Analysis of Union of International Associations
B: Internal Factors
- / -
Section of Report
of a Preliminary Investigation of the Possibility of Using Computer Data
Processing Methods (1968): a summary of the various parts of
this report, and details
of its contents (with links to the various
parts), are provided separately
In the last part the external influences on the activities of the UIA were
discussed. In this part, the efforts of policies in the main areas of
activity are analysed. These analyses will be summarized in the next
prior to a general evaluation. The strategy of the UIA is discussed at
the same time.
This part has been divided into two main sections. The first covers the
effort made by the UIA to sense the needs of the various markets and to
produce publications or studies to meet those needs whilst ensuring the
survival of the organization. This is the UIA marketing activity. The
second part covers the supporting activities.
I: MARKETING ACTIVITIES
The use of the term 'marketing' is usually restricted to commercial profitmaking organizations. As with 'competition' it is generally assumed that
the term is inapplicable to non-profit organizations. Marketing is however
a useful concept which links together all the operational activities of an
organization. It links the detection of the need for a publication with
the production, advertising, and distribution of the publication. In the
UIA case it also covers the effort to promote the concepts suggested in
the official objectives and to influence other bodies to support financially and become members of the organization.
The reason the term is useful is that these activities can be considered
separately and this leads to the danger that the policy making in one
field will be considered independent of policy making in what are essentially related fields. In the extreme case, for example, an organization
Eight produce publications without considering whether it can sell them
or whether the necessary advertising activity might antagonize its membership.
Information and Documentation System
The UIA is mainly concerned with documenting developments in the international system. In order to do this, it must ensure that it obtains
constant stream of information on such developments. A second function
the information system is to record the international system's reaction
to the activities of the UIA in order that the UIA may review its programs to improve its effectiveness where necessary.
Sources of Information: Information is obtained from
the following sources:
- replies to request for updated entries for the Yearbook
of International Organizations
- replies to requests for information on the reports
of the proceedings of international meetings for bibliographical purposes
- replies to requests for information on international
- free publications supplied by:
- national organizations
- commercial organizations
- replies to requests for press copies of books
- exchange publications from the same groups
- newspaper cuttings from those papers and magazines
read by members
- personal contacts
- spontaneous contact from outside on the basis of UIA
The current position is that the information 'search' network has not
planned in any definite manner. It is not known systematically which
periodicals are received, from which organizations. More important still,
if an organization stops sending its free or exchange publication,
isabsolute no means of detecting this, unless by chance.
The UIA does not normally enter into an exchange arrangement with other
publications and thus loses a means of extending its information network. This is regrettable since the majority of the monthly magazine
issue is sent as free copies to organizations which happen to be in the
Yearbook of International Organizations. The latter organizations
necessarily benefit from the magazine or benefit the UIA itself except
insofar as they fulfil the advertising guarantee that the magazine goes to
all international organizations. It would be better to encourage these
organizations to exchange a certain portion of the circulation to improve
the information network.
An additional problem with exchanges is that they are not differentiated
within the system from free copies of the magazine. Once the latter are
cut down during an economy month, then the exchanges are also cut down.
The UIA does not normally purchase or subscribe to any periodicals or
other publications unless these can be useful in its sales campaign.
This means that important publications giving recent developments in
UIA's field are not always obtained and it is only by chance that any
record would be kept of their existence or desirability.
Publications produced by national organizations are not generally considered of interest even if they are within the UIA's field.
Publications produced in competition with the UIA are not necessarily
received on a regular basis, and if they are, it is generally as a result
of the sender's initiative rather than that of the UIA's. It was noted
that the competitors all seemed to subscribe to the UIA's magazine,
one was outstanding as being one of the very few airmail subscribers.
Documentation Information: When competition publications
are received, they are not considered as being of the same value as
the UIA publications. They are either "too
complicated", "inaccurate" or "based on the UIA's
own publications". No
attempt is made to examine these publications regularly and systematically. In
the case of the Yearbook competitors, no effort is made to out-out and file
the relevant sections on each organization. In the case some competing publications,
considerable effort has been made by their editors, particularly in slightly
specialized publications, to incorporate more details on the organization
than is currently listed in the Yearbook. Newspaper cuttings are considered
an important source of information. No use has been made of a press cutting
agency which would considerably increase coverage and would make the information
network less dependent on the collecting abilities of one or two persons.
Bibliographical information is collected primarily from the organization
producing the volume. Little faith is placed in the bibliographies produced by other organizations, whether professional or otherwise. They
considered to have insufficient information and are only used as a last
resort. It is not clear whether they are used as a check against the
information supplied by the organization responsible for the meeting.
The UIA has maintained contact with all international organizations and
has no difficulty in obtaining information for the Yearbook from them.
This also applies to the calendar and bibliography. Prom this point of
view, the system is satisfactory.
The main weaknesses arise from the more complex cases where the international
organization is not always the best source of information. The current
executive officer may not have been supplied with complete details of
all past and future meetings and reports. It is here that independent
sources are much more reliable, particularly in the case of bibliographical information.
The documentation system is also weak on coverage. Because no check is
made on periodicals received, the UIA gradually gets dropped from mailing
lists or only receives the free specimen copy at the beginning of each
Finally the current information system is essentially a passive one.
Much of the calendar and bibliography material and their sources can
treated systematically. This needs to be done to ensure that a series
of annual (etc) meetings and their reports are followed through instead
of being treated on an ad hoc basis. This policy leads to wasted effort,
incomplete records, and unnecessary repetitive correspondence (from organizations which are forced to state every year that they do not hold
meetings or have reports).
Research Information: The UIA follows developments in
the political science and international relations fields through the following
- Res Publica (Revue de l'Institut Beige de Science Politique)
- Chronique de Politique Etrangere (Institut Royal des Relations Internationales)
- Revue de la Society d'Etudes et Expansion (Liege)
- International Affairs (Royal Institure of Internationa Affairs)
- Europa Archiv (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Auswartige Politik,
- Pakistan Horizon (Pakistan Institute of International Affairs)
- India Quarterly (Indian Council of World Affairs)
- International Organization (World Peace Foundation, Boston)
- Journal of Peace Research (International Peace Research Institute)
All these publications, except the latter, contain articles on the economic
and political developments from a governmental or diplomatic point of view.
The UIA does not obtain or list the journals in which current research on
international NGOs is published or abstracted, unless the journal itself
proposes an exchange or supplies free copies. The main reason for
is that much of the research is published in national publications which
the UIA considers outside its chosen field.
A number of American publications which contain information on non-profit
organizations, their classification and methods of operation, etc. have
never been consulted by the UIA. These include:
- American Journal of Sociology
- Current Sociology
- Human Relations Human Organization
- Journal of Conflict Resolution
- Social Forces
- American Sociological Review
It is in these publications that the major advances in the study of
voluntary organizations are reported. Much of this information is relevant to international organizations. Valuable
material is also published in some of the accounting, public administration and psychology
which is relevant to studies of NGOs.
The disadvantage of the current policy is that the UIA does not keep in
close touch with the academic reaction to its publications and the type
of data they are starting to demand. It also prevents the UIA from
keeping in touch with authors who might publish their papers through the
UIA magazine. Finally, it does not help the UIA to increase the sophistication and depth of its own studies.
A similar policy is adopted with regard to bound volumes although when
press reviews are seen in other periodicals for a given volume, a single
attempt is made to obtain a press copy for review in the UIA's own magazine. No systematic procedure exists to ensure that ignored requests do
not prevent the UIA's purchasing the publication at a later date.
The above policies mean that bibliographical reviews appear in the magazine long after the original date of publication of the paper or volume.
This affects the quality and standing of the magazine bibliography.
Market Research and Sales Information: Sales information
is not collected systematically. Sales are deduced
from approximate stock levels but often without taking into account the
number of free or review copies. The Yearbook is the only exception to
this, but the system has only been in operation for two years and does
immediately provide any breakdown of sales to a given market. Financial
data on sales is often calculated, from the stock figures.
No method for assessing the desirability of a particular publication has
been developed. Letters are occasionally sent requesting an evaluation
a proposed publication. The UIA has not, however, attempted to identify
clearly the users of each publication and to question then on their needs
and the extent to which the currently produced material fulfils these
The UIA attitude to checking its own performances through market research
and sales information is a rather dangerous one. It would be easy for
a competitor to sound out a particular section of the market and design
a publication to suit it. This might split the UIA market. A good example
of this is the new TMIS world calendar which was based on market research.
This publication may eventually reduce the UIA calendar and bibliography
share of the USA market to a minimum.
Sales information is discussed further in a later section.
Detection of Items of Interest in Material Received:
The material received bythe UIA has to be 'scan-read' to pick out items
of interest for the above information system. The responsibility for this
procedure is constantly changing or being split up within the UIA according
to the available personnel. No stringent check is made to ensure that
all material is efficiently processed for all items of interest. This
can mean that useful items are received but not detected.
Quality of Documentation Files: An evaluation of
the international organization file quality was made in Exhibit
29. This showed that, for example, only about 25% of the current
files contained name and address information on the national members. The
historical files contained relatively little specific information on the
activities of the organization and mainly contained old correspondence
with the UIA, Yearbook proofs and odd cuttings.
