Networking: Research and Information Exchange

The objective is to facilitate collaboration across nations and sectors, and to improve the relationship of research to policy formulation. Both objectives are rooted in the 1992 global targets (A/47/339) endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/86.

The programme on ageing is seeking to improve collaboration, which is the focus of global targets 6, 7 and 8, by expanding its Internet page for 1999, and connecting it with other related sites. This would benefit many national focal points and national committees for 1999, United Nations country offices and the five global non-governmental networks mentioned above (see paras. 25-30).

The Internet could also help to establish closer links between the United Nations and, for example, the Geneva International Network on Ageing (GINA), Generations United, the Universities of the Third Age, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and many others that have the potential to contribute to the United Nations programme on ageing.

To move towards global target No. 4, which aims to improve cross-national research on ageing, including harmonization of terminology and methodology, the programme is consulting with the American Association of Retired Persons in order to establish and maintain a database of research, policies and programmes. It is exploring with the International Association of Gerontology and other interested parties, including Governments and the private sector, the feasibility of convening a meeting on research priorities for the twenty-first century, particularly on how better to relate research to policy needs.

If developing countries are to react effectively and in time to the ageing of their populations, a new research agenda is needed, one that works within the resource limitations of countries but provides the essential information for a rapid policy response.