Peace operations of  the United  Nations (UN) are complex multilateral interventions often
required to execute multidimensional mandates in hostile and challenging environments. In this 
light, the role of technology and innovation is essential for enabling these operations to better 
execute their mandated tasks while improving their overall implementation.

The USUN Capstone team examined the application and trajectory of innovation and technology 
throughout UN Peace Operations. It conducted research through interviews with 32 practitioners and 
experts across the UN System, non-government organizations, public sector organizations and the 
private sector, in addition to an extensive literature review. The USUN Capstone Team employed Lean 
Startup and Design Thinking methodologies throughout its analytical processes.

The study identified meaningful areas where USUN and the UN System can integrate innovative 
practices and technological advances into the broader conceptualization, implementation and 
evaluation of UN Peace Operations. Moreover, the study names specific model implementations in the 
public and private sectors from which UN Peace Operations can learn best practices. The USUN 
Capstone team categorized its assessments into three themes: Innovation as Policy, Future-Ready 
Digital Infrastructure, and Enhanced Field Operations. The study also determined that the present 
moment constitutes an ideal opportunity for USUN to redouble its political leadership on these 
issues, given the rapidly evolving dynamics of conflict zones, the increased burdens and 
expectations placed on UN Peace Operations, and the transformative advances currently unfolding in 
public and private sectors throughout the world.