women empowerment and gender equality
Founded in 1997 by several UN entities, WomenWatch was created to provide an Internet gateway to information and resources on topics concerning gender equality and women empowerment. WomenWatch is an initiative of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) and it gives direct access to all websites of members of this network. WomenWatch features a wide array of information and data from different UN sources, by focusing on a general topic (gender equality) but addressing its many aspects, also related to global issues and events. This website allows a free access to different kinds of material, provided in several formats from textual and html to multimedia files and in different languages, and stored in complex archives. Records can be located through a search feature and downloaded in their original format, included streaming and podcast. A multi-lingual version with all records available in all UN working languages, as well as partnerships with other organizations and networks outside the United Nations are planned. Direct links to national as well as to NGO pertinent websites are also provided, along with a great quantity of updated info on events and conferences. WomenWatch extremely dense pages are organized through a complex but integrated internal linking architecture, under a fair user-friendly outline and a quite easy-to-navigate structure.
Workshop in Political Science and Political Analysis
A close link between theory and practice
Created as a research enterprise within the Department of Political Science, the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis became an official research center on the Bloomington campus at Indiana University in 1975. It combines teaching, research, and related activities where faculty, visiting scholars, and students participate in productive scholarship focused on institutional analysis and design. The term “workshop” is used to emphasize the conviction that research skills are best acquired where students, working as apprentices, participate with experienced scholars in the organization and conduct of researches. The workshop website gives free access to seminar syllabi, conference agenda, newsletters and provides working papers, books, book translations, abstracts of past colloquia, references, in various format (pdf or html). Most of these publications are available without payment, while other materials (especially books) are retrievable by purchasing. A relevant added value of this website is the direct access to the Workshop Research Library, which contains more than 30,000 records, thematic references, full-text versions of classical books and papers. Given the richness of contents and materials, the website design does not match high usability standards, providing only few navigational aids and not offering search features.
World Policy Institute
The New School's research center for international studies
Hosted at the New School, the World Policy Institute (WPI) is a research and education policy center that seeks innovative solutions to critical problems of international diplomacy and world politics. WPI conducts an extensive program of lectures and policy forums to broaden understanding of the complex post-cold war geopolitical and geoeconomic landscape. Its website offers a good quantity of infos about the center’s activities and upcoming events. In particular, free access to the center’s projects and publication descriptions is allowed, often with links to their specific websites. It also provides full-text articles or abstracts from recent issues of the World Policy Journal, a quarterly journal devoted to international affairs; as well as a bi-annual newsletter on research projects and events, and a media guide reporting the WPI staff media activities and exposure. An open discussion forum on world politics’hot topics is also available. Material contained in this website is abstracted, searchable by keyword or browsable through clear directories, and freely downloadable mainly in pdf or web format. Despite the absence of advanced help tools and a dense homepage, the website presents a clear content categorization, so that navigation may result easy also for non-experts.
Political attitudes from around the world
Launched in early 2006 as part of a joint program of two research centers related to the University of Maryland, WorldPublicOpinion.org is a rich source of in-depth information and analyses on public opinion on international issues from all over the world. Its website offers the means to explore public opinion by browsing its pages by topics and by regions, along with links to relevant external websources. Records – including studies reports, polls, focus groups and interviews – are searchable through a simple keyword-based search engine. Each report is presented in html format with tables, footnotes, etc., and can be saved in a printer-friendly version. Some hypertextual links are available. This website also contains a sub-site with the Digests of US Opinion (Americans and the World), an archive specifically focused on American public opinion on a broad range of policy issues. An added value of this website is represented by its fee and updating policy: WorldPublicOpinion.org is currently accessible for free and new documents are frequently added. Users can receive a free e-mail newsletter every 1-2 weeks with articles reporting on new studies and analyzing developments in specific countries and regions. Some elements of textual mapping and a location menu support navigation, which is extremely easy for all-level users.
Market research and information services worldwide
Launched in 1984 Zogby International (ZI) provides crucial information to business, government, and academia, including polling, surveys, market research, and political analysis worldwide, along with on-going PR and consulting activities. The website provides many products and services, such as specific newsletters, surveys, summaries of recent and archived polls, and reports conducted in several parts of the world with a special focus on US. The opening webpages feature little more than a collection of current news and soundbites, along with a summary of recent reports that can be purchased online. A much more comprehensive section (“Domestic”) covers the US political landscape, with several RSS Newsfeeds subscriptions, audio and video commentaries, online polls, and events lists. Another set of webpages are dedicated to interactive online polling, addressing the US scene in relationship to a wide range of topics. Taken as a whole, such website is then informative and relevant for PS studies worldwide, freely available to the users in the public pages and always current. Services and ad hoc polls can be purchased. A keyword search option is provided only in the Domestic area, where each page is also available in a printer-friendly format. No other help facilities or navigational tips are evident, thus resulting in a difficult level of usability for non-experts.