UNICC is pleased to announce that the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has been accepted as an UNICC Partner Organization. UNAIDS (see website) leads the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Since the first cases of HIV were reported more than 35 years ago, 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 35 million have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Since it started operations in 1996, UNAIDS has led and inspired global, regional, national and local leadership, innovation and partnership to ultimately consign HIV to history.
The UNAIDS Business Relationship Manager is Nyuta Fortuna.
UNAIDS is a problem-solver. It places people living with HIV and people affected by the virus at the decision-making table and at the centre of designing, delivering and monitoring the AIDS response. It charts paths for countries and communities to get on the Fast-Track to ending AIDS and is a bold advocate for addressing the legal and policy barriers to the AIDS response.
UNAIDS provides the strategic direction, advocacy, coordination and technical support needed to catalyse and connect leadership from governments, the private sector and communities to deliver life-saving HIV services. Without UNAIDS, there would be no strategic vision for the AIDS response.
UNAIDS is a model for United Nations reform and is the only cosponsored Joint Programme in the United Nations system. It draws on the experience and expertise of 11 United Nations system Cosponsors and is the only United Nations entity with civil society represented on its governing body.
• UN WOMEN
• The World Bank.
Joint UN system and service for digital investigative support for the UN family
UNICC has been supporting Clients and Partner Organizations in the fulfillment of their mandate for nearly 50 years. This support has included diverse workloads across the enterprise ICT landscape from client consulting services, data and analytics and information security to platform, infrastructure and software services and cloud support.
UNICC’s experience and expertise in these areas means that over the years and through the changes in digital technologies, UNICC has accumulated unique knowledge of the challenges that our Clients are facing in their delivery of ICT solutions. This includes experience and expertise in the collection of Clients’ raw data and information, its processing, safe storing, availability and presentation. And even more important is the analysis, knowledge and understanding that we can share with Clients to help them make meaningful decisions.
Digital environments, tools and solutions are ever more present and central to business and daily life. The digital transformations taking place around us today means moving away from traditional ways of working, migrating the core processes into the digital sphere (just think of teleworking today and the paperless, digital office).
This transformation applies to evidence and evidence-gathering in various investigative work areas, whether it is incident response related to information security incidents, investigations in relation to HR information and the financial resources of UN Agencies, the investigation of war crimes or the protection of human rights.
UNICC is aware and working on many of the challenges our Clients’ investigations face, according to mission, available budget, amount of digital evidence that needs to be processed, the number of available and trained staff, geographical dispersion, etc.
UNICC believes that a single, modular system and service for digital investigative support, comprised of different sets of products and professional services, would be of a great value to our Clients and Partner Organizations, since it would empower them in performing modern-day end-to-end investigations, involving digital evidence and digital representation of traditional evidence.
Such a system and service would need a robust ICT infrastructure at its core, where scalability plays a significant role. It could be modular, allowing for diverse and customized functionalities in particular areas of work.
Subscribers would greatly benefit from UNICC’s economy of scale, since such a system would greatly reduce the costs of procurement and maintenance of specialized hardware and software for digitally-driven investigations, where the associated costs would be a function of actual use.
Challenges with evidence acquisition and collection would be greatly lowered with professionally trained staff available and ready to support each investigation individually, either through advisories or by performing operations on a Client’s behalf on-site, lab-based or in the field – or even remotely (where applicable).
When evidence is collected in a forensically-sound manner and registered as such, it can be safely stored in a dedicated and secured evidence vault for future processing. Evidence delivery to the evidence vault can be done in different ways: by courier services, by safe file upload to designated collection points or brought personally to the physical location of a vault.
Long lapse times between investigations and case resolutions in courts or tribunals greatly increases the risk of evidence being irreversibly lost, damaged or simply misplaced. A United Nations professional service for evidence custodianship would mitigate these risks, as the evidence custodian’s duty would include migration of convenience copies of evidence files to forensic and data processing labs, making them available either for processing or for web review in a safe and reliable manner.
Forensic and data processing labs can be remotely accessible in a secured manner, where evidence owners can do their own processing. In case of scaling for increased need, evidence owners could rely on UNICC professional services support in digital forensics, empowered by enabled remote web review, direct querying, investigative coordination and orchestration, tagging and reporting for future use. Web-oriented review components can tremendously increase the efficiency of investigations in numerous ways.
Forensic and data processing output can be used directly in less demanding or intermediary cases and with an eDiscovery platform procured and managed by UNICC and securely shared for more complicated cases, where a big investigation-relevant and user defined data pool can be effectively searched and analyzed.
