MONUSCO/Michael Ali | Satellite Dishes mounted by the Satellite Unit at the MONUSCO UTEX Compound in Kinshasa, DRC.
Technology is key to enabling international peace operations and to supporting the implementation of mandates. In addition to providing communication capabilities, technology can be a tool for conflict prevention and management, and for increasing the safety and security of peacekeepers through enhanced situational awareness that supports more informed decision-making. Technology can also boost productivity through transactional process automation.
Field Technology Services
The local Field Technology Sections in the field missions are currently mandated to deliver quality, robust and reliable solutions and services in support of mission mandate implementation, providing and maintaining the infrastructure and service management frameworks on which these solutions and services are delivered. The Office of Information and Communications Technology Operations Support Division (OICT/OSD) builds and maintains supporting networks and delivers a broad range of technologies and enabled mission capacities: from Command and Control radio-based systems in support of safety and security and uniformed personnel; to regular voice, video and business applications, and new tools and automated processes that facilitate and inform key decision-making. Managing and delivering these operations is resource intensive but presents opportunities for both optimizing and modernizing field missions.
Peace Operations Technologies
OICT/OSD strives to become a supplier of tested technology solutions in support of peace operations. Technology-centered innovation has the potential to be a transformative force in implementing the field-based mandates of the Organisation. We are taking the lead in introducing this technology-centered-innovation approach.
Over the coming years, the relevance and impact of information, communication and other technologies on field operations will depend on two main factors: the successful optimization and maintenance of high service levels in delivering core operations and the strengthening of in-house capabilities to deliver modern technology solutions to field operations. This is a significant challenge and will require support from and collaboration with relevant UN Departments, Member States and other external entities.
OICT Operational Support is based on a service delivery model that brings together the various organisational components. These comprise the overall field technology landscape and concentrate all efforts on effective delivery to support the tactical work at the field mission level. The model consists of four distinct layers, each with clearly defined roles and responsibilities:
OICT/OSD at Headquarters provides direction and manages the implementation of policy, technology architecture, and standardization; ensures that the work is in line with the broader Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategy for the UN Secretariat; and participates fully in the governance bodies that determine the ICT direction of the Organization.
The Service for Geospatial, Information and Telecommunication Technologies (SGITT) in the United Nations Global Service Centre (GSC) in Brindisi, Italy and Valencia, Spain, manages enterprise hosting and wide area networking services. The GSC is the operational hub to support field operations. The consolidation of services for all missions creates economies of scale and improves the quality of services and products.
The Regional Technology Framework manages compliance and standardization across a diverse landscape, and supports regional mission leadership to optimize their technology investment.
In missions, the Field Technology Sections deliver ICT and other technology solutions in direct support of mandate implementation.
In the area of technology, OICT also provides enterprise services to the wider UN family where there is comparative advantage. These include data centre hosting and wide area networking services.
The two operational objectives of OICT in the area of field technology for the next three to five years are to continue to optimise current core operations as well as to strive to become the effective delivery vehicle for cross-cutting, innovative and new technology solutions in support of field mission mandate implementation.