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Programme Outcome

Regular Programme   US$ `000
  Appropriation 20 812
  Expenditure 22 728
  Over/(Under) Spending, US$ `000 1 916
  Over/(Under) Spending, % 9%
Field Programme   US$ `000
  Extra-Budgetary TF and UNDP Delivery 496
  Extra-Budgetary Emergency Project Delivery  
  TCP and SPFS Delivery  
  Total Field Programme Delivery 496
  Ratio of Field to Regular Programme  
  Technical Support Services, Prof. Staff Cost 24
  Technical Support Services, % of delivery 5%


314. The Major Programme aims at informing a wide audience including Governments, technical and institutional partners, NGOs and the general public about the main policies, programmes and activities of the Organization; strengthening access of users to FAO's library and world-wide literature resources in all FAO fields; and dissemination of the Organization's publications and documents. Overspending on this Major Programme reflects the implementation of the non-financial framework for publications and documents. This required 12 posts and some non-staff costs pertaining to the management of external printing services to be funded directly from this budget instead of through backcharges to other units in the past.

Programme 5.1.1 - Public Information

315. The programme continued to assist in communicating general messages related to FAO's overall mandate, as well as specific messages related to priorities and programmes of the Organization directed towards particular audiences. A corporate communication policy was prepared in consultation with all FAO Departments and decentralized structures. It now provides a framework for coordination and cooperation while encouraging participatory, decentralized planning and implementation. A major effort related to the WFS, which attracted world-wide media attention. As indicated in Table 5.1-1, this media attention resulted in an increase in the number of press releases, interviews, press conferences, briefing of journalists, audio and video productions and exhibits. Other key developments included the further enhancement of the FAO Web-site and conversion of the bi-monthly magazine Ceres into electronic publication on the Internet. A digital database was introduced in the photo library, greatly improving accessibility and the ease of transmission of images.

Table 5.1-1: Public Information Activities (Selected Indicators)

Description 1994-95 1996-97
Press Releases 124 135
Feature Articles 74 36
Press Conferences, Seminars, Reportage Missions:    
Headquarters 8 41
Elsewhere 12 20
Briefings for Journalists 988 3 800
Radio Reports, Interviews, Programmes 398 450
Video Productions (including co-productions) 32 50
Exhibits 10 20
Publications (public information material):    
Number (all languages) 55 50
Pages (all languages) 3 338 1 878
Internet pages originated   3 666

316. The 1996 WFD activities leading up to the WFS, included the organization of a world-wide essay competition on the WFS, in which some 100 countries participated. At the country level, some 112 countries undertook WFS activities in 1996 which served to highlight public awareness of the WFS. Backstopping was also provided for the International Youth Forum, one of the parallel events during the WFS, which brought together about 500 youths from some 130 countries. In 1997, the Telefood initiative was launched within the framework of WFD and some 110 countries undertook WFS activities.

317. As part of the restructuring of work related to public information, an Office for Liaison with National Committees (GIDN) was established to serve as a focal point for public awareness and promotional activities related to follow-up to the WFS and oversee the Food for All Campaign, WFD and Telefood activities and the Money and Medals Programme.

Programme 5.1.2 - Library

318. The Library continued to focus on access to information resources. However, as illustrated in Table 5.1-2 the emphasis began to shift from personal visits to the library and borrowing of printed volumes to greater use of electronic media. The purchase of information resources, books and journals was restricted to priority areas for FAO programmes and to information resources for the Virtual Library. The Library List Server was established to inform users about new and evolving information services. In collaboration within the UN Consortium of Libraries, the Virtual Library's information delivery to the desktops of FAO staff around the world was modernised providing cost effective access to these library resources. FAO continued its leadership role in information resource sharing as the coordinating centre for the Agricultural Libraries Network (AGLINET), and in promoting AGLINET membership, which increased to 48.

Table 5.1-2: Library Use (Selected Indicators)

Description 1994-95 1996-97
Loans 115 000 82 000
Bibliographies produced by Reference Staff 13 000 20 000
Reference and Research Queries 84 000 98 000
Photocopies produced on request (pages) 664 000 684 000
Visits to the Library:    
FAO Staff 49 000 45 000
External visitors 9 000 7 200
Publications added to collection:    
Journal titles 6 800 6 300
Monographs 22 900 28 100
Briefings/Training Sessions 570 1 293

Programme 5.1.3 - Publications

319. A major review of the FAO publications arrangements was undertaken (document PC 74/2-FC 84/4 - Sup. 1 Proposals for the Implementation of a New Financial Framework for FAO Publications and Documents). The proposals were approved by the Programme and Finance Committees at their May 1996 sessions. The changes introduced to reduce the cost of the Organization's publications programme included: increasing the proportion of text translated, edited, composed and printed by external contractors; reducing reliance on off-set printing and making greater use of printing techniques requiring minimal human intervention for internal printing; rationalizing the handling and dispatch of documents for internal and external distribution; and improving revenue from the sale of FAO documents. The restructuring included abolition of the Publications Division (GIP) and transfer of a number of its responsibilities to other divisions, particularly, the Conference, Council and Protocol Affairs Division (GIC) for translation, final typing and internal printing of meetings documentation and correspondence; the Information Division (GII) for editing, desktop publishing, external printing distribution and sales; and the Administrative Services Division (AFS) for internal distribution of documents and publications and external distribution of meetings documentation. As a result of the restructuring, 11 professional and 66 General Services posts were eliminated and significant reductions made in the cost of publications. These reductions are not reflected in the introductory table for the Major Programme since provisions for documents and publications are spread throughout the Organization's programmes.

320. High priority was given to publications for the WFS and its follow-up. Efforts were made to strengthen cooperation with relevant units in development of the central document repository. Standard templates for preparation of documents were prepared and disseminated throughout the house. Publishing expertise and services provided in support of decentralized structures. As indicated in Table 5.1-3 the number of publications and the total number of page impressions declined by more than 25 percent in 1996-97 compared to 1994-95, partly as a result of budgetary reductions but also because of the general policy to concentrate more on quality versus quantity.

Table 5.1-3: Production of Publications (Selected Indicators)

Description 1994-95 1996-97
Items received for Processing 20 000 18 000
Page Impressions Printed (all external) 370 000 207 000
Major Publications    
Individual publications (all languages) 480 347
Periodicals 8 8
Yearbooks 6 6
Publications in non-FAO Languages 115 46

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