Forensics services would furthermore remove evidentiary information from forensic and data processing or the eDiscovery platform and dispose of evidence or archive in the evidence vault.
Another valuable add-on for subscribers would be leveraging cognitive services like speech-to-text, facial recognition, voice identification, machine translation, OCR and handwriting recognition. Below is a showcase of handwriting recognition on the keyword “OSWALD” obtained by search in publicly available demo datasets at https://jfk-demo.azurewebsites.net/#/.
Clients can benefit from specialized training in the areas of mobile devices forensics, computer forensics, big data processing, OSINT, digitally driven investigations, etc. Training will continue to be important as the system will grow in the future.
At UNICC we believe the UN system could greatly benefit from an inter-Agency Digital Investigations Hub. We are currently exploring with our Partners the possibility of establishing and running this service.
The ICSC promotes and maintains exemplary service to the United Nations common system.
Headquartered in New York, the ICSC is an independent expert body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1974.
Since its inception, the ICSC has redoubled its efforts to strengthen and maintain high standards in international civil service, while balancing the needs and concerns of its major stakeholders.
In support of the work of the Commission, the ICSC Secretariat performs substantive and administrative work, such as performing studies, producing analytical papers and making recommendations on policies and practices related to human resources management. Headed by an Executive Secretary, the secretariat is comprised of more than 40 staff members whose work is divided among three divisions: Cost-of-Living, Salaries and Allowances, and Human Resources Policies Division, each headed by a division chief.
The ICSC Business Relationship Manager is Philippe Lothsavan.
UNICC is pleased to share that UN Global Pulse has become a Partner Organization. Over the past few years UNICC and UN Global Pulse have worked together on some joint collaborations from data protection and privacy to gender parity in the ICT field. Now we can work together on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence!
Some of our joint efforts and conversations include:
UN Global Pulse is the Secretary-General’s initiative on big data and artificial intelligence for development, humanitarian action, and peace. It was established based on a recognition that digital data offer opportunities to gain a better understanding of changes in human well-being, and to get real-time feedback on how well policy responses are working.
UN Global Pulse works through a network of innovation labs, called Pulse Labs, which operate in Jakarta, Indonesia, in Kampala, Uganda, and in New York at UN Headquarters.
Over the last decade, UN Global Pulse has been expanding the boundaries of its research and technology policy work in close alignment with the transformative innovation efforts of the UN Executive Office in which it operates.
UNICC is pleased to share that the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), after working with us as a Client, has become a Partner Organization. Over the past year UNICC and UNITAR have already been working jointly on some application development projects, including the ICC and UNITAR Mobile App for WHO Safe Surgery Checklist.
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) provides innovative learning solutions to individuals, organizations and institutions to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future.
UNITAR supports governments to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To solve complex global challenges, UNITAR works to transform mindsets by offering learning, analytical and capacity centred solutions for a more sustainable world.
On October 8, UNICC (Learning Services) and the UN’s Knowledge & Learning Commons jointly organized a presentation entitled “Seeing What’s Next: How Seismic Shifts in the Commercial World impact International Organizations” at the UN Library in Geneva.
Professor Howard Yu, professor of management and innovation at IMD business school in Switzerland, delivered the keynote address. In attendance were many colleagues from UNICC, the UN Office in Geneva and other Partner Organizations.
Many participants attended remotely as well. In his presentation on Professor Yu, Sameer said that the ideas that would be discussed were sure to help UNICC with its own transitions.
The main points of Professor Yu’s keynote address were:
Upcoming changes in our lives from virtual reality to artificial intelligence
International organizations must lead differently across many areas (digital services, new operating models, new talent acquisition, new ways to innovate)
Bi-directional; thinking is needed – for now and for the future
Automatable knowledge (data, information) must be codified for AI, while emotional intelligence, creativity, and insight will continue to belong to humans.
Professor Yu also discussed the Three Waves of the Internet, the Network Effect and IT Company Platforms.
After the presentation and the Q&A session, Professor Yu gave everyone an autographed copy of his book (LEAP — How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied).
Prado Nieto and Anna Ciampi join the discussion on how to close the gender gap in computer science
Computer science is one of the fields with a significant gender gap: in the US and Europe, only 1 of 5 people earning a bachelor-level Computer Science degree is a woman. As part of UNICC’s commitment to bringing more women into ICT, Prado Nieto and Anna Ciampi participated in the workshop “Gendering ICT”, at the WomENcourage 2019 conference, held in Rome, Italy, from the 16 to 18 September.