There is a danger when the scan of incoming material is done by persons
responsible for the quality of particular files, that the wrong items will
be retained. Only the person responsible can know what could or should
Information for Evaluation of the UIA: The following
sources supply information of assistance in UIA selfevaluation:
- full members
- committee members
- associate members
- corresponding organizations
- corporate members
- research circles
- government circles connected with UN NGO
- other NGOs
- press reviews
- magazine subscribers
- users of other publications
- complaining letters
No effort is made to encourage reactions on the UIA programs. If reactions
are desired, they are sought from well known, respected but not necessarily
well qualified sources.
The possibility of including a suggestion form inviting reactions in
of the UIA's major publications, has been discarded. This was tried
and no replies were received, since then no further efforts have been made.
The only reactions systematically treated are the press reviews which are
filed as a basis for future review copy dispatches.
Very little reaction is obtained from full members. Occasional reactions
are obtained from committee members. No reactions are obtained from associate and corresponding members. Corporate members react in so far as
is in their interest to encourage the UIA to greater efforts on their
Since the UIA also avoids market research and sales analysis, these policies are rather dangerous ones. No information is available
to allow the
organization to check whether its policies are correct and effective,
ineffective, or positively harmful to the future of the organization. The
enthusiastic supporters of the UIA are the least qualified to comment
the value of a particular course of action. Much more critical information needs to be sought.
The principal activity of the UIA is the production of a series of publications. This is therefore an important sector of policy making. The
production of publications has been split into three different groups:
the Information Unit, responsible for all regular publications except
the magazine; the magazine; and other publications produced on
Regular Publications : Information Unit: The unit was
created in 1967 in order to group together the production of a number
of different publications based on related data. The unit now groups
the production of the Yearbook of International Organizations (every
2 years), Yearbook of Congress Proceedings (planned for every 2
years), International Congress Calendar (every year), and monthly or
quarterly supplements to these publications which are published in the
monthly magazine International Associations.
Each of the above publications has been considered in Exhibit
following favourable points emerge from this evaluation and general consideration of the unit:
The unit performs a considerable amount of extremely useful documentary
work with the aid of only a very small staff which is at times reduced
to the one key person responsible for the unit. In a comnercially
run organization, the work done by the editor of the Yearbook, who is in
charge of the Information Unit, would probably be performed
by three people.
- The publications produced each cover complementary areas of the
documentary field for which the UIA has made itself responsible.
- The principal publications remain, despite the competition, the
only broad based documentation on international organizations.
Unfavourable points which emerge from the evaluation are:
1. Lack of control. As a
result of the lack of control brought out
in the previous, section on the information collection system, it
is not possible to ensure that each publication contains the right
quantity or quality of information in terns of user requirements.
The quality cannot be controlled because the UIA only includes what
it gets and does not make, or cannot make, extensive efforts to improve
the quality of individual entries. This applies particularly to the
Yearbook of International Organizations. Similar remarks apply to
the coverage or quantity of information listed. No means of judging
the completion of a particular survey is incorporated into the system.
This is apparently not a critical factor within the organization because
of the uniqueness of its docu --
mentation. Little attention is paid to the competition and therefore
the UIA can assume that what it receives gives fairly complete coverage.
Efforts are not always made to increase the amount of information
within the Yearbook entries even when such information is available
within the UIA. The reasons this is not done are the time required to
pick out items of information listed in other files, the cost of
modifying existing composed text, and the increase in the number of
2. Criteria. The criteria for inclusion or exclusion of a particular
item of information for agiven publication are not stated in the publication,
nor are they anywhere on paper. This has meant that over a period of time,
there has been a slight drift in some criteria, particularly in the calendar.
One study based on UIA date has had to report inconsistency between data
from two years of meetings. Another study was, however, allowed to use the
data without the qualification. This sort of approach can only lead to lack
of confidence in the UIA data.
Organizations are not included in the Yearbook on the basis of their
importance or effectiveness. The criteria are however used very
rigidly to exclude many borderline cases without any appropriate reference. This particularly affects organizations with 'international'
or an equivalent terra in the title. It also affects
national or bilateral organizations with 'international activity'. This category
is becoming increasingly important. The absence of references to organizations of both types can lead users to assume that the Yearbook
is incomplete. User's may be completely uninterested in rigid criteria,
so that this policy forces them to make use of publications that are
less selective. This remark also applies to the criteria for inclusion of meetings in the calendar. The
rigid criteria have been accepted by the United Nations and are a useful
basis for reducing the number of organizations. There is however no
reason why specially coded entries should not be used for borderline
3. Organization. Production of publications is so arranged that
information available, or potentially available is not always included in
the relevant publication. It is not possible due to reduced staff to
. make extensive efforts at collecting information on the many organizations
for which insufficient data is available. Piles are maintained and the routine
permits one or two letters to be written to each organization but this is
frequently left until just before the Yearbook closes for print. Similarly,
data available in bibliographical form is
not consulted for the annual bibliography until just before the publication
closes for print, although much of the bibliographical data could have been
used to complete data supplied by the organization concerned. Such
organization data is not necessarily reliable. In
the case of the calendar, due to the way in which incoming material
is moved from department to department, there are often stray piles
which do not get processed quickly enough for the meeting data to
be included in the printed calendar. Past meetings are included
on a much slacker basis than future meetings. This means that the calendar
of past meetings is not adequately completed, although it is used for statistical
4. Initiation of search for better sources. Due to the lack of secretarial
staff, it is not possible to devote any length of time to exploring and arranging
for new sources of information.
5. Coverage. For those publications where the UIA
has no direct competitors it is not possible to judge the completeness
of the coverage. In the case of the Yearbook, there is a great difference
between the amount of information in different entries. This is not necessarily
due to a difference in importance of the organizations. An unimportant organization
may have prepared a good long entry. It may
also be due to the policy of repeatedly sending the previous year's
proof without ensuring that new information will be included. The
persons receiving such proofs are no doubt busy and disinclined to
add further information even if they understand that a proof does not
imply that it is too late to add other than minor corrections. Perhaps
specific reference should be made to what is missing. No mechanism
exists for initiating a search for missing information in an entry.
Regular Publications : Magazine: The monthly magazine
International Associations has been published since January 1949. The
magazine currently contains the following sections:
- approximately 25 pages of articles and text on various
aspects of international associations, cooperation and
general problems of NGOs
- calendar supplement (supplied by the Information Unit)
supplements to the Yearbook of International Organizations (quarterly)
- 15-20 pages of advertisements.
From the beginning of 1968, as a result of the reorganization associated
with the Information Unit, the monthly bibliography, previously published
separately, was incorporated into the magazine as asupplement.
The articles and regular features included in the magazine over the past
20 years have been indicated in Exhibit
26. The type of advertising included
in the magazine over the past 10 years is shown in Exhibit
two Exhibits are introduced to indicate the extent of any drift in magazine
policy over the years.
The magazine competition has been evaluated in Exhibit
38. The favourable
points which emerge from an evaluation are:
- This publication has been maintained on a regular basis over several
very difficult financial periods without compromising the quality which
compares favourably with many other NGO publications.
- The publication constitutes the only informal organ to all the international
NGOs to promote their awareness of their existence as a group.
- It assembles together much information that would otherwise not be
available. Statistics and articles are frequently cited in studies
- It acts as a clearing house for information from government to NGO
and vice versa and from commercial congress centre to NGO.
Unfavourable points which emerge are:
- The publication is made up of a number of sections which, although
related to an overall study of NGOs, are not all of interest to each subscriber.
For each group of subscriber, certain sections of the magazine are of little
use. This is true of many periodicals when the market is not clearly
defined. In this case, however, there is avery great difference
between librarians who must purchase the magazine for the bibliography
only and travel agents who must purchase the magazine for the calendar
The breakdown of the circulation is shown in Exhibit
22. This shows
that only 6% of the NGOs and IGOs in the Yearbook purchase the magazine.
The significance of this figure is now masked because since 1964 the magazine
has been distributed free to NGOs which were unable (or unwilling) to pay
for the subscription.
- The UIA receives no feedback, apart from advertising revenue and
total sales, on the value of the publication to each sector to which
it is sent free or sold. This means that it is impossible to determine
whether the magazine is useful to more than a few highly specialized groups,
friends of the UIA and the UIA itself (due to the advertising revenue).
Letters to the editor are not encouraged because when this has been tried,
there has been little reaction. This state of affairs is assumed to be
due to the nature of NGOs rather than a result of UIA action.
The sales and free copy data over the past 9 years is shown in Exhibit
25. The sales, advertising revenue and profitability are shown in Exhibits
31 and 32. From Exhibit
25 it is clear that the subscription circulation
has decreased about 20% over the last 10 years. In 1967 the magazine
showed a loss for the first time in recent years (Exhibit
24 shows the turnover in subscribers for a few selected countries. This
is very important because it makes clear that there is a trend towards
an increase in the number of subscribers cancelling their subscription
permanently. The Exhibit
shows that a very high proportion of those cancelling, cancel after
one year. This may be normal for the market but it does show that
something is required by subscribers that the UIA does not supply.
amount, quality and type of advertising are very strongly slanted to organizers
of and participants at international meetings in the Paris area. 84% is
in French, 72% is for France based organizations
and 32% promotes perfumes, gifts, food and entertainment (Exhibit
This policy may antagonize sections of the potential market which
are looking for a serious publication of journal quality. Some NGOs
are particularly sensitive to the implication that a publication is
being financed by commercial or government funds.
Advertisers have requested that the text and contents be modified to
make the magazine less serious and more personalized. The UIA Advertising
Manager particularly wants to include photographs and text to flatter
executives in the companies submitting the advertising. This would completely
change the tone of the magazine and make it more France/Paris oriented.
