Women’s Outreach Course (WOC)UN C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations, RSC-Entebbe
UN C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations in Entebbe, Uganda
Partners: Canada, Denmark, Japan, Uganda, France, NATO
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 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 centre to UN C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations occurred at the end of 2020. It 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 civilians—who are 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 at the UN Headquarters in New York, and it is operated at the Regional Service Centre-Entebbe 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
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 meet the operational requirements of the United Nations (UN Secretariat including UN field missions and regional commissions). The initiative also reaches to UN agencies and operating partners, and to developing countries.
The UN Open GIS Initiative intends 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 to inform decision-making. This will fulfill UN core mandates that refers to or depends on the following: 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 the UN field operational environment, with findings of positive outcomes to move forward from the existing proprietary GIS platform toward the hybrid GIS platform. This is 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
MINUSMA Mission Secured Network (MMSN) in MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)
Partner: France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy
The Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands from January 2016 to February 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 February 2017. The Kingdom of the Netherlands financed the data migration to the MINUSMA Mission Secure Network (MMSN), which was 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.
Provision of Camp Protection Services in MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)
MINUSMA, Kidal camp is vulnerable to external threats such as indirect fire from such sources as mortar shelling and rockets, and Improved Explosive Devices found in the vicinity of the camp. Critical threats to personnel have also been identified, for example, magnetic mines stuck under UN vehicles.
This project, established through a Letter of Assist, aims to enhance the security and level of protection at the Kidal Camp to minimize threat exposure through the deployment and fully managed operation and maintenance of specialized equipment. This includes day/night sensors (cameras and radar), mast with two high-definition long-range cameras, cameras on a mobile mast, and ground surveillance radar.
Advanced Threat Detection and Sensor Information Fusion System Services Project in MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)
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.
Force Protection and Security Technology Services in MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic)
This project was established to address the need to have “eyes over hills” to enhance the support to the mission’s peacekeeping intelligence collection and to improve camp security for UN peacekeepers, the overall security situation, and the quality of situational awareness. 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. It comprises the deployment, operation and maintenance of several tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems that can be operated anywhere in the Area of Operations. Expertise, equipment and services are provided through a Letter of Assist (LOA) between the Government of Israel and the United Nations.
Rapid Deployment Capabilities - the Modular Command Centre Project
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 centre. MCCs are 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 it 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.
Radio Mining Project in MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)
Partners: Germany, Netherlands
United Nations peacekeeping missions increasingly need to operate in hostile environments, characterized by frequent attacks that are executed by extremists and militias. These are directed primarily at the military contingents of the Field Missions but also at the civilian population.
The project utilizes a big data analytics tool developed by UN Global Pulse. The tool is anticipated to provide additional capabilities that 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 per cent of the population in Mali uses 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 the 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 the participation of the Office of Military Affairs of DPO, MINUSMA and OICT Business Relationship Management. For 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:
MINUSCA Camp Protection Technologies Project
UNHQ Geospatial Information Services
MINUSMA Radio Mining and Data Analysis
Partner: Germany, Netherlands
MINUSMA SatCom Services
UNHQ Innovation and Protection Technologies
MINUSMA Secure Network and Camp Security Projects
Provision of German THW (Technisches Hilfswerk) ICT Expert Services at UN Mission in Colombia (UNMC)
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).
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 and Communications Technology (OICT) have carried out a wide range of technology partnerships under the umbrella of the Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping initiative.
Support 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 the Permanent Missions of Member States within the framework of UN DPO-DOS joint annual extra-budgetary fund requests.
OICT is currently seeking the support from Member States in the areas of Situational Awareness, Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT), Micro-drones and Counter-drones, Electromagnetic Spectrum Management, Telemedicine, Eco-responsibility and SMART technologies, Technology Training and Capacity Building.
For more information about the Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping initiative or partnership opportunities, please contact Programme Management at UN-PTP@un.org.