Partnership Initiatives

Viable and implementable projects have been initiated since the first Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping international symposium held in 2014 in Brindisi - Italy. These initiatives range from quick-impact projects, which use available resources to achieve small-scale yet high-impact results, to strategic cooperation projects that look at leveraging Member States’ capacities, technologies and expertise to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, agility, and responsiveness of specific areas of field operations. Existing partnership relationships continue to thrive between the United Nations and Member States: Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Women’s Outreach Course (WOC) / UN C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations / RSC-Entebbe

Initiatives

UN C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations in Entebbe, Uganda

Partners: Canada, Denmark, Japan, Uganda, France, NATO

Status: Ongoing

The United Nations C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations (UNCAP) is committed to excellence in preparing peacekeepers for their roles under the UN flag. It aims at enhancing peacekeepers’ operational readiness and performance on the use of key technologies for UN Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4), Intelligence – Surveillance - Reconnaissance (ISR) and Camp Security.

UNCAP was formerly established in 2015 as the United Nations Signals Academy (UNSA) as an outcome of the first Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping symposium with the objective of addressing the identified gaps in the technological capabilities of Troop and Police Contributing Countries.

The renaming of the training center to “UN C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations” occurred end 2020 and represents the programme’s new level of ambition for UN field operations preparedness, including an enriched curriculum detailing evolving C4ISR and camp security technologies.

The overall goal of the Academy is in fact to enhance the preparedness and capabilities of military and police personnel, and now civilian as well, deployed or in pre-deployment to a UN peacekeeping environment. C4ISR and camp security technologies training on UN-owned equipment and UN standard operating procedures are standardized, mission-specific, gender-inclusive, and hands-on.

Now, in its sixth operational year, UNCAP is managed by the Office of Information and Communication Technology (OICT) at the UN Headquarters in New York, and it is operated at the Regional Service Centre-Entebbe (RSCE) in Uganda.

To learn more, visit: UN C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations.

 

UN Open GIS (Geospatial Information Systems) Initiative

Partners: Finland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, United States of America

Status: Ongoing

The UN Open GIS Initiative, established in 2016, is an ongoing partnership initiative and supported by Member States, International Organizations including UN Agencies, Academia, NGOs, and the Private Sector. The aim of UN Open GIS is the creation of an extended spatial data infrastructure by utilizing open source GIS solutions that meets the operational requirements of the United Nations (UN Secretariat including UN field missions and regional commissions), and then expands to UN agencies, UN operating partners and developing countries.

The UN Open GIS Initiative is intending to provide a sustainable hybrid GIS platform (integrating open source software GIS technology with the existing proprietary GIS platform) to effectively and efficiently support enhanced Situational Awareness and informed decision making to fulfil UN core mandates for what refers to or depends on geospatial information, the saving of lives and the support to emergency operations and the enablement of cost-effective operations.

Various open source GIS solutions have been explored/assessed in UN field operational environment and found that the outcomes are positive to move forward from the existing proprietary GIS platform toward the hybrid GIS platform particularly on mobile GIS solutions (QField, KoBoToolbox, Geopaparazzi), desktop GIS solution (QGIS), OpenDroneMap, Cloud Free Satellite Imagery and Hybrid GIS infrastructure.

To learn more, visit: https://www.un.org/geospatial/
 

Projects
 

New

           Two radar types (perimeter and C-RAM) in Kidal camp, MINUSMA

MINUSMA Mission Secured Network (MMSN) in MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)

Partner: France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy

Status: Current

The Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands from Jan 2016 to Feb 2017 provided the Threat Assessment support service – All Sources Information Fusion Unit (ASIFU) using the TITAAN secure network in MINUSMA. It was officially decommissioned on 28 Feb 2017 and the Kingdom of the Netherlands financed the data migration to the MINUSMA Mission Secure Network (MMSN), provided by the Government of France.

The MMSN provides a platform for secure network collaboration within the peacekeeping intelligence community in the mission. It is used to process, analyze and share information gathered through a wide range of sources (military intelligence, political, economic, social and others), which are collaborated to empower the mission leadership with a better understanding of the realities in the area of operations. MINUSMA utilizes this information to produce predictable and actionable intelligence in support of its activities. The expertise and network services are provided through a Letter of Assist (LOA) between the Government of France and the United Nations.

 

 

New

   Medium range Electro-optical System camera in Gao camp, MINUSMA

Advanced Threat Detection and Sensor Information Fusion System Services Project in MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabiliztion Mission in Mali)

Partners: France

Status: Current

Threat situations to mission sites can deteriorate quickly, there have been several instances of riots targeting UN personnel and premises. Sometimes, violence escalates to a point where an armed response by UN camp guard units is warranted. To assist the mission in achieving its mandate, this project aims to provide greater security and protection at the Gao Camp to reinforce existing measures. This includes the deployment and operation of a modern information fusion system with integrated day/night sensors (cameras and radar); the installation of a 45m mast for the sensors, and sensors at the Gao airport. The project has assisted the UN to learn from the technology and to develop the integrated camp security and early warning system contracts for all missions.