The advertising revenue would increase but this policy might further antagonize
- The magazine text is partly in French and partly in English. It
not known whether this policy is acceptable to NGO secretariats where
the language may be primarily French or English. This may antagonize
certain groups. Some NGOs avoid this problem by producing issues in
each language, others make the publication bilingual.
- Due to lack of coordination with and within the Sales Department,
it is impossible to determine whether the magazine, containing the Yearbook
supplements, is in fact received by purchasers of the Yearbook. Similarly
it is impossible to determine whether the Yearbook with addresses and
information on international organizations is received by subscribers interested
in the bibliography and calendar supplements for which the Yearbook is
a useful key. Due to these two difficulties, it is not easy to evaluate
the usefulness of the supplements and the subscribers' understanding that
the UIA has an 'information package' available.
- The UIA has a certain amount of difficulty in obtaining suitable
for inclusion in the magazine. Articles have to be requested and are
only rarely submitted spontaneously.
The UIA has succeeded in maintaining
a circulation for a specialized product by increasing the appeal of the
magazine to other sectors and relying heavily on advertising revenue. It
has not attempted to increase the appeal to a particular sector like the
NGOs by determining exactly what they want. This may not be possible because
NGO views may be too diverse as NGOs. In this case the UIA has chosen
the only possible policy to ensure the survival of the magazine as a vehicle
for data on NGOs.
The slow decrease in subscribers and the difficulty of obtaining advertising
(despite the normal practice of inflating the circulation figures to 10,00020,000),
suggests that this solution may not be successful. It is important that
a much more detailed knowledge should be obtained of
who the subscribers are and what they get out of the magazine. The UIA
might also benefit from a much clearer definition of the function of each
text part and the magazine as a whole, for the overall objectives of
the UIAapart from its importance as a source of revenue. This
particularly important as the number and quality of the competition in
the calendar, bibliography and international organization research fields
increases together with pressure from the advertisers.
Irregular Publications: These consist of the publications
forming part of the Documents and Congress Science series, together with
the Selective Bibliography and Directory of Periodicals ext. These publications
have been evaluated in Exhibit
38. They are mainly produced as a non-profit service. . It is clear
from the Exhibit that even in these fields there is a great deal of duplication
Conclusion on Publication Policy: The UIA does not make
a great deal of effort to determine whether particular publications or parts
of publicationsare of value to potential readers. The potential readership
of all the publications currently forms only a very small proportion of a
wide variety of markets. The readership should, however, have increased very
significantly over the past ten years with the marked increase in interest
in international affairs. Yet the magazine subscription sales are lower than
ten years ago and the Yearbook sales in 1956 were 60% of the current Yearbook
sales (see Exhibit
21). For Germany
and Switzerland the 1956 figures are 87% and 89% of the 1968 figures. The
unsold stocks of the irregular publications and the annual bibliographies
are fairly high. These points either represent an inadequate publication
policy or a poor sales organization, or a mixture of both.
Sales and Distribution
The Distribution Department is responsible for processing and dispatching
orders and with any follow up procedure necessary to ensure payment. It
is also responsible for mailings of regular publications. The department
is not necessarily involved in decisions on advertising and is not involved in decisions on the type of products produced. Where an advertising campaign requires use of the address plates, preparation but not
the contents may be the responsibility of the department.
There is very little feedback of information on the weeks sales by
number or value. The Secretary-General keeps track of these trends by
scanning the sales correspondence on a daily basis, but no summary totals
are produced. The department may be involved in decisions on magazine circulation
each month or on the number of a given publication to be
Results of Lack of Coordination: Because of the way
the department is controlled, it is not concerned with the increases
or decreases in sales, although superficial trends may
be evident for particular publications. The Secretary-General, who controls
the advertising campaigns, can only do so on the basis of a total sales
figure. Because of the lack of coordination, it is difficult to judge
the results of particular sales campaigns or where advertising emphasis
should be placed.
A second consequence of this lack of coordination is that it has lead
the creation of files and procedures within the department which prevent
-data on past customers from being exploited to promote future sales.
address plate is not systematically created for each customer in order
facilitate future advertising campaigns. This policy has also been adopted
for the purchasers of the Yearbook of International Organizations, which
is the major source of revenue. It is difficult to detect from the correspondence files whether a given customer is a regular one, or when he
from regular purchase of the Yearbook or other publications. One reason
for this treatment of customer data is the bias within the organization
towards dealing with international organizations only. Most customers
are national organizations and many of them are commercial bodies. They
have been given a second class status within the filing system. A second
reason is that the UIA files have been organized to deal with orders rather
than customers as a means of economizing on filing costs. This is a
economy because the system detracts from the total effort to market UIA
The department is handicapped by the complications of the address plate
system. Many distinguishing indicators have to be used, but not enough
can be used to make the system operate satisfactorily. Certain groups
of addresses have to be picked out by hand. In addition there is a
week time-lag in the process of updating or creating new address plates.
This has also meant that there are discrepancies between the address plate
system and the master copy Yearbook addresses for international organizations. This in turn leads to bad public relations because an organization may notify a change of address and the old plate is used before
the change is effected.
Lack of Stress on Links between UIA Publications:
of coordination between the Distribution Department and the Departments concerned
with the production of publications has lead to omissions which do not assist
the sales of the publications. An essential feature of the publications produced
on international organizations is that they in most cases complement one another. Supplements
to the Yearbook appear in the magazine. Supplements to the annual International
Congress Calendar also appear in the magazine. The addresses of the international
organizations mentioned in the monthly bibliography can be found in the Yearbook,
etc. If one of these publications is ordered, it should lead to sales of the
others. Each of these publications may have references to the others, but the
references are difficult to find even when they are known to be there. For example
there is no immediately apparent reference in the annual International Congress
Calendar or the Yearbook to the existence of regular supplements in the magazine.
The reason for this is partly the lack of coordination and partly the
desire to avoid implying that a particular publication is incomplete as
it stands by suggesting that supplements have to be purchased. The assumption
that the purchasers of UIA reference material wish to believe that the publications will remain up to date until the next edition needs to be tested.
This policy may be seriously affecting sales. It also prevents the
from stressing that it provides an information package covering all
aspects of international organizationshowever this information
appears in print.
Correspondence and Postal Costs: These costs form
a major item of expenditure for the organization. They
can be divided into several groups. Dispatch of publications where the
postal costs are not invoiced; dispatch of publications where
costs are invoiced; signed letter correspondence; advertising
questionnaire mailings; subscription publication mailings; miscellaneous
items; advertising and other material sent as a separate annex to a signed
Postal costs are not normally split up but are treated as a global figure.
It is therefore very difficult to determine the expenditure on advertising or dispatch of publications. This information would be valuable
as a means of checking on a particular campaign or the net profit from
the sale of a particular publication. Each advertising mailing is designed
on the basis of the postal cost per envelope. The design is however
on the materials already prepared or printed. When the basic list of publications is produced, it is not necessarily designed in terms of postal
cost. For example, if the cost of a heavier brochure is less than that
of a lighter one, this would be selected without taking into consideration the increased postal costs during the period in which the brochure
An estimate of the advertising costs can be obtained by assuming that
circular is mailed in an open envelope at an average postal charge. The
cost of regular correspondence can be estimated from the number of
signed letters sent per year. An I.B.M. study determined the average
cost of a
business letter in Belgium to be Bfrs 70. -- . At a rate
of 1000 letters
per year, and an average stamp cost of Bfrs 4.5, the total correspondence
cost is Bfrs 74,500. --
This cost can be considerably reduced by three methods. Routine inquiries on specific points can be answered on the letter itself, which
is then posted back. If the number of enclosures makes the printed
matter rate preferable, then the overtyped letter can be photocopied
and sent with the enclosures. Photocopies are classed as printed matter
in Belgium. It is possible to photocopy a "with compliments" card
with the letter. Offset or stencilled models of letters can be used as
annexes to a one line letter. A manual of model paragraphs can be built
TO and selected for particular answers.
The UIA had, up until May 1965, only three categories of membership.
These were Full or Associate individual members, and Corresponding
inte national organization members. In 1965 a fourth category of membership was approved. That is Supporting or Corporate members. These
different categories have been described earlier.
The relationship between the UIA and its members is summarized to some extent
18a. This indicates the degree of contact maintained with
members as represented by circulars sent. The attitude of the UIA towards
members is illustrated by the internal administration and organization
of membership files as indicated in the Exhibit. Each category of membership
is discussed in detail below.
The membership statistics are shown graphically in Exhibit
18. Membership statistics are not maintained by the UIA as a part of regular procedure. It is clear from this Exhibit that the exact number of Associate
and Corresponding members is not at present known.
Full Members: In November 1964, the maximum number of full
members allowed under the Constitution was increased from 100 to 250. There
are now 145. The UIA maintains contact with these organizations by means
of mimeographed letters which are sent out irregularly approximately every
6 months. The members also receive the magazine free of charge. Although
the Constitution provides for a membership fee, no such fee is charged.
The full members appear to serve four purposes for the UIA. The UIA must
possess members according to Belgian law, or else it loses its status as
currently registered. Members are periodically requested to use their influence to increase the sale of the UIA publications. It is not possible
to determine what effect, if any, they have in this direction. Members
elect the Executive Committee at periodical General Assemblies. The
election procedure is facilitated by using a postal vote. Finally, members
give status to the UIA, since they are elected or co-opted on the basis of
their activities in the field of international relations. Members rarely
supply any suggestions or articles for magazine.
