Photo: UNRWA

UNRWA and UNICC Sign Ground-breaking ICT Partnership Agreement

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) signed an agreement with UNICC that aims to enhance opportunities for Palestine refugees in Gaza. With this agreement, UNICC will be able to benefit from the skills of UNRWA ICT personnel in the delivery of services.

UNICC, in its firm commitment to supporting the local constituencies of UN Agencies in the delivery of ICT services worldwide to over 35 UN Agencies and 25 related organizations, is excited to open up this partnership.

This agreement will strengthen the UNICC capacity to deliver reliable ICT services driven by best practices. With its world-class technology and state-of-the-art infrastructure, together with the vast cross-domain experience of its very knowledgeable staff, UNICC is always ready to offer UN-friendly shared solutions to United Nations organizations and international institutions with similar missions and value.

Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC

UNRWA, as a Partner Organization, already subscribes to UNICC’s ICT services. This ICT services support partnership agreement brings closer collaboration between the two entities, with ICT skills development and delivery being the new bridge for partnership. Now skilled and professional Palestinians ICT personnel at UNRWA can share their skills with the wider UN transformation efforts.

UNRWA employs young and qualified Palestine refugees at its IT Service Centre (ITSC) in Gaza to provide service desk, application development, infrastructure and information management services to all five field offices of the Agency. With this agreement, UNICC will be able to benefit from the skills of UNRWA personnel in the following areas:

  • ICT technical capacity augmentation
  • ICT end-to-end solutions delivery
  • ICT operations and maintenance support.

Through this joint project, young and skilled Palestine refugees will be able to contribute to the digital transformation of the UN in the IT domain without the restrictions of geographic borders.

Kaan Cetinturk, UNRWA CIO and Director of Information Management and Technology Department

Strengthening refugee capabilities and increasing livelihood opportunities are two pillars of the UNRWA strategy towards Palestine refugees and constitute direct contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

About UNRWA

UNRWA is a United Nations Agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.6 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

In support of:

UN DSC and UNICC Deliver Jambo, an Inter-Agency Phone Book App

Find. connect. say hello to UN colleagues

Find, connect and say ‘Jambo!’ (‘Hello’ in Swahili) on your smart phone to United Nations colleagues from other organizations with the Jambo App developed by the UN Digital Solutions Centre (UN DSC). The UN DSC is a partnership between the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with the support of UNICC.

Collaboration and communications between different UN Agencies are crucial to address global challenges and achieve the 2030 Agenda. Most UN Agencies have robust communications within their organizations, but until now a combined global directory has had limited contacts.

To facilitate cooperation, especially given the outbreak of COVID-19 with millions of people working remotely from their homes, the UN Digital Solutions Centre (UN DSC) has developed a phone book app enabling colleagues from across UN Agencies to find and contact each other.

The Jambo app, funded by the UN DSC and developed by UNICC in less than a month, currently contains contact information for staff at four member organizations – UNHCR, WFP, UNICC and UN Women. The UN DSC is offering all other UN entities to join for free.

The telephone directory app uses provided organizational credentials to log in. UN personnel can search for colleagues by name and find information such as email address, phone number, UN Agency and other standard Active Directory data. Jambo users can call or send messages and add notes about contacts through the device’s native phone and email functionalities.

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Additional features, such as alternate languages and a fully-encrypted chat, will soon be added to the application, with all systems hosted under UN Immunities and Privileges.

The UN DSC encourages all UN entities to say hello and join Jambo for a UN-wide contact information database, strengthening inter-agency collaboration and enabling each to better serve the global challenges related to their mandates.

The Jambo app is available to staff of participating UN Agencies for download at Google Play and Apple App Store.

About the digital solutions centre

The UN Digital Solutions Centre is operated in partnership by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and is supported by the UN International Computing Centre (UNICC). By leveraging new technologies and UN expertise, the Digital Solutions Centre aims to create a suite of digital solutions that can be shared among UN Agencies to transform common business operations and streamline time-consuming transactional tasks. Solutions developed by WFP and UNHCR will be made available to the entire UN system.

Note: Additional features such as chat may be introduced as paid services in the future.

Photo: Gary Ramage/AFP/Getty

Microsoft Tech Huddle Introduces UN Digital Academy

UNICC and Microsoft presented the UN Digital Academy at the UN Tech Huddle event organized by Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact (TSI) team on 2 June. The UN Digital Academy is a new UNICC service – a learning platform developed jointly by Microsoft and UNICC that serves as a central repository of training resources and content to enable UN staff and stakeholders in their digital transformation journeys.