 

 

New

Orbiter 3 Unmanned Aerial System used in MINUSCA

Force Protection and Security Technology Services in MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) 

Partner: Israel

Status: Current

The need to have eyes over hill and to enhance the support to the mission’s peacekeeping intelligence collection, to improve camp security for UN peacekeepers, the overall security situation, and the quality of situational awareness created the need of this project. The aim is to demonstrate the impact of modern surveillance technology on the detection of asymmetric threats. The project provides threat assessment for convoy protection and other operational requirements to demonstrate the technological potential of the solution. and the project comprises of the deployment, operation and maintenance of several tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems that can be operated anywhere in the area of operations. The expertise, equipment and the services are provided through a Letter of Assist (LOA) between the Government of Israel and the United Nations.

 

New               Modular Command Centre and Modular Power Pack in Mayi Moya, MONUSCO

Rapid Deployment Capabilities - the Modular Command Centre Project

Partner: Germany

Status: Current 

The goal of a fully integrated communications network in the field has been realized through the Modular Command Centre (MCC). It is a sea container-based configuration designed by OICT to support the continuous needs of field missions for scalable, rapidly deployable and customizable mobile communications center capable of hosting the most sophisticated equipment. It was conceived to provide the necessary work environment for a command group to exercise command and control where no permanent infrastructure can be provided and to interconnect different radio systems in use by military contingents from different nations or UN Agencies into a unique band base, providing safe, reliable and effective operations. The latest generation provides interoperability between a wide range of different communication devices, such as radios, smartphones and computers, and enables a fully integrated communication network that can be controlled by an MCC operator from a comfortable room within the unit. The German Agency for Humanitarian Relief (Technisches Hilfswerk, THW), provides additional assistance in the development of processes, training and user manuals, as well as with technical upgrades of the MCC in the field. The funding for five MCCs was provided by the Federal Government of Germany. 

 

NewData scientist in Pulse Lab Kampala working on speech-to-text technologies for indigenous languages. (Credit: @UNGlobalPulse)

Radio Mining Project in MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)

Partners: Germany, Netherlands

Status: Current

United Nations peacekeeping missions increasingly need to operate in hostile environments, characterized by frequent attacks executed by extremists and militias directed primarily at military contingents of the Missions, but also at the civilian population. The project utilizes a big data analytics tool developed by UN Global Pulse, which is anticipated to provide additional capabilities, which will enable the mission to take the necessary pro-active measures for improved peacekeeping situational awareness in the United Nations’ efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As around 80% of the population in Mali is using radio as their main source for getting information, the tool will be able to stream and analyse anonymous opinions voiced on public radio programmes for greater insight. The automated speech recognition tool uses AI technology to highlight topics of interest, such as health emergencies or local disasters. Analysts can then use these data for further analysis. At this phase, the project is developing the technology and customizing tools for the user to test usability.

The UN Data Privacy and Protection Principles and the UNDG Guidance Note on Data Privacy, Protection, and Ethics guide the analysis and presentation of the results of this project.

This is a multidisciplinary project with participation of the Office of Military Affairs of DPO, MINUSMA, OICT Business Relationship Management and for the technical implementation our partner is UN Global Pulse, the UN Secretary-General’s initiative on big data and AI.

 

Provision of Experts

Depending on the nature of the Partnership project and the expertise required, participating Member States also have the opportunity for involvement by providing military, police or civilian experts with backgrounds in operations and technology to join UN project teams onsite. To date, Member States have embedded experts in these initiatives:

  • Project: MINUSCA Camp Protection Technologies Project | Partner: Israel | Status: Ongoing 
  • Project: UNHQ Geospatial Information Services | Partner: Switzerland | Status: Completed
  • Project: MINUSMA Radio Mining and Data Analysis | Partner: Germany, Netherlands | Status: Ongoing
  • Project: MINUSMA SatCom Services | Partner: Luxembourg | Status: Ongoing
  • Project: UNHQ Innovation and Protection Technologies | Partner: Canada | Status: Completed
  • Project: MINUSMA Secure Network and Camp Security Projects | Partner: France | Status: Completed

 

Provision of German THW (Technisches Hilfswerk) ICT Expert Services at UN Mission in Colombia (UNMC)

Partner: Germany

Status: Completed

Rapid ICT deployment and service provision by specialized ICT personnel from the THW agency address urgent requirements defined by the UN Mission in Colombia. (THW is a Governmental Organization in the field of civil protection that has provided technical relief in more than 130 countries and is based on the voluntary commitment of dedicated people).

 

Patnership Opportunities 

Partnerships are fundamental for Peacekeeping success. Triangular Partnerships are a particularly fruitful example of partnerships in United Nations peacekeeping. With support from several Member States, the Department of Operational Support (DOS) and the Office of Information & Communications Technology (OICT) have carried out a wide range of technology partnerships under the umbrella of the Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping initiative.

Support to the Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping initiative can take many forms, from extra-budgetary funding to in-kind contributions like provision of experts, mentors or trainers, and equipment in support of Peacekeeping technology programmes or projects.

A number of technology-related project proposals are submitted by OICT on an annual basis to all Permanent Missions of Member States to the UN in the frame of the UN DPO-DOS Joint Annual extra-budgetary fund request.

OICT is currently seeking the support from Member States in the area of Situational Awareness, GEOINT, Micro-drones & Counter-drones, Electromagnetic Spectrum Management, Telemedicine, Eco-responsibility and SMART technologies, Technology Training & Capacity Building.

 

For more information about the Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping initiative or opportunities, please contact Mr. Philippe Schifferling, Strategic Partnerships & Technology Solutions Officer and UN C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations (UNCAP) Programme Manager at schifferlingp@un.org.