ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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Best practice lessons learnt through the exit interview and the Oral History Project at United Nations Mission in Sudan

Tom A Adami, Anwar Y Hassan, Craig Kadoda


The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) operated in a vast, remote and difficult environment in the Republic of the Sudan from 2005 to 2011. The mandate of the mission was to ensure the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 was adhered to and the best outcomes were achieved by both sides to the Sudanese conflict. The issues affecting the western Darfur region are a separate matter and they are dealt with by the UNAMID mission.  As far as information and knowledge management is concerned there were many initiatives to ensure that we could address potential risks that operating in the Sudan context presented. DPKO and the UN in general have embraced the concepts of Web 2.0 technology. Social networking and file sharing sites have become de facto systems for many UN bodies. The Public Information Office of UNMIS routinely used Youtube, Twitter and Facebook to spread its information to the wider world.  UNMIS had a high turnover of staff and for long periods there is no Best Practice officer based in UNMIS.  To counter that trend is was decided to implement an oral history project consisting of videotaped exit interviews of departing staff and that provided a wide range of best practice and lessons learnt material that will add value to the ongoing operations of the mission in South Sudan, UNMISS. It was necessary to develop audiovisual metadata, a keyword thesaurus and video recording standards and guidelines as none previously existed that could be applied in the field.

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