Read about Candace Hosang Charbonné

Candace Hosang Charbonné
Chief, Business Process Improvement Unit and Lead, Knowledge Management Team
Office of Support Operations, Department of Operational Support


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

My journey in the realm of technology started when I joined the UN in 2009. I began at the bottom of the ladder, as a General Service Staff Member at the G3 level in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Initially assigned to backstop a colleague on maternity leave in the Office of the Director, I was then asked to temporarily backstop an unforeseen vacancy on the Technology Team. I soon discovered my aptitude for knowledge management, website administration, databases and document management. Over the course of seven years with DESA, my technological skills evolved as rapidly as the field itself. I played a key role in migrating our document library from Stellent (Oracle) to SharePoint. I designed and developed the division's first intranet on SharePoint and spearheaded the launch of the and WSIS+10 websites in 2015 on DotNet technology.

Just days after launching my division's new website in the six official UN languages, in September 2016, I was notified that I had passed the Young Professionals Programme exam in Administration. Following this, I had a brief stint as a recruiter in the Department of Management from November 2016 to February 2018, after which I was recruited by the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) as a Programme Management Officer. In this role, I oversaw the Peace and Security Policy and Practice Database (PPDB) and the Guidance aspect of the Peacekeeping Resource Hub – two heavily trafficked platforms hosting peacekeeping guidance.

During my tenure in DPO, I was responsible for the migration of the PPDB from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. Additionally, I orchestrated the first of its kind redesign and launch of the PPDB on SharePoint Online, just as the Secretariat started rolling out the cloud solution. My responsibilities extended to revamping and launching the Peacekeeping Resource Hub in the six official languages, along with several other sites within the Peace and Security Pillar.

After the successful completion of the PPDB, I transitioned to the Department of Operational Support (DOS) in December 2019 to develop a SharePoint site for administrative and operational support guidance for the UN Secretariat. The project came with significant time pressure and high stakes, as it was a major commitment of the DOS Under-Secretary-General (USG) under his 2019 Compact. Coinciding with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and after an intense six-week development period, the first working prototype was presented to the USG of DOS. A mere three months later, the United Nations Knowledge Gateway was launched in April 2020.

Distinguished by its unique design and user-focused content spanning 122 thematic areas, the UN Knowledge Gateway has set the gold standard for SharePoint Online sites in the UN Secretariat. By providing easily accessible guidance, it serves as an invaluable resource for practitioners and UN personnel, aiding them in fulfilling their mandates and availing themselves of their entitlements.


What has been your favorite technology project or initiative at the United Nations and why? What was your contribution?

Undoubtedly, my favorite IT project is the United Nations Knowledge Gateway. The process involved conceptualizing the site, meticulously building it, frame by frame, over intensive four months and collaborating closely with OICT colleagues in Valencia and SME's across DOS has been a tremendously rewarding and growth-filled experience. Further, witnessing first-hand the exponential growth and impact of the Gateway has been a major highlight in my career in the tech space at the UN. Over just three short years, the content expanded from 37 themes to 122 themes, and the user base skyrocketed from zero to 52,000 UN Personnel, leading to over 1.75 million visits.


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

For women aspiring to venture into the technology field, my advice is to fearlessly dive in and seize opportunities to learn and operate in the tech space.