Engineered barriers to isolate potentially harmful waste
from humans and ecosystems have been used for over 35
years, and much has been written about them and their constituent
components. However, few reports have provided an
overall assessment of the performance of engineered barrier
systems. The last broad assessment was conducted in 1995
(Rumer and Mitchell, 1995). Since that time, new materials
and sensor technologies have been introduced and models to
predict contaminant transport have improved.
It is important to note, however, that no matter how or if they change,
UN agencies and other global entities can only be as useful as individual
governments allow them to be. The agencies serve the governments,
which have ultimate responsibility for overseeing service provision for
their citizens. Global partners can and should offer extensive support to
governments that show a clear interest in developing realistic policies and
programmes to reduce vertical transmission.
Qian, Roland, and Xu (2005) and Roland (2000:56-65) capture the stylized
difference of Russian and Chinese coordination in their modeling of U-form and M-form
organizations. Soviet, vertically-integrated branch divisions represented U-form
structures formed along functional lines, while in China, regionally-decentralized, M-
form structures could coordinate activities across all industries in a single region. These
decentralized arrangements reduced information costs, facilitated small-scale
experimentation, and contributed to China’s increased flexibility.