The Online Reporting System (ORS), developed by UNEP-WCMC in collaboration with the Secretariat of the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), is a new electronic platform developed to transform reporting under Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs). National reports are submitted prior to each Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), which take place every three years, in order to monitor progress in implementation of the Convention. National reports to CMS COP11 will, for the first time, be submitted online through the CMS Family ORS. The national reporting form, developed by the CMS Secretariat in collaboration with UNEP-WCMC, is now available for Parties to complete prior to the submission deadline of 1 May 2014.
Online reporting is increasingly used to monitor progress in many spheres – it provides easy access to information and can provide a secure way to store data as well as being cost-effective in terms of data submission. The Online Reporting System (ORS) is a new electronic platform developed to transform reporting under Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs).
The system was developed by the AEWA Secretariat in collaboration with UNEP-WCMC. The ORS has already been used successfully to capture national report data submitted by AEWA Parties prior to MOP5. Using the ORS, the AEWA submission rate was the highest in the Agreement’s history. The ORS is also currently undergoing testing by CITES for biennial reporting. Training has been provided to the secretariats of CMS, AEWA and CITES by UNEP-WCMC.
At the international level, the ORS enables MEA secretariats to generate online questionnaires for completion by Parties. The ORS has the flexibility to enable the Secretariat to develop a range of questionnaires for national reporting and for other instances where information from Parties is needed to inform decision-making. The Secretariat can assist Parties by checking data in the ORS before the Party’s final submission. Individual Party reports may be downloaded in pdf format; alternatively, the full set of responses can be downloaded as a csv file for analysis. Using the compiled national report data, the Secretariat is able to undertake cross-Party analysis which can be used to inform Parties about progress in convention implementation and to provide the basis for decision-making on future action by the Parties.
At the Party level, the ORS enables national authorities to compile their information in one place, but also to delegate sections of the report to be completed by staff from different departments. The information from previous reporting cycles is retained in the ORS and can be updated in subsequent reporting cycles, thus improving efficiency.
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