It is not very clear what purpose the UIA serves for the members. In the
case of the active full members, they probably consider that they are in
some measure promoting international cooperation. The remainder must
derive all the benefit of membership from receiving the magazine free of
charge. Members are also able to receive any other UIA publications at
a discount. In December 1966, this was announced at 15%. During the
course of 1967, two full members purchased the Yearbook and received a
discount of 50%. No other full members purchased the Yearbook. As the
files are currently organized, it would be impossible for the Sales Department to know whether a given individual order was from a member, unless
so specified by the Secretary-General.
Because there is no membership commitment, it is difficult to discard those
members which are not active or interested. New members are not sought
any systematic or regular basis.
The problem faced by the Secretariat in maintaining contact with these
individuals, is that they are each active in their own area and do not
have the time to devote themselves to furthering the UIA's specific
interest. Nor do they have the time to exert any combined pressure
current policies. This function is, of course, delegated to the Executive
Executive Committee: The Executive Committee currently numbers 11 individuals
who were elected in 1966. The Committee has met approximately once per
It is difficult to arrange further meetings of the Committee because members
are so widely dispersed. It is in fact rare to have a full meeting.
The Secretary-General is in regular communication with the President and
with the Treasurer. Letters are sent to all members of the Committee
with a frequency of about one per 3 months. The Committee, of course, receives the magazine free of charge.
Associate Members: Since associate members have to renew
their membership annually by paying for a magazine subscription, it is difficult
to distinguish between those members who renew and other individuals who
renew. The last complete
was maintained in 1958-9. There were 29 paid up members and 9 receiving
the magazine free, at 1st January, 1959. There was one new member
course of 1959 and 2 in 1962, 1 in 1965. There do not appear to have been
any new members, as opposed to inquiries since that date.
l8a indicates, it is not certain who these individuals are,
although the UIA is, of course, fulfilling its commitment to them since
address plate exists.
Theoretically, the UIA maintains contact with these individuals by means
of mimeographed letters. The last such circular in September 1965 was
concerned with resubscribing to the magazine. The previous one was in
The associate members should serve two purposes for the UIA. They should
constitute a pool of individuals anxious to channel some of their ideas
through the UIA and provide a body of opinion and suggestions for new
pro. grams. They should serve as a means of making known the UIA publications
and ideas in a variety of circles and countries, particularly at the
The main purpose the UIA should serve for these members is to act as
channel for their ideas. No contact of this type is maintained. They
receive a discount of 15% on publications, although none appear to have
taken this up or to be aware of it. The Sales Department does not have a
list of these members.
New members are not sought on any systematic basis. An average of
per year wishing to become members, currently write to the UIA on their own
initiative. Of these, one may become fully paid up associate members.
This is an old category of membership which has been allowed to lapse for
lack of personnel to maintain and build up the contacts. There are
probably plenty of individuals who would wish to maintain such a contact and
this could possibly be built into some form of active student membership
which could prove a great strength to the UIA. The difficult question to
establish is what these members are wanted for and according to what
criteria they should be sought.
Corresponding Members: There are probably between 50
and 100 fully paid up genuine corresponding organizations. As Exhibit
l8a indicates it is not certain which these
members are, although the UIA is fulfilling its commitment to them since
address plates are maintained for all purchasers of the magazine. There
cannot be more than 189 such members since this represents the total
all international governmental and non-governmental organizations subscribing
to the magazine. The situation is complicated by the current
magazine distribution policy of free copies of the magazine to all international
organizations. It could therefore be considered, as with
members, that past corresponding members (who paid in earlier years)
continue to be members, despite the fact that they do not fulfil the
Constitutional requirement, namely annual payment of a subscription.
The other requirement, namely agreeing to supply the UIA with information
on their activities can be interpreted very loosely indeed. On this
basis the Secretary -- General estimated a total of about 500 corresponding
The UIA maintains contact with these organizations by means of mimeographed
letters which have been sent out irregularly. The last such letter
to have been sent in 1960. The members also receive the magazine free
charge, although this policy is changed during some months to cut down
The corresponding members appear to serve a number of purposes for the
Whether technically members or not, a pool of organizations does supply
information on the activities of international organizations in a variety
of fields. This information forms the basis for the UIA's documentary
Such organizations act as a body of opinion to stimulate the concept of the
NGO movement and its place in the development of international cooperation.
Such organizations should also act as a guide to areas in which the UIA
should concentrate its documentary or research work. Theoretically, the
organizations are supposed to be consulted regarding work to be undertaken.
The UIA appears to servo several purposes for these members. They were
originally supposed to enjoy priority in the publication of articles and
notes on their activities in the magazine, and obtain a discount of 15%.
Membership provides international organizations with a means of showing
their support for the UIA's efforts to help international NGOs and the
resolution of common problems.
It is this category of membership, combined with the current title of
UIA, which leads to confusion in the minds of organizations and individuals
coming into contact with the UIA. It is a commercial advantage to the
to gloss over the fact that these organizations are not active members of
a 'trade union' constituted by the UIA. This facilitates advertising and
contacts with the travel trade, particularly if the relationship between
the number of corresponding members and the number of international nongovernmental organizations in the Yearbook is not stressed. In other
contacts, particularly with some international non-governmental organizations,
this situation is a great disadvantage. Such organizations assume
the UIA Secretariat is constantly attempting to mobilize some form of
power base and therefore negate the value of every contact with the UIA.
(This does not include contacts with regard to entries for the Yearbook.)
'This situation has prevented the UIA from participating effectively in
any international conference of NGOs. The question is further discussed
in relation to the UIA image.
Supporting Members: This category of membership was introduced in May 1965. There are now
about 10 such members.
The supporting members appear to serve three purposes for the UIA. They
effectively block many queries requiring considerable research through
files, since only these members are entitled to such facilities. They
represent a source of funds. The commercial organizations, of which this
category is mainly composed, represent a field with which the UIA must
maintain contact, since they represent the forefront of the commerialization
of the international relations market.
The UIA serves two purposes for these members. It acts as an assembly
point for documentation on the international meetings market. It
them with a channel of communication with
Secretariats: The function of the 14 national secretariats
for the UIA is to help it
to become better informed about international organizations
activities in the country; to encourage participation of organizations
within the country in international society; and to make available
their countries the fullest and most up to date documentation on international
organizations and their activities.
Several of these voluntary secretariats are installed at world affairs
centres. The UIA is not in a position to finance these centres or their
activities on its behalf.
In 1966, the Committee recognized that, of the 14 secretariats, some
practically nothing for the UIA. It was hoped to link the work
secretariat with that of the full members to increase activity. This
has not proved successful. At present, the secretariats either do nothing at all or make use of the UIA name on the letterhead to facilitate
their own contacts with NGOs.
Conclusion on Membership: Membership is not an important
aspect of the UIA activities. This
due to the lack of personnel time, the lack of interest or suspiciousness
of potential members. Members have no part to play in UIA activities
and the UIA has difficulty in finding the right basis on which to
approach KGOs and maintain relations with them.
The UIA has attempted to raise funds by the following methods, apart
from the sale of publications: written requests to governments, commercial firms, and several foundations (in the U.S.A.); personal contacts
with Belgian government departments and private individuals (through
"Amis Beiges de la Cooperation Internationale"); creation
of a special
membership category for commercially oriented bodies which could be persuaded to pay high subscription fees (minimum $ 100), in return
privilege of exploiting the UIA files. Fund raising blends into the efforts
to obtain contracts for specific work.
The fund raising activities are in some cases automatic. For example some
governments support the UIA on a regular basis from year to year. The
fund raising program is not usually initiated for the other categories
during the favourable financial years, when the organization can support
itself from the sale of the Yearbook. In the other years, more intensive
efforts are made.
The UIA has unfortunately not been able to devote the time and personnel
to organizing fund raising systematically. Various attempts have beermade at doing this, but they have lapsed after a few months.
There are several other difficulties. Fund raising has become specialized
and now requires personal contacts within government and foundation departments and skills in the preparation of requests adapted to each potential source of funds. These contacts must be built up and maintained
a number of years before they bear fruit. Because UIA planning is on a
short term basis, it has not been able to prepare for the financial problems
of two and four years ahead. In addition the image of the organization
may have proved a difficulty.
In preparing requests for funds, -the UIA has in the past made the assumption that these should not be too well presented in terms of paper and
print technique used. Much use has been made of stencils and typewriters
which do not reflect the benefits available from modern office equipment.
This assumption may be a valid one. Many grant-giving bodies may not
consider that an organization with modern equipment warrants financial
support. This assumption may however only be valid for grant-giving
todies dealing with social welfare type non-profit bodies where funds
should be channelled directly to the needy. Organizations which aim to
present an image of importance in the documentation and research field
may however be more readily accepted by their potential grant givers,
if they show through the standard of their documents evidence of past
ability to raise funds.
The UIA has not attempted to make use of professional fund raising organizations, some of which specialize in non-profit organizations of the association type. These bodies operate either on a flat-rate or commission
basis and generally guarantee a certain minimum return before they agree
to accept a client. This guarantee is based on interviews with persons
in contact with the organization. These interviews are very useful as a
means of obtaining a report on the image of the organization. They
anglo-saxon institution and do not operate successfully within the continent of Europe. The campaign which is eventually designed and approved
may make use of any of the media (press, radio, advertising, direct mail,
etc.) or a combination of these.