After an introduction by Microsoft’s Global UN Lead Alex Pinho, Shashank Rai, UNICC’s Chief Technology Officer provided an overview of the service to an audience of 150 ICT experts from different UN Agencies.

We wanted not only to strengthen the way we provide technology and technical support, but to empower UN employees to use themselves these technologies in the most effective ways.

Alex Pinho, Global UN Lead, Microsoft

Shashank explained that the UN Digital Academy hosts bite-sized courses curated by Microsoft that are meant for end-users to develop their digital and technology skills. As UNICC develops the platform, it is expected that it may evolve more broadly with additional quality content from other sources, including content produced by the UN, always tailored for the UN.

Alex highlighted how the UN Digital Academy was built as an UNICC and Microsoft investment, with the goal of creating a really affordable platform. Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICC and Microsoft are offering all organizations three months of free access with a minimum 12-month subscription in 2020.

This platform is coming at a very right point in time, when the pace of change is unprecedented. The next big challenge we all face is to always be ready, a continuous learning platform is a very important piece to achieve this goal.

Shashank Rai, Chief Technology Officer, UNICC

Apurva Chandra, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft Philanthropies, offered a demo to showcase key features to participants and answered questions at the end of the presentation.

UNICC has participated in various Microsoft Tech for Social Impact UN Tech Huddles, now hosted virtually every two months. These events bring together ICT experts from different UN Agencies and Microsoft experts to share the latest cloud solutions and best practices to help UN Agencies digitally transform and accelerate the impact of their organization.

Girls and Women Talking Tech – Girls in ICT

The fourth Thursday in April – this year, April 23, 2020 – was International Girls in ICT day, a day that seeks to help create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Organizations from all sectors were encouraged to undertake activities on and/or around that day to support the objectives of the day and to share information about their activities. To date, hundreds of thousands of girls have been involved in activities in over 160 countries. 

Social media challenge and girls and women talking tech 

In support of the day and of the EQUALS Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and UNICC kicked off the celebration with a social media challenge where women in tech across the UN and the private sector posted about what ICT for Girls Day meant to them, identifying any mentors they had along their tech careers and journeys.

Then, ITU and UNICC began the video project portion of the initiative, a series of online interviews by girls in technology in conversation with women in technology.

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It is really special that I keep hearing both of our themes being exploring your passions and doing so with curiosity and a creative mindset. I hope that those whoever will listen to our discussion will encourage the young people in their lives to also apply these same themes to their dreams as well.

Emily Bennett, UNICC Business Relationship Manager to Arushi Aggarwal, the CEO of Unknown16.

The objectives of these interviews are to: 

  • Interest and inspire girls and younger women with information about a range of ICT careers that can be had   
  • Bring before a broader audience some of the role model women in tech and share information about their career journeys and work  
  • Offer diverse examples of how ICT is being used to support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and other UN goals 
  • Showcase initiatives that are working with girls to support them in ICT studies or future ICT careers 
  • Provide girls with a leadership opportunity to represent and promote a tech organization or their school’s support of STEM programs  
  • Support technology skills’ learning for girls and young women and promote it to a broader international audience. 

To identify the girl and young women participantsthey reached out to organizations working with girls and ICT with the idea that the girls selected as the interviewers would also have the opportunity to talk about the initiative with which they have been involved and activities they have done in tech. The women are at various stages in their careers and different levels of seniority, work with and in tech in different sectorsDuring these interviews, the women also asks the girl in tech interviewer questions about her career plans and journey with technology.

My advice for any young women aspiring to get into the tech field is to find mentors, which is easy to say but difficult to do. Finding someone who can learn from, and ask awkward questions is especially important. Especially in tech, when there are barriers that still exist, it is important to create the proper mentoring ecosystem for young women getting into IT.

Kate Krukiel, General Manager for the UN Digital Solutions Centre to Samantha Berenzon, a thirdyear Computer Information Science student at Baruch College.

UNICC Women participate in girls and women talking tech 

Some women staff from UNICC have participated in this on-going virtual event. Business Relationship Manager Emily Bennett, General Manager of the UN Digital Solutions Centre Kate Krukiel and graphic designer Lorena Henriquez have all been part of the first wave of interviews thus far, with other UNICC women also agreeing to be interviewed. Each woman gave their account of their dynamic careers in tech to young women interviewers who were either pursuing degrees in tech or beginning their careers in specific field in tech.   

This project will include many inspiring women in tech as available in the coming months, from different fields of tech, discussing various themes about their journey with aspiring young women in tech, pursuing a wonderful array of careers in ICT. Please visit ITU’s EQUALS Global Partnership YouTube channel to view all the past interviews and discussions in the series Girls and Women Talking Tech. 

