THE UNITY SYSTEM

UNITY is designed to provide data visibility for the US government, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations, and other entities working in fragile environments. Organizations working in post-conflict zones tend to manage planning independently. Consequently, project activities become siloed, and interventions can become uncoordinated and inefficient. UNITY aggregates nonclassified data from partner organizations and displays it through a Web-based browser interface as a series of overlays, charts, graphs, and tables that are geospatially referenced to a map of the region. As shown in Figure 5-1, each peacebuilding project is represented by an icon that can be clicked on to see more information on budget, partners, and other project details.

UNITY was developed under the Cooperative Security JCTD, an interagency research and development initiative overseen by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. Partner agencies are USAID, the US Southern Command, the US European Command, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The objective of this JCTD, said Hainsey, is to develop cutting-edge capabilities to produce a better integrated “whole of government” approach to development and defense cooperative activities both with other US agencies and across the public-private divide.

The problem the UNITY system addresses is the absence among regional stakeholders of integrated, interagency adaptive planning, decision support, and assessment capabilities; information-sharing architectures; and orga-

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FIGURE 5-1 Hypothetical USG and NGO Development Projects in Guatemala and Belize Shown on UNITY.



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