A much more coordinated fund raising activity is required. This should
be conducted by personal contact where possible and with carefully designed
requests. There are a number of contacts within Belgium which the UIA has
not been able to find the time to develop.
The UIA files information and documents which have been used for the preparation of the regular publications. The organization has publicised
itself as a documentation centre to which people can come to undertake
research into different aspects of international organization.
No systematic count of the number of people coming for this purpose is
kept. A superficial estimate is about 1-4 per month. This increases
when the local university sets papers which require the sort of information available at the UIA. These people are considered to be somewhat
of a nuisance since they waste the time of the staff and are not engaged
in serious work. Some sections of the meeting report library cannot
in a suitable state of order to recommend themselves to inquirers. No
systematic indexes are available to physical volumes in the meeting report
or general library. The quality of the information in the organization
files was mentioned in an earlier section.
The number of incoming queries and the lack of funds make it difficult to
make the study centre an important part of UIA functions.
The UIA placed great emphasis on its status as a service centre for international organizations in the early 1950s. The two words in fact formed
a sub-title to the name of the organization. The current service centre
activities can be divided into four groups. These are advice to international organizations on legal matters (free of charge), answers to
general queries on other organizations (free of charge), publishing or
sales agent for five international organizations (commission basis), secretariat for three international organizations (generally free of charge).
The demands of other parts of the UIA program have prevented the organization from developing this program. The answers to queries are processed
as quickly as possible, but this involves much effort for little direct return, despite the fact that the answers may be directly instrumental to
facilitating the creation of international links. The answering service
could perhaps be made less of burden to the organization if individual
letters were avoided and the answers were supplied on standard
The various sections of the form would constitute a form of indirect publicity
for the spectrum of UIA documentary activities. The publishing service
is recognized to be a potentially important source of revenue. Many
organizations do not have the possibility of creating adequate services
to publish their congress reports or monographs. This
could be made to tie in with a sales agency for congress reports in general.
Many bookshops and libraries' write in (about one per week) requesting
that the UIA arrange for them to receive a congress report or other publication
on international organization. The UIA cannot handle these
at the moment and they are simply filed. The difficulty in following
through this program is that the organization does not have the staff or
the funds to launch the scheme. Attempts have been made to employ a
commercially oriented sales manager but these have not been successful.
Within the UIA 'research' is defined loosely to cover any activity which
involves a search through files or a questionnaire sent for survey purposes to any group of organizations, and the analysis of the results.
The UIA does very little creative research in the academic sense. No
attempt is made to formulate hypotheses and test them systematically in
order to bring out significant new. details on NGOs or other aspects of
the international system. The UIA does however publish articles by
outside authors, mainly of a descriptive nature, which do border on the
more fundamental type of research. These are restricted to political
science and legalistic investigations of NGOs. No articles have been included on the social science, management, psychological, or interdisciplinary studies relevant to NGOs. The UIA has not been influenced by these
tendencies in its own research program. Any articles of this type forwarded to the UIA by the authors are only scanned to check what UIA publications are cited.
The file searches and surveys result in descriptive analyses which are
published in the magazine. These are very frequently cited by authors
of papers and books on NGOs. The UIA has built up a reputation as the
unofficial register of statistics on international governmental and nongovernmental organization. The descriptive analyses on voting, finance,
budgets, etc. are also cited. Due to the lack of time and personnel and
funds, it is not possible to fully analyse the data on file on a regular
Research does not form an important part of the UIA activities. There is
no regular research program. Occasional contract work is undertaken. A
survey will be undertaken without a contract, if a subject within the UIA's
field becomes of current interest.
There is no provision in the budget for research activity. No
research plan exists to give continuity to the intermittent investigations
of a series of topics on which files are maintained.
Research Topic Files: Information collected on topics
of interest is filed in approximately 117 dossiers. No list of the titles
of these is maintained. A number have been duplicated and many are not
of current interest. 51% contained
no material later than 1965 and only 32$ contained material from the year
prior to the survey (see Exhibit
Advertising Activities and Publications
The following forms of advertising have been used:
- mailings of stencilled or printed literature using UIA
- mailings of stencilled or printed literature using outside
- advertising in periodicals
- indirect advertising via agents
- mailings of stencilled or printed literature using typed
- indirect by obtaining reviews of publications
- indirect by obtaining listing of publications in accessions
lists or bibliographies
- ensuring acknowledgement of source when permission is given
for use of a portion of meetings in specialist calendars'
- with invoices
- indirect by quotations in research literature
Major advertising effort is timed to coincide with publication of the Yearbook of International Organizations (every 2 years) or resubscription to
the magazine and the International Congress Calendar (every year).
Other campaigns are conducted throughout the year, particularly when
minor publications are produced or when new addresses become available.
Mailings: Each individual campaign is planned to the extent
that only circulars and printed material on items susceptible to interest
the particular group of addresses is included. No attempt is made
to balance the advertising effort according to the size of the market segment
involved. Thus a group which purchases a small proportion of UIA publications
may receive more advertising than a group which receives a larger proportion
of UIA publications. No attempt is made to record the campaigns conducted
to each group or the expense.
It is not considered possible to evaluate the efficiency of individual
campaigns. The main reason for this is that many groups receiving advertising may purchase individual publications via a bookshop and not
use any order slip that may have been included in the campaign literature. In general, very few order slips are returned to the UIA. No attempt has been made to graph orders over a period before and after
a campaign. Another technique is to use a different department name
as part of the UIA address for each advertising campaign (Department
OL/1, NL/2, etc.). Any orders via bookshops will use the department
name. In this way, the response to a particular campaign can be assessed.
The last campaign for the Yearbook was conducted through an agency for
the first time. Of 15,000 printed brochures sent out using direct mail
addresses, only 9 order forms were returned. No definite conclusions
can be drawn from this, since the Yearbook sales showed the usual increase over the previous year (see Exhibit
21a). A similar count is
not made of other advertising campaigns conducted by the UIA, but the
proportion of returns is not much higher.
Mailing Campaign Weaknesses: There are several weaknesses
in the conduct of advertising campaigns.
- Firstly, there is the lack of control on results.
- Secondly, advertising is mainly conducted in the financially bad years.
- Thirdly, nearly
all the advertising material is designed by the UIA. This means that
the advertising texts are not professional texts nor is the layout up
to the standard of that of similar publications. Much use is made of
relatively poor quality stencils. The argument used is that potential
buyers will bemore impressed by the detailed information on the contents
than by the form in which it is displayed. Also that stencils give an
impression of genuineness, as opposed to the slick presentation of professional
publications. This assumption needs to be investigated.
- Fourthly, mailing addresses selected from lists in publications reaching
the UIA are typed once onto the envelope without making any attempt to
keep a copy for repeated use. This means that a considerable proportion
of advertising expense arises from envelope typing. This can be
avoided by photocopying addresses onto gummed perforated paper. Where
the original lists are in a convenient form these can be photocopied onto
the same paper to avoid the intermediate typing stage all together.
- Fifth, a considerable expense is that of postage. The cost of printing
a given brochure on more expensive, lighter paper is not weighed against
the increased cost of postage of a cheaper brochure on heavier paper.
- Sixth, advantage is not currently taken of the addresses of past
buyers of publications. In some cases an address plate is made out
when a firm order is received for later use in advertising campaigns,
but in the majority of cases this is not done. The correspondence is
filed away and the address is never used. Since these addresses
represent organi2ations already convinced of the value of one or more UIA
publications, it seems to be essential that they should be exploited
for advertising on other publications and for future editions of the
- Seventh, much of the advertising appears to have been designed as though
the NGOs were in fact the principal market for publications. They are very
frequently circularized, using the same envelopes, for demands for Yearbook
or calendar information, advertising of different publications, questionnaires
for different surveys, etc. When the addresses are sold to other organizations,
these NGOs receive different envelopes but with the same address plate
Many of these organizations have been receiving such missives for a
number of years. There seems to be a strong possibility that this market
may have built up a considerable resistance to purchasing UIA publications.
This question is discussed below.
Press or Review Copy Advertising: This is one of the principal
forms of advertising used by the UIA. A card file is maintained on periodicals
to which publications have been sent and the number of lines of review. On
this basis the periodical is
evaluated for subsequent publications.
Efforts are made to update the list of periodicals but it is difficult
to determine, whether this form of advertising achieves a good coverage
of the actual purchasing market.
Accessions Lists and Book Lists: This form of free advertising
is not effectively used. It is a valuable
means of bringing publications to the attention of a wide circle interested
in international material. There are only about 15 20 such lists.
Reference Books: A number of reference books exist in which
the UIA or its publications could be listed. No effort is made to actively
seek out such books and . ensure that appropriate entries are included and
updated from edition to edition.
Citation Advertising: The citation of UIA studies or publications
in other studies is an important means of stimulating orders. This does currently lead to
sales but this could be stimulated by designing studies to result in citations. An example is the inclusion of the study on multinational commercial organizations, an important current topic, in the 12th edition
of the Yearbook. This should lead to extensive reviews in periodicals
which would not normally be interested in the Yearbook.
Advertising Difficulties: One major reason for the haphazard
approach to advertising is that the UIA has been unable to obtain a suitable
person to fill the post of 'public relations cum sales manager'. As a result,
the sales department has become a distribution department only and advertising
has had to be taken over by the Secretary-General. This means that no concentrated
long -- term effort has been made to make the UIA and its publications
A second difficulty is the image of the UIA as seen by the potential
purchasers of publications and by those with whom the UIA could collaborate.