UNICC Assists with Documenting UN OCHA Central Emergency Response Fund’s Grant Management System

About the United Nations central emergency response fund 

The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is one of the fastest and most effective ways to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches people caught up in crises. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 as the United Nations global emergency response fund, CERF enables humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises strike. 

As an essential enabler of global humanitarian action, CERF’s Rapid Response window allows country teams to kick-start relief efforts immediately in a coordinated and prioritized response when a new crisis emerges. CERF’s window for Underfunded Emergencies helps scale-up and sustain protracted relief operations to avoid critical gaps when no other funding is available. 

UNICC communications team assists with CERF grant management system upgrade 

In 2016, Christine Servandoof the Performance and Accountability Unit CERF secretariatreached out to Prado Nieto, at that time Client Relationship Manager at UNICC, to see if UNICC could help in hiring a technical writer to manage the documentation for an upgrade to the CERF Grant Management System (GMS). Prado and Bill Allen, Communications Officer, UNICC hired an expert tech writer to do the job. OCHA was so pleased they invited her back in 2020 for system upgrades documentation. 

Kirsten Sandberg, a technical writer, now also at the Blockchain Research Institute, came back to UNICC through Uptown Communications, a New York based communications firm, with OCHA’s new Business Relationship Manager, Roberto Cruz, to assist with the upgrade of CERF’s grant management system. Kirsten’s role was to document the upgrade changes in the system, write step-by-step instructions for its different user roles and update the user manual – all in close collaboration with Bill as project manager and the GMS focal points at OCHA.  

Project goals and outcomes 

The goal of this upgrade was to make the system more accessible to users, more efficient in expediting grant funding to areas of need, and more transparent and granular in reporting on the populations served. Users can now access it from their mobile devices (tablet or smartphone) through the Internet browsers of their choice (e.g., Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari). They can also visualize, export and analyze allocation and project data.

GMS upgrade benefits 

The upgrade streamlined numerous processes and resulted in availability of data that is published in the real time through the new allocations module. The new functionality represents another major step forward in CERF’s transparency, information sharing and reporting on the fund’s performance. 

Photo: UNICC

UNICC Presents at Canadian Association of IT Professionals on Business Continuity Planning and COVID-19

The British Columbia and National chapters of the Canadian Association of IT Professionals (CIPS) have been hosting a series of webinars on the effects of COVID-19. UNICC’s Lyle McFadyen was invited to present for their first virtual webinar of the series, entitled “COVID-19 Pandemic Overview”. Lyle has been a board member of the British Columbia chapter of CIPS for two years. He was initially invited to speak to attendees from the British Columbia chapter only, but the response to his presentation was so well-received, that he was invited to present to a larger global audience later in May, including participants from the United States, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nigeria, India, the UK and Germany.

Planning and preparation- first step in business continuity planning during COVID-19 

Lyle began his presentation highlighting how organizations should plan and prepare for the ways in which they will operate during this pandemic. He emphasized that having an up-to-date business continuity plan is an organization’s first step in any disaster response, or in the current case, COVID-19 response. The second step and next very important step would be to test that business continuity plan to see if it works and what you can improve upon. In the case that you do not have a business continuity plan, an action plan should be in place. An action plan, as part of a larger business continuity plan, can be applied to any pandemic. Lyle outlines these steps of an action plan that should help management and staff: 

Lyle speaks about how an organization can continue operations seamlessly during COVID-19 with the right Business Continuity Plan. Photo: UNICC
  • Identify a Crisis Management Team (CMT) 
  • Review work from home capabilities 
  • Ensure that the Emergency Notification System is ready 
  • Develop communications during possible telework situations 
  • Review business critical services/operations 
  • Determine which teams are essential 
  • Work with partners, vendors and suppliers 
  • Remain flexible and adjust policies to fit the new reality. 

COVID-19 case in business continuity planning for organizations 

Lyle explained that the right tools can help staff working remotely continue their usual workflows. Cloud-based systems like Office 365, Zoom, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure have become increasingly critical while most of the working world is still remote. Also, the support of management is an important part of continuing operations. If the crisis management team and human resources is in constant communication with all staff, being accommodating and supportive, staff will feel like they are part of the solution and adhere to all new rules and emergency protocols.  

Challenges to consider for remote work situations during COVID-19 

Even for the most optimally prepared organization, there are still challenges that persist during a pandemic while staff is working remotely. There is an increase in cyber-risks and threats due to more people are online and depending on the web as a source of information for new developments during a pandemic. Work equipment, like laptops or monitors, can take a while to get to staff and be challenging to manage properly while remote.  Also, staff home with families may need to take time within their shift to go to stores operating during short hours and be with children and pets.  

