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5 February 2020

United Nations Wins Prestigious Nielsen Norman Award for Best Intranet 2020

The United Nations Intranet, “iSeek,” on 6 January received the “gold standard” recognition in Intranet Design, from industry leader Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g), as one of the world’s 10 best intranets in 2020.

For over 20 years, NN/g has analysed intranet platforms worldwide, focusing on user experience, trends and best practices.

The NN/g Report stated:  “The UN Intranet-iSeek supports the Organization’s ‘mission-critical work’ by enabling productivity and collaboration while fostering a sense of connectedness and belonging among civil servants, through the use of features such as ‘staff voices’ stories, comments, and thumbs up, to deliberately create conversations among colleagues and with management.”

The United Nations Intranet’s mission is to serve and connect its diverse, multicultural workforce in over 100 countries, functioning as the primary internal communications and knowledge-sharing tool for the 37,500 United Nations staff members.  It is accessible from desktop and mobile devices to help staff members in all duty stations and field missions keep up to date with new policies, find the information they need to do their work, and connect with colleagues.  A combination of global and localized content, accompanied by photos and video, brings people together across the global organization.

As part of the reforms by the United Nations Secretary-General to increase efficiency and effectiveness, the United Nations Intranet in 2019 successfully integrated 14 political and 14 peacekeeping missions around the world, among other United Nations entities, onto its platform.  This brought staff members serving in field locations and in hardship duty stations closer together by providing access to organizational information and fostering a sense of belonging.  As NN/g points out in the report, the “flexible-yet-consistent look and feel” of “a single platform with a single technology” is able to “bring all staff together, leverage open source technologies (Drupal), and reduce IT and management costs for the Organization”.

A detailed case study on the United Nations Intranet-iSeek’s history along with the vision, working methods and management strategies that underpin its success is featured in the NN/g’s prestigious report, 2020 Intranet Design Annual.

Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Department of Global Communications welcomed this recognition as “a reflection of tremendous innovation, creativity and vision”.

“This top industry award rewards the work performed within the UN and I’m proud of the teamwork which resulted in an efficient internal communications platform,” said Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division of the Department of Global Communications.

Helga Leifsdottir, Chief of Knowledge Solutions and Design of the Department of Global Communications, who leads the United Nations Intranet-iSeek team said, “It is with great pride that we receive this award, which represents hard work by many departments and offices resulting in a strong UN Intranet for all staff.”

The United Nations Intranet team is responsible for the web design, architecture and user experience of the platform.  The team oversees the daily information management and knowledge-sharing on the platform while operating as a help desk for staff, with a reputation for fast turnaround.  The team edits the content in English and French, which includes the publication of over 1,200 stories a year.  The Nielson Norman Group added, “Most surprising is probably the UN’s ability to produce a great intranet supporting more than 37,000 people with a team of only eight people and no outside help.”

For more information, please contact Helga Leifsdottir, Chief, Knowledge Solutions and Design Section, Outreach Division, United Nations Department of Global Communications at tel.:  +1 917 367 3582; email:  leifsdottir@un.org.

For information media. Not an official record.