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POPULI. 1993 Jun; 20(6):6-7.The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) assists population programs and activities in 140 countries, with field offices in 95 countries and country directors in 59. Its staff of 801 worked last year on a budget of US $225 million. An evaluation of the Fund's operations was sponsored by the official development agencies of Canada, Finland, and Germany in 1992 and early 1993. Conclusions are based upon reviewed documents, interviews, meetings, and case studies of programs in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, and Senegal. Generally, the Fund has succeeded in establishing credibility and promoting population as a critical development issue, but its close ties and dependence upon the sanctions and participation of host governments have kept the Fund from maximizing the potential of nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and the private sector to implement projects. Projects are either supported because of government pressure or are not executed by the best executing agencies; only very limited project execution is conducted through the private sector of NGOs. The Fund should instead encourage competition among UN agencies, NGOs, and private companies interested in executing projects. The Deputy Executive Director agrees with these findings, but holds that their relationship with governments is the result of the UN requirement that the Fund work at the invitation of and through host governments. UNFPA-supported country programs have also relied too heavily on other UN agencies to execute projects which have suffered from poor project management and inadequate and/or poor technical support. Moreover, the evaluation revealed that the UNFPA is overextended and should emphasize helping countries which have already tried to move forward with their population programs. Countries should demonstrate need for assistance in addiction to the proper attitude and practices.