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University of the South Pacific IT Upgrade

New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) needed an Activity Design Document for an IT infrastructure upgrade at the University of the South Pacific (USP) that it had agreed to fund.

What we did

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) contracted Kirsty Burnett to work with the Information Technology Services (ITS) department at USP in Fiji. Her role was to ascertain their needs for ensuring the continuity and improvement of USPNet (a regional distribution network that connects USP’s regional campuses and sub-sites with the Laucala campus in Suva). The initial brief focused on the need for funding for a new antenna.

How we did it

While Kirsty met with USP officials to validate what was needed, it became apparent that the scope had changed, and new needs had emerged. As another donor had expressed interest in funding the antenna, it was considered that New Zealand’s investment should be redirected to the refurbishment of the hub, an upgrade of the USPNet infrastructure (around network equipment and support systems), training, wider business use development, and asset management.

Kirsty, with MFAT and USP officials, prepared documentation based on this new scope of work. They worked with the ITS team, USP staff and other stakeholders to determine equipment, training and other support needs, and the technical inputs needed to scope the wider use of USPNet to support higher education, research and regional development.

Benefits for the partner (clients)

The consequent budget increase to NZD5.5 million included justification for the upgrade of USPNet to continue its operation well into the next decade and facilitate the deployment of transformative learning and education technologies.

USPNet was able to provide the initial post-disaster communications to the world after the 2021 volcanic eruption in Tonga which disrupted cable communication.

What did they say

Deputy Director of ITS provided Kirsty with a great complement in late 2017, noting, “None of this would have been possible if it hadn't been for your assistance and expertise ... still not sure how you put it all together as it is such a comprehensive statement of ALL aspects of what we hope to do”.

USPNet infrastructure upgrade: Activity design and MERL Framework, Fiji, 2017


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