The latter group help to build the reputation of the organization and thus
stimulate sales. The question of image is discussed in the next
UIA Image and External Relations
The UIA is in contact with four main groups: other NGOs, IGO circles
. interested in NGOs, congress organization and commercial travel groups,
and libraries and university research centres. Each of these groups
makes different demands on the UIA and to maintain its position, the
UIA must cultivate a different image, or impression of itself, to each
of them as to what it is and does.
: To other NGOs the UIA has to convey the impression of
not wishing to interfere or be involved in their affairs. It has to maintain
contact with these organizations and document their activities and suggest solutions
to their common problems. At all costs, it must avoid any implication that it
is a 'union' of NGOs, as it was when first created, and as its name so explicitly
implies. It also has to stress that it is
NGO like other NGOs to avoid the suggestion that it is a profit-making
There is no definite information available as to how well the UIA has
succeeded in conveying its neutrality and lack of desire to 'organize'
other NGOs. When represented at conferences of NGOs, it has had some
difficulty in putting forward suggestions for projects, because other
NGOs have feared that the UIA was power-hungry. It is also a fact
the UIA only rarely cooperates with other NGOs on any project. It is
clear whether this is by choice, namely that it does not wish to be involved with individual NGOs, or whether other NGOs prefer to be more
closely associated with more conventional membership organizations.
Fundamental to all UIA activities in connection with NGOs and their problems
±8 the assumption that these bodies want help and advice
and are willing
to receive these from the UIA. This assumption needs testing since
the requests for advice from a few organizations may obscure a general
hostility to outside advice and interference in their affairs.
The UIA objectives make it difficult for it to select any suitable
program of cooperation which does not centre on the UIA's mechanism for
centralizing, processing and publishing information. This centralizing
procedure automatically brings to mind its negative image as a 'union'.
The lack of cooperation may also be ageneral phenomenon amongst NGOs
except on the most inocuous programs for the exchange of information and
alignment of programs.
There is a tendency for the UIA to make use of its 'union' image with
some new international organizations which are anxious to cooperate with
any other organization. These organizations benefit from the experience
at the UIA.
There is no definite information on how much effect the UIA circulars
have on NGOs. These, together with the magazine and occasional letters,
are the only regular contact. It is possible that many NGOs have
saturation point. The fact that some of these circulars are IGO initiated questionnaires which are channeled through the UIA, may again
bring to mind the negative 'union' image.
A detailed investigation by an independent reporter on NGOs attitude toward the UIA would be of considerable use as a guide to future policy,
particularly since the UIA work is primarily for their benefit and yet
few of them appear to purchase its publications. This would need
be related to an investigation on how many such organizations consider
they are or want to be part of a general class known as NGOs having common problems.
IGOs: The UIA has been able to develop fairly successful contacts with
some IGOs. The Yearbook is officially endorsed by the United Nations, a
regular correspondence with the New York and Geneva Headquarters is maintained.
FAO projects on NGOs are regularly handled by the UIA. With these organizations
the UIA is concerned to maintain the image of being a useful source of documentation
on NGOs as well as being, through its mailing list, a useful means of contacting
these bodies. Aside from the purely documentary side, the UIA is also occasionally
asked for comments on NGO attitudes by the NGO Department of these bodies.
In order to succeed in this relationship, the UIA has to imply that it
is in constant contact with NCOs, not only from the purely documentary
point of view, but also as receiving a representative number of reactions
on their attitudes, particularly from its Corresponding Member Organisations. It
must therefore attempt to some degree to represent NGOs
to IGOs and vice versa through questionnaires. This procedure again
recalls the 'union' image, which is useful in this context.
Libraries and University Research Centres: A large proportion
of the publications are sold to these bodies. From the documentary point
of view the UIA must therefore convey the image of being an expert in
the field of assembling documentation from NGOs. This has presumably
succeeded satisfactorily since UIA publications are quoted extensively
in any papers on NGOs.
The UIA also makes the claim to possess considerable material on file
on each organization. It was originally hoped that people would come
to the UIA to do further research on NGOs. A regular stream of academics visits the organization but from the relative lack of follow up
it is not clear whether the reality of the secretariat conflicted with
the image conveyed via the publications or whether academics do not in
general maintain regular contact with institutes like the UIA.
Congress Organizations and Travel Groups: These groups
make use of UIA published data on international meetings, as well as consulting
the UIA on contacts with NGOs. The UIA has
attempted to develop its image of expertise in the organization of international
congresses through its series of publications on 'congress science' and
its four congresses on international congress organization. The latter
are intended to bring together NGOs organizing meetings, travel, airline,
professional, governmental or commercial bodies concerned with congress
centres or organizing congresses.
In this field, the UIA is therefore concerned to convey the image
NGOs of giving them the opportunity to improve their meetings at reduced
costs namely solving a common problem aided by the UIA. To the commercial and other bodies, the UIA attempts to act as the centre or meeting
point for the various interests involved. It is also convenient not
stress too specifically the non'union' nature of the organization.
Secretariat, Publication and Advertising Quality: A constant
stream of visitors pass through the Secretariat. The impressionof these people are extremely important as word-of-mouth advertising for
the UIA and its publications. The building has however only recently
partially decorated and still gives a very musty 19th century impression.
Much of the furniture and equipment is second hand and dilapidated. The
inadequate floor covering, general amenities, and the many collections of
exposed files and reports which gather a lot of dust, do not make a good
impression. They may strongly convey an image of inefficiency, ineffectiveness
and outmoded methods.
The UIA adopts a similar policy with its advertising literature. Poor
quality stencils are used where offset is employed by other organizations.
A pre-war style photograph is used on the list of publications. The
relies on the quality of the information in its reference works, but produces an inferior quality cover for its major income generating publication, namely the Yearbook. This can only damage the image and reputation
of the organization when competitors use more modern materials.
The assumption made by the UIA is that other organizations and visitors
(particularly from grant -- giving organizations) will appreciate the
of economy. It is hoped that an image of a struggling underdeveloped
organization producing high quality publications will be conveyed.
Since most of the UIA visitors are not from NGOs but are executives and
academics used to modern buildings (particularly those from the U.S.A.),
this assumption could be very damaging to potential income. Although many
other small Brussels offices have a similar dilapidated atmosphere, the contrast to important visitors from large modern organizations must be very
marked. They may assume that their funds would not be properly utilized.
This assumption therefore needs testing. If proved inadequate, a small
investment in superficial improvements could quickly convey an atmosphere
of efficiency which would not discourage grant-giving bodies.
As with commercial organizations, the UIA is forced to appear differently
to different groups in order to maintain its activity with each group.
The problem isthat with some groups the UIA can usefully stress its 'union'
image and with NGOs this must be avoided. There is therefore a basic inconsistency between its image in one case and that in the others. This
would be fairly satisfactory provided there was no overlap between the
groups and provided that the UIA had very specific program objectives
which were not blurred by the necessity to maintain conflicting relationships with each of these groups. In other words, if the UIA had a consistent self-image and set of objectives, it could balance its programs
and decision-making with respect to each of these groups. At present,
it must alternatively deny or imply that it is a union or federation of
NGOs. This confusion is stimulated by the name of the organization.
Name of Organization: There has been a continuing discussion
or. the name of the organization for a number of years. In the early 1950's,
stress was placed on the title 'Service Centre' for NGOs, but this has since
been dropped. No satisfactory alternative has been produced. Further serious
consideration does appear to be necessary in conjunction with a more detailed
specification of objectives in order to make the organization more acceptable
to other NGOs and to give it aforward looking, cooperative image and reputation.
The current title has connotations which are more appropriate to the prewar
mode of thought, before people had become sceptical and suspicious of organizations
which explicitly claimed some form of universality. It may also bring to
mind the United Nations Organization. Linking the
may make the UIA appear presumptuous. In the terminology of the communications media, the title would be described as "hot", namely as
critical objective interest and perhaps even hostility. What the organization requires is a title which is "cool",
namely one which invites participative interest and acceptance (McLuhan,
In effect this corresponds to the distinction between forcefully putting over the intentions of
the organization, and putting the intentions over in a more subtle manner.
In the first section of this Appendix, the value of the term 'world' as
opposed to 'international' was discussed. The latter was shown to be
limiting in an ambiguous manner. 'World' is, however, difficult to use
in a title because it implies only world, if used as World Associations
(Centre, etc.). This title is also rather "hot" as it could imply
the organization represented these bodies. 'Associations' is a difficult
word because it excludes governmental and commercial organizations, which
the UIA also documents, together with some NGOs. Finally, it is difficult
to decide whether the organization should be an 'Organization', 'Centre',
'Association', 'Group', 'Study Centre', etc. Each of these terms has
disadvantages. An additional complication arises when the title is trans.lated into French. The advantage of the English title is that it places
the important keyword first, namely 'World' or 'International'. The French
title places an ambiguous word such as 'Centre' or 'Group' first
the organization in indexes amongst national bodies with the same first
title word. This will, of course, depend on the classification system
used in libraries, but it is an advantage for the organization to have an
'international' keyword to guide people to the field of interest of the
A possible approach would be to compose an artificial name which would
imply the organization's interests without too clearly specifying their
nature. Examples might be 'Interlink', 'Intergroup', 'Intersystem', etc.
This could be combined with 'Centre', 'Group', 'Organizations', etc.