Plans for returning to the office post-pandemic

Lyle also provides suggestions on returning to the office and accepting the “new normal” as the restrictions from the pandemic gradually fade. Things to keep in mind upon returning to the office include:

  • Social distancing should be continued.
  • Encourage flexible working arrangements.
  • COVID-19 has proven that working from home is feasible. Leverage that.
  • Adjust working hours to avoid heavy traffic and crowded public transportation .
  • Plan to keep some people working remotely, especially those in high-risk categories (living with elderly parents, pregnant, underlying medical conditions, living with young children, etc.) 
  • Keep measures in place to limit spread of COVID-19 virus .
  • Prepare the office by having it cleaned and having cleaning supplies available for staff.  
  • Conference rooms must be avoided! 

Lyle’s webinar presentation was shared with all participants and received great feedback from many, including those who made comments about taking this knowledge back to their organizations to measure their business continuity plans against the points that Lyle outlined in the virtual webinar. UNICC has successfully applied these the steps which Lyle outlined, to our 100% remote working. UNICC’s gradual return-to-office plans are still in the preparing and planning phase, to ensure the safest and most efficient return for UNICC staff.  

Photo: ICSC

New Partner Organization: UNAIDS

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.

About UNAIDS

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.

UNAIDS co-sponsors

• UNHCR
• UNICEF
• WFP
• UNDP
• UNFPA
• UNODC
• UN WOMEN
• ILO
• UNESCO
• WHO
• The World Bank.

Photo: UNITAR

UNICC Director Participates in Global Youth Leadership Roundtable

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) hosted together with 1Million 2030 Youth Leaders and the Global Challenges Forum (GCF) a virtual roundtable on “COVID-19 and Global Youth Leadership.” The May 14th event was part of UNITAR’s Division on People and Social Inclusion COVID-19 webinar series. There were eight 1M2030 spotlight speakers, brought together by renowned international experts and inspiring global youth leaders to discuss the latest ideas, projects and initiatives leveraging capacity building to protect and restore communities around the world affected by COVID-19.

Focus on net positive impact for the planet, and for fellow human being. You may well be the first post-provincial generation. Humanity is traditionally very provincial. Your vision and global outreach allow you to have the ability to think broader – broader than anyone in any prior generation.
Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC

After jointly sponsoring a business seminar with UNITAR in October 2019, UNICC was keen to be involved. Director Sameer Chauhan, invited as one of the senior experts, stepped up to provide some insightful thought leadership to the group.
The event began with a presentation from each 1M2030 participant and was followed by remarks from senior experts who spoke about the role of young people during the pandemic and who discussed the presentations of the youth speakers. The session ended after a thorough Q&A session.

Flyer for the virtual roundtable hosted by UNITAR and GCF in support of 1M2030. Credit: UNITA

After presentations from inspiring youth leaders from all over the world on projects and health initiatives responding to COVID-19, Sameer offered his encouragement, praise and advice to the youth presenters:

You all have a strong moral compass – which is why you are working on these ideas and not on the next money spinner or get-rich-quick idea. Make sure you retain that compass to guide you on this journey. If asked to make compromises, use this moral compass, but make sure you are making decisions that are aligned with what this moral compass tells you.

Focus on net positive impact for the planet, and for fellow human being. You may well be the first post-provincial generation. Humanity is traditionally very provincial. Your vision and global outreach allow you to have the ability to think broader – broader than anyone in any prior generation. But when you think of the planet, don’t just focus on humanity, but on the well-being of the entire planet.

It is easier to break, but much harder to build. I will encourage you to build together and support each other. 1 Million Youth Leaders, GCF, UNITAR and others can provide you with the glue to stay connected, but you have to support each other.

Other senior experts offered their own ideas and analysis regarding the role of youth during the pandemic, providing a multi-lateral thought leadership to complement the projects presented for a rich and rewarding virtual event.

More on UNITAR and the GCF

The 1M2030 Spotlight Speakers for the discussion on COVID-19 and Global Youth Leadership. Photo: UNITAR

In September 2019, UNITAR and the GCF foundation partnered to promote a new youth capacity-building initiative. They launched the One Million Youth Leaders Beyond 2030 (1M2030) initiative on the 27th of September, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. 1M2030 is a social welfare initiative, which promotes a global movement to empower youth to complete projects aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The initiative primarily aims to target beneficiaries from Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States and Landlocked Developing Countries.