WomENcourage brings together women in the computing profession and related technical fields to exchange knowledge and experience, with a special focus on supporting women who are starting their careers.
Prado Nieto, Chief, Business Relationship Management and Anna Ciampi, Information Systems Officer, engaged in the workshop ‘Gendering ICT’ that tackled the under-representation of women in computing. They analyzed the role of stereotypes and their impact in the existing gender gap, and discussed approaches to stimulate the participation of women in ICT education and research.
Prado Nieto (right) presenting at WomENcourage 2019. Photo: UNICC/Reques
The participants emphasized the need of including the gender dimension in the contents of computer science and engineering. How can we formulate new scientific questions taking gender into account? Is data collected, processed and organized in a gender-neutral way? Are Artificial Intelligence and Robotics algorithms and tools incorporating the gender bias present in the society?
The all-women panel included Lorenza Perini and Silvana Badaloni, from the University of Padova, Francesca Alessandra Lisi, from the University of Bary and Gunay Kazimzade, from the Technical University of Berlin.
Intended Goals and Outcomes:
Analyzing the most common stereotypes and gender-clichéd images about women in ICT causing the existing gender gap
Comparing the different approaches to promote the presence of women, and particularly of young women, in ICT education and research and stimulating an effective networking among projects
Exploring new communication languages for the debate around the gender bias in CS/CE, and the subsequent ethical issues it poses
Developing gendered innovation in CS/CE, with new general questions to take into account a gender point of view
Facing the problem of designing algorithmic methodologies that do not subsume social bias about sex, gender and race.
This year, WomENcourage focused on applications of Computer Science that impact the grand challenges of our day, such as education, health, inclusive societies, civic engagement, climate change and humanitarian action. The event featured poster sessions, technical talks, panel discussions, interdisciplinary research tracks activities, tutorials and a hackathon, as well as workshops (more details at the Association for Computer Machinery website).
The World Health Organization, with a launch from the WHO Director General, showcased its new medication safety mobile app, designed and implemented by UNICC during 4th Global Ministerial Summit in Jeddah, 2-3 March 2019. This is a first-ever WHO mobile app for consumers (see news). Patient safety in health care has become a serious global concern in recent years.
Although health systems differ from country to country, many threats to patient safety have similar causes and often can be addressed by similar solutions. The Summit brings together international patient safety experts, political decision-makers and other stakeholders involved in the global movement for patient safety.
First-ever WHO Mobile App for Public Consumption
The new My5MedsafeMoments mobile app represents cutting-edge digital technology in healthcare safety and quality. This patient education tool, called 5 Moments of Medication Safety, works as a ready reckoner for patients to remember things to ask to care provider and precautions to take around medication.
Other New Mobile Apps from UNICC
UNICC has completed a mobile app for the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It is basic toolkit, which is an interactive product intended for the use of the public, providing a brief overview of the Court. The mobile app also serves as an effort to promote its image and also contribute to a number of associated communications advantages for users of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets.
The App Dev group has also completed a mobile app for UNICC users for the UNICC Service Catalogue, to be used primarily by the Business Relationship Manager team to access service details when on calls or in meetings with Clients.
The OECD is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. Their goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all. OECD draws on almost 60 years of experience and insights to better prepare the world of tomorrow.
Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, they work on establishing international norms and finding evidence-based solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion, OECD provides a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and global standard-setting.
The OECD is at the heart of international co-operation. Its member countries work with partners and organisations worldwide to address the pressing policy challenges of our time.
UNICC is pleased to share that the UNDP Somalia office is now an UNICC Partner Organization.
UNDP in Somalia promotes Somali-led development solutions which address root causes of recurrent humanitarian crises and which set the stage for sustainable development. We support the Government of Somalia, local authorities, and civil society with development programmes that address the following focus areas: disaster reduction and resilience, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, people-centred governance and rule of law, economic recovery and environmental protection, and protecting and empowering women.
The Somalia Country Office has supported all branches of government to promote progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, including supporting the National Federal Parliament to advance the 2030 Agenda, as part of the Arab States region, ‘Parliaments for Agenda 2030’ programme in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank. The Country Office also developed an innovative SDG 16 monitoring initiative focusing on assessing impact for citizens of Rule of Law initiatives. Under these initiatives UNDP supports the Government to increase access to justice, security and rule of law across the country with the support of donor partners such as Japan, the European Union, Germany and the Netherlands.