Most libraries use some form of keyword which would automatically have
to pick out the field of interest of international organizations with an
Conclusion on Marketing Activities
The UIA is not sufficiently well
organized to beable to detect what the purchasers and readers of its publications
and potential members want. Nor is it organized to seek out and contact new
markets and sources of support. To some extent this is because it is assumed
that people and organizations interested in the highly specialized material
the UIA offers will have the energy and determination to seek out the UIA. Partly
is also that the UIA has defined for itself the mission of educating the
organizations it currently contacts. Low response and slow increases
sales can then be explained as due to the slow speed of the educative
process rather than any defects in UIA operations.
The organization has succeeded and performed a useful service where
many commercial organizations would have had to be disbanded. With the
increase in commercial activity in the international organization field,
the UIA may be forced either to commercialize itself or to specialize
into a worthwhile non -- commercial field. The choice facing the
typified by the magazine editorial policy problems.
II: SUPPORTING ACTIVITIES
In the last section, the marketing activities of the UIA were analysed
as part of the general analysis of the internal organization and activities. In this section the supporting activities, departments and
policies are considered.
Finance and Accounting Policy
In 1948 the UIA was reactivated with a capital of Bfrs 500,000 which
a legacy from one of its original founders. Since that date it has
entirely dependent on sales of publications, grants or contracts, government subsidies and membership fees, in one form or another (see Exhibit
31 and 32).
The balance sheets prepared bythe UIA are listed together for comparative
purposes in Exhibit
30. The cover the period 1955 to 1967, the end of the
financial year coinciding with the end of the calendar year. The balance
sheets do not give avery clear picture of the situation of the organization.
There are several reasons for this.
Accounting methods have not yet been finally standardized for non-profit
organizations even within the accounting profession. The result is
the meaning of 'capital', for example, is somewhat fluid. The UIA is
forced into producing a well -- ordered balance sheet since this is not
required by the Belgian Government, because of the non-profit tax status.
Over the period indicated in the Exhibit, at least three different methods
of treating individual elements of the balance sheet can be distinguished.
This makes comparison from year to year difficult.
Opinion in Belgium and on the continent in general has not been strongly
in favour of making the balance sheet public as evidence of the progress
of the organization concerned. The form finally made available is therefore somewhat disguised, which, together with the difference in treatment
from American and English methods, makes it difficult to understand what
has been achieved over a period.
The UIA has not made systematic use of normal double entry book-keeping.
Up until December 1965, the organization was run strictly on a cash basis.
The principal effect of this on the balance sheet is that prior to 1966
the figure for debtors is not a true figure. On March 31, 1961, for
example, Bfrs 550,000 invoices were outstanding and not shown on the balance
sheet. A publication was not considered sold until the money was received.
Thismeant that there was a time-lag between registering publication costs
and creditors, which were treated in the normal manner, and the income
from the sale of the publications. In practice this posed no problem,
since there was always a constant inflow of cash, but it does not make
the balance sheet useful as an aid to evaluating the health of the organization.
The situation has been further complicated because from 1959 onwards no
attempt has been made to value the stock of publications unsold. This
means that creditors will be indicated for the cost of producing such
publications, but no assets are shown to reflect the result of this expenditure. This gives the impression that the organization has produced
nothing for a large expenditure.
A number of other items make useful comparison of the balance sheets very
difficult. The figure for capital which is supposed to reflect furniture,
library and equipment is not a realistic one as can be seen by the changes
from year to year. No attempt has been made to depreciate the assets.
Revaluations of currencies are not always clearly distinguished within
the balance sheet. The figure for debtors, even under the current
bears no indication of any write-off of bad debts. In 1961 this was
to be about 10% of the invoices outstanding. Under the current system,
advertising invoices are treated in the same way as publications, but
the commission payable on receipt of the amount due is not provided for
in the balance sheet. In effect advertising commissions are dealt with
on the same cash basis as were the invoices prior to 1966. These commissions represented 50% of the advertising income in 1966, namely about
Bfrs 250,000. This system does not give a true picture of amounts due
at the end of each year, but has the advantage that these sums do not
become due unless the advertising invoice is paid. A more serious disadvantage of not including provisions for future payments on the balance
sheet is that the organization may not be financially prepared for them
when they fall due as was recently the case with a contractual obligation.
The cumulative profit or loss is carried forward from year to year. This
isthe only element which can be followed through from year to year in
conjunction with the comparative income statements (see Exhibit
profit or loss as disclosed by the income statement is a net figure
which includes both real operating losses (which cannot be detected),
and apparent losses due to the time-lag between taking production costs
onto the books and receiving payment. The effect of the latter should
balance out over a number of years, but it is nevertheless impossible to
determine the amount of profit made in a given period.
This cumulative figure, as a liability, is the trade credit controlled
by the organization. The corresponding asset figure can be corrected
to indicate debtors in the normal sense of the term, although this has
not been done prior to 1966. This debtors figure is in fact tied up
with the value of the stock of publications not taken onto the books.
In effect the corrected debtors term may be considered as publications
which are still 'in stock' up until payment is received. The transaction
is considered complete at a different point. This choice has been
considerable disadvantage to the UIA since it always gives a delayed
Income Statement: The income statement is shown in Exhibit
31 for the period 1955 to 1967.
Publications have been grouped together in this Exhibit but are shown
separately in Exhibit 32. As with the balance sheets, it is difficult
to follow through different elements from year to year. It is not quite
certain whether a given amount would be considered under the same heading
from year to year. Thus in 1956, for example, no distribution costs are
The most significant item in the comparison of the income statements is
the cycle in net profits. This seems up to 1965 to have consisted of
two profitable or nearly profitable years followed by two years of losses.
This cycle is due to the publication of the Yearbook every two years.
The Yearbook is published in the December-January period depending on
the speed of production. The exact date of publication may have a marked
effect on the end of year financial picture. It can also disguise
typically very difficult cash position just prior to publication of the
According to the two statements, up until December 1965 the UIA made a
cumulative profit of Bfrs 109,000. It is not possible to state, as with
profit-making organizations, whether this is good or bad, since the organization is not intent on making a profit, but merely in obtaining sufficient funds to continue its programs. The breakdown of the publications
sales, which are the profitable section of the organizations operations
can however be examined more critically.
Publication Sales and Profitability: The sales of different
groups of publications, their publication and distribution costs, and the
resultant gross profit are shown in Exhibit
for the period 1956 to 1967. The sales figures do not include contracts
and for this reason the bibliography figures show a commercial loss which
is largely met under contracts.
From the Exhibit it is clear that the sales of the Yearbook and magazine
have resulted in an overall profit for publication sales, except for 1962
and 1964. The remaining groups of publications have shown either a slight
profit or loss.
33 shows income and expenditure items as a percentage of total income and expenditure. Publication sales and contracts formed 89.6 of total
income in 1967 as compared to 71-4% in 1958. During this period costs
publications (excluding administrative overheads) increased from 57-7% to
The gross and net profit (or loss) have been calculated as a percentage
of sales and total income respectively in Exhibit
33. These figures
reflect the cyclical nature of UIA operations although the net profit percentage has improved in recent years.
The comparison between the income statements in Exhibit
31 shows that between 1957 and 1967 the distribution costs as a percentage of sales decreased from 9-4% to 6.5%. During the same period, production costs
a percentage of sales decreased from 80.7% to 56.2%. The reduction
the production cost percentage is largely due to the low editorial costs
and the increase in the Yearbook price. The reduction of the distribution
cost percentage may indicate that insufficient funds are being allocated
Present Position: With the change in the accounting methods
regarding debtors the balance sheet for 1966 and 1967 shows a much more
healthy picture on the assets side. There has however been a marked increase
in creditors. This
change in policy does not affect the tight cash position in the months
just prior to publication of the Yearbook. In 1968, for the first time,
a loan of Bfrs 300,000 had to be negotiated against the personal signature
of the Secretary-General.
One reason for the cash position is the rate at which invoices are paid.
The UIA requests payment in 60 days, but in December 1967 49% of the publication debtors and 41% of the advertising debtors had invoices dated
prior to October. This represents Bfrs 560,000. An important difficulty in collecting amounts due is that the publications take a long
time to reach their destination and the UIA is not in a strong position to threaten bad payers overseas. The rate of payment could however be improved (20% of debtors are over nine months old). A step in
this direction would be to indicate clearly on the invoice when the
amount falls due. Discounts for early payment should also be stated on
The UIA is fortunate that it can stretch its creditors, particularly printers, up to five months or more. Some printers' bills payable date back
over two years or more.
Conclusions on Finance and Accounting: The attitude towards
the balance sheet is that it is something that must be produced for the
benefit of members but that it is of little use in the management of the
organization. The organization therefore loses the possibility of being
able to detect and plan for critical periods by comparison between balance
sheets over a period of years. Much more attention needs to be given to
procedures for obtaining reliable cost and sales information on different
groups of publications. These can be an aid to control of the organization
irrespective of whether they are all made available to members. The
lack of an adequate system of costing hasmeant that the financial success
or failure of a particular publication or group of publications is not always
clear. The sales and profitability of some publications are calculated on
the basis of stock and selling price figures often without allowing for
the number of press copies distributed, the distribution costs, and discounts.
Discounts to the London business secretariat are treated as "national
example. No attempt is made to allocate administrative overheads to particular
publication groups to check their net profitability.
The procedure for collecting amounts due needs to be re-examined. The UIA
could probably dampen the financial cycle. ' The publication of the new
Yearbook of International Congress Proceedings at the same time as the
other Yearbook will tend to exaggerate the cyclic effect. It would
useful to move its publication date into the second year.