GCF plans to register and enlist 1 million youth by 2030 to overcome various challenges in different countries by undertaking small/medium sized projects aligned to the 17 SDGs. The dynamic youth presenters for this virtual roundtable event are part of that project and are part of the 2019 cohort of youth leaders. For more information on other speakers please see the event agenda and the 1M2030 Youth Leaders Site to learn how to follow and support those projects for COVID-19 support.

Photo: Pexels/Spiske

Enterprise Notification System, a Tool for Emergency Updates

Nearly every UN organization has staff, consultants and other personnel working remotely in this day and age. And due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease, many more and sometimes entire organizations are working away from the office. When this current pandemic has slowed, there will undoubtedly be a new normal where remote working will be further embraced. This introduces a new priority – know where your staff and stakeholders are at all times and have an effective tool to share emergency updates and alerts.

UNICC’s Enterprise Notification System (ENS) is a communications service that allows UNICC to connect with its personnel at any time and in any place. This enterprise tool delivers efficient two-way communications to employees during emergencies and unplanned disruptions. The system is available for use by other UN Agencies.

Notifications can be sent on diverse media, including email, mobile phones, landlines and text messages. The ENS tool also allows for instant communication with the entire organization or selected target groups defined by location and/or function.

During a crisis or disaster, normal methods of communication are unlikely to be available when you need them most. The ENS tool provides the communications backbone for crisis management and other critical enterprise notifications.

The ENS tool uses multiple communications channels depending on the type of notification or the escalation settings defined in the user profile. The ENS main features are:

  • User settings
  • Escalation settings
  • Broadcast groups
  • Notification templates
  • Schedule notifications
  • Notification response processes.

The ENS can be used in the following situations:

  • Sending alerts for an immediate threat (e.g. extreme weather, demonstration, terrorist attack) that requires contact with all personnel and follow-up action in case of no response
  • Triggering service continuity procedures following a widespread incident
  • Reaching out to personnel to request specific action with a confirmation receipt (e.g. update personal details in staff database, personnel-specific incident notification and contact verification).

UNICC is now offering support to customize the ENS tool for its Clients and Partner Organizations. This entails configuring each subscriber’s ENS to manage its organizational users and groups, set up data collection specifications, create notification templates to use, compose and send alerts and notifications as well as allow relevant teams and organizational leadership to review notification reports.

The ENS service is managed by the Client with UNICC providing tier-2 support and escalations to the vendor. The service allows the Client to ensure fast and efficient alerts to all organizational personnel. This simple, effective and efficient ENS tool provides excellent business continuity value to keep the UN family aware and safe during these challenging times and beyond.

Photo: Pexels/Thanyakij

COVID-19 Support – UNICC’s Crisis Communications App

A Core UNICC capability and a new service for clients and partner organizations

With the outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19, every UN organization has staff and stakeholders teleworking worldwide. In this situation, organizations can benefit from an effective tool for centralizing and managing its up-to-the-minute personnel work status, specific and changing geolocations and disseminating critical crisis alerts and updates.

Users can access relevant crisis information such as emergency contacts, company news, FAQs.

UNICC has customized and deployed a Crisis Communications app to support its almost 500 staff and contractors, all teleworking until further notice. The ability to locate staff at a moment’s notice and to send alerts is a critical function in a business-as-usual scenario; in a crisis like the current pandemic, it is absolutely necessary. Personnel may be sheltering in place at home or other unspecified locations – the app makes it a breeze for users to enter their current location and other work status details.

The Crisis Communications app, developed using Microsoft’s PowerApps, connects the organization to its staff with real-time updates. It also shares relevant and timely information to personnel. Users can access company and world news, helpful tips, FAQs, important links and emergency contacts. They can readily share their individual work status with their teams and the organization and make requests to the crisis management team.

The application can be customized to fit the needs of any organization. Some examples of the elements that can be adjusted or added to the app are:

  • Personalization of presence status
  • Text and number of email messages
  • Enabling user location capture
  • Adding functionality for segregation of information, for example by country or office.
  • Integration of information with local data sources
  • Creation of approval mechanisms
  • Customization of the dashboard aggregating organization’s data from other sources, for example with personal contact data.
The Crisis Communication app lets users share from where they are working. Photo: UNICC

Users need to have a Microsoft Office 365 license and the organization requires the Microsoft Power BI license for the Power BI Dashboard, although other dashboarding tools can be used. If the organization uses Microsoft Teams, the Crisis Communication app can be embedded into it for a better user experience, but it is not a requisite. Other ways to access the application are through browser or by installing a desktop or mobile version on a computer or device.

The Crisis Communications app can be managed by UNICC or by the Client to ensure fast and efficient crisis communications to all organizational personnel. This simple, effective and efficient tool provides excellent business continuity value to keep the UN family aware and safe during these challenging times and beyond.