Read about Betsy Kagendo Ntongai

Betsy Kagendo Ntongai
Programme Management Officer
Information, Communication and Technology Service, United Nations Office at Geneva


What brought you to a career in technology at the United Nations?

Having grown up in a Kenyan remote village, I admired my mother's passion for working with rural women and girl child to alleviate poverty at the grassroot levels. In early 1990's she brought us UN Nairobi to recite a poem for the African child. That rekindled a flame in me. Years later, I would be a trailing spouse to an expatriate and a chance availed itself. United Nations was beckoning me. I applied for jobs, and I have had an interesting journey in United Nations of Geneva. A journey of a thousand steps.


What has been your favorite IT project at the United Nations and what was your technical contribution?

In 2017 –2019 in ICTS-UNOG, I played a key role in successfully deploying Unite Mail project, rolling out Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook to over 4200 users which replaced an IBM Lotus Notes after 20 plus years of use. Also, I designed demo apps for NewWork using PowerApps and MS Flow. UNOG had used Lotus Notes has an emailing system for over two decades and wanted to change to Microsoft outlook. I was a key focal point between Geneva and OICT to deliver the projects. Together with the project manager we worked efficiently to ensure over 4200 users email and mailboxes were migrated Ms. outlook and to office 365 suite. This project involved a lot of planning, design, development, implementation and coordinating focal points during the delivery period. I compiled training materials and ensured they were readily available on the intranet. The project was successfully completed.


What advice would you give women interested in pursuing a field in technology?

&We are natural solution providers. We should start right at home by giving our little girls opportunities to fix and repair broken stuff at home. from remotes to teaching them how to be IT savvy! We have an equal playing field in technology and the time is nigh! There are many ways to skin a cat pursue what excites you. Look for mentors and technologists and let them show our girls how we roll. We as women have to think of ways to provide solutions for the very problems they face.