The monthly cash situation would be much more reliable as a guide to the
health of the UIA if figures for each month were combined together into
aprojected cash flow sheet for the future twelve-month period. This
would show the projected revenue and expenditure month by month. It
would give some warning of critical periods. It would also allow the
UIA to check the monthly situation against the budgeted situation.
The UIA might be able to benefit from the work currently being done
accounting problems of non-profit organizations and the special techniques
required (see bibliography). A special study in the U.S.A. resulted in
recommendations on standards for balance sheets and income statements for
for non-profit voluntary organizations. Copies of the statements are
given as Exhibit
34 and 34a. Such standardized accounting statements
be used as a means for developing ratio-analysis of the items in the statements as a guide to the management of non-profit organizations (see Exhibit
Office Conditions and Equipment
Office Conditions: The organization is housed in a very
adequate 19th century building on a 3-6-9 formula lease. The house
is being leased whilst awaiting the increase in property values in what
is relatively expensive area. The building has been redecorated bythe owner
and the UIA jointly. Central heating was installed at the same-time.
Although the conditions are fairly satisfactory for the Brussels area,
no attempt has been made to modernize the washroom facilities and cover
the floors. This means that the general impression is one of bare boarded
offices filled with a variety of second-hand desks and no modern filing
cabinets or storage equipment. Because of the lack of adequate filing
facilities and the exposed piles of documents, dust tends to accumulate,
giving the office a rather musty atmosphere.
Since much of the documentation is considered unique, and there is little
fire protection, this amounts to exposing ones assets dangerously. The
UIA has already had one fire in a previous premises.
These comments are relevant to the sections on personnel turnover and also
to the question of the UIA image and fund raising.
Equipment: There is a lack of adequate filing facilities
as was indicated above. Aside from the fire hazard, the current system used
does not encourage organized filing. Some of the files are difficult
to work with and dirty..
Manual type writers are used in all work. One problem in this respect is
the need to keep two sets of typewriters, with English and French keyboards.
A manual duplicator is used. The use of the manual typewriter and
duplicator results in a rather poor quality stencil which reflects on the
image of the UIA. A manual addressograph machine is used for addressing
the regular mailings. The UIA has used a Rank-Xerox photocopy machine with
The personnel of the UIA may be divided into three groups:
- executive, of which there are 3
- administration and production, of which there are 5
- secretarial and general office duties, of which there is 1
(plus 1 part-time).
The secretariat has grown from two persons in 1949 to the present staff
of 10 with 1 part-time. An organization chart is shown in Exhibit
A basic problem in obtaining staff is the necessity to have production
staff proficient in both English and French, since the majority of the
publications are produced in English or in some bilingual form. Much of
the data received is in these two languages, but an acquaintance with
Italian, Spanish, Dutch, German and Portuguese: is necessary to be able
to scan periodicals.
The executive staff, composed of the Secretary-General, Assistance Secretary-General and the Head of the Information Unit have been with the UIA
for over 15 years. One member of the secretarial staff has been with the
UIA for 4 years. The remaining personnel have been engaged during the
past two years. These details are illustrated in Exhibit
36 it can be seen that the average staff turnover is approximately 50% per year. If the executive group is excluded, this rises to
approximately 70% per year.
Reasons for High Personnel Turnover: The main reasons for
the high personnel turnover have been:
- low salaries compared with commerce
- physical working conditions not necessarily as satisfactory as
- uncertain morale
- uncertain prospects in a small organization
- arbitrary decision making, lack of working program, lack of clarity
job functions, insufficient delegation of responsibility
- disatisfaction with living conditions in Brussels (persons from
- employment only wanted for a short period
- no satisfactory system of salary increases or annual bonuses
- some documentary work very tedious (particularly calendar and
Reasons for which Personnel Remain with Organization: The
main reasons for which personnel stay with the organization are:
- 1st group: considerable dedication and interest in the
work; sense of accomplishment;
concern to maintain an important activity.
- 2nd group: convenience (not strict on holidays, days off,
etc.); pleasant atmosphere;
lack of adequate alternatives (bearing in mind part time
- 3rd group; pleasant atmosphere;
lack of adequate alternatives.
Problems in Obtaining Personnel: The UIA has considerable
difficulty in attracting and holding onto suitable staff to perform the documentary
activity. This is partly due to the lack of people with the language qualifications
prepared to work for the salaries offered, and partly because a certain
amount of interest or dedication is required to work in a small non-profit
difficult to find people who are convinced of the value of NGOs as a
field of long-term interest, and to be able to convince them of the UIA's
future in this field.
Conclusions on Personnel Policy: There is a tendency when
dealing with personnel to emphasize the non-profit 'sacrificial' aspect
of working for the UIA. The work done and the
well"being of the organization are stressed. This makes it almost
impossible for employees to request salary increases or improved working
conditions without implying some form of violation of the spirit of the
organization. The personnel are however regarded as replaceable so that
the high turnover is not considered important. The policy
is to allow employees to
leave without making any serious attempt to meet their demands for better
conditions. It is easy to do this, since the employment situation
in Brussels is in the UIA's favour at the moment. By adopting this
policy personnel costs are kept low but the quality, commitment and morale
of staff remains low.
The UIA does not cultivate all the advantages normally associated with
non-profit organizations. Many commercial organizations get greater support from their personnel by a policy of encouraging participation and
constructive criticism. The UIA does not have a regular meeting of
at which this could be done.
As a result the UIA has attracted people who are initially interested but
then drop away as they recognize the considerable amount of detailed documentary work involved. A certain number of idealists fall into this category. Also attracted are people who for one reason or another cannot
obtain a position elsewhere and find it convenient to work at the UIA. A
further problem in the case of the documentary personnel of anglo-saxon
origin, is that it is difficult for them to adapt themselves, on a longterm basis, to life in Brussels. Locating personnel is not easy since
they have to be brought across to Brussels for an interview, or else they
nay have preconcieved ideas of what the organization's work involves.
This has meant that the quality and continuity of the work has been the
responsibility of the first group. The quality and volume of the documentary work, in particular, has been maintained almost entirely as a result of the efforts of the Head of the Information Unit.
The UIA has not been able to fill one important slot in an adequate manner.
This is the position of sales and publicity manager. These functions now
devolve onto three people. Although the commercial possibilities are
quite considerable, the UIA has not been able to obtain anyone for this
position despite occasional attempts. Reasons are that the type of dynamic person required would not accept the rather archaic working conditions
and budget initially available. Also, no acceptable formula for giving
him the necessary responsibility has been worked out.
Amenities and Working Conditions: The morale of the female
staff is strongly influenced by the poor amenities and general physical
condition of the offices and equipment. This is emphasized by the isolation
of individual offices. People in different departments may not see each other
for weeks. This does not help to
cultivate good team work even though individual contact may be very pleasant.
Communication with Personnel: Since much policy making
is on a short-term basis in response to immediate crises, it is not considered
important to inform personnel of current plans. There is little participation
by personnel in decisionmaking. As a result, each person is forced to restrict
his attention to his own job and may have little understanding of other
activities within, the organization. This lack of communication and
a certain amount
of secretiveness leads to a considerable number of rumours. These are
not good for the morale of the personnel and may be an important factor
in encouraging people to leave, particularly, when the rumours concern
the ability of the UIA to meet staff salary commitments.
Future Problems: A problem implicit in the current set-up
is the lack of a trained successor to a number of critical posts. Ho replacement
exists for the SecretaryGeneral who wishes to withdraw slowly from current
operations over the next five-ten years. The Assistant Secretary-General
is not available on
a full-time basis. The Head of the Information Unit is on contract
expiring on anon-renewal basis at the end of 1968.
Of the three persons taken on in order to replace the Head of the Information Unit on his departure, one left after 3 weeks, and the remainder
are leaving at the end of 1968. Of the other members of the administrative" and production group, one is retiring at the end of 1968. Two
are leaving before the end of 1968. This means that the whole of this
group may have to be replaced if the current programs are continued.
Personal Objectives of UIA Executives
In a snail organization the personal objectives and interests of the executives have a considerable influence on the activities and programs.
The executives interpret, implement and modify the objectives and activities laid down in the Constitution. This is particularly true of a nonprofit organization or one pursuing some idealistic objective.
The three executives at the UIA, namely the Secretary-General, the Assistant Secretary-General and the Head of the Information Unit (who is also
the Editor of the Yearbook) have all been intimately concerned with the
development of the organization for the past 15-20 years. The differences
in their conception of the role of the UIA, its activities, and the future
program are reflected in difficulties of decision-making and inconsistency
between parts of the program.
The Secretary-General is primarily interested in increasing the role of
the organization in international society and in ensuring that it benefits from the commercial possibilities of its specialized documentation
and contacts. The Assistant Secretary-General is primarily interested
in the services the UIA can render to NGOs and in the well-being of the
UIA. The Head of the Information Unit is mainly concerned with the improvement of the general documentation on international organizations and
their activity. The objectives of the Executive Committee members do
not lead to new programs but act more as a brake on existing activities.
The main reason for these differences is the lack of a well thought out,
mutually agreed, consistent set of objectives. These are not essential
and the organization has survived without them by relying on the discipline imposed by a regular publication program.
The importance of these objectives is that any future program must be designed to satisfy the desires of these key individuals and any future
executives. This cannot be done effectively without a mutually agreed
conception of the rolsof the UIA.