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.