The key tool for monitoring and coordination of forestry activities related to assistance and cooperation with countries in transition is an Access database, which was developed by the UNECE/FAO with the direct input from the signatory countries. The database includes currently more than 650 projects reported by donor and recipient countries and organisations. The projects themselves have a variety of objectives, scope, and methods for implementation. The UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists (ToS) on Countries in Transition (CITs) identified the majority of projects to respond to the priority needs of the transition countries.
The information on reported projects refers to their title and contents, type of cooperation, dates, cost, contact person, results expected, results gained, etc. It is possible to sort and search the database according to a number of fields in order to produce statistics for analysis purposes. The database users are advised to read carefully the detailed Users’ Guide for the H3 Database, which facilitates the work with the database. The database in its present status is composed of data available to the secretariat by the mid-2002, when it absorbed the information from the latest ToS meeting and CEEC workshop held in Debe/Warsaw, Poland.
The national correspondents for Resolution H3 are the only official source of the information presented in the database. It should be noted that a number of signatory countries have not yet supplied the latest information, and for many projects only partial responses were received. For this reasons the information presented in the database must be considered as INDICATIVE. Nevertheless, it is hoped that more and more projects are reported and that the reliability of the database continues to increase as its dissemination and use as an analytical tool becomes better known through the Internet.
With the aim of improving transparency and increasing exchange of information between CITs, and between donors and recipients of assistance, the structure of the database has recently been upgraded, and the work on updating its contents is going on. From now, the updating of the database contents will be carried out continuously with the help of country correspondents, who are invited to communicate their information to the UNECE/FAO secretariat in the requested format.