ICAO is committed to working with Member States to establish standards, specifications and best practices in all machine readable travel document (MRTD) related areas. Through our Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) Strategy, ICAO brings together Member States and international agencies to address travel document related challenges.
The TRIP Strategy provides a framework for achieving maximum benefits in terms of secure travel documents and traveler identification management, and as such, collaboration and cooperation between States, ICAO and other stakeholders, is essential. Following a proposal by the Implementation and Capacity Building Working Group (ICBWG), ICAO undertook the task of developing a secure TRIP Portal which allows authorized members (governments, international agencies and approved experts), to create, store and share information. Developing a platform where data, expertise and intelligence could be securely exchanged, was a global need.
In February 2016, ICAO successfully launched the ICAO TRIP Communication Platform, which is now extensively used by diverse stakeholders around the world.
Advantages of the TRIP Platform
The benefits in having a secure web-based collaboration and communication platform include the following:
- Access to Knowledge: All authorized members of the platform have real-time access to the information they are authorized to view. Instant notifications are sent to all authorized members as soon as information (documents, pictures, media, etc.) is posted on the portal.
- Consolidated Information, expertise, and Intelligence: All TRIP information, including resource libraries, is stored in one central place. This information can be tagged and is searchable.
- Effective and efficient Collaboration: Authorized members are able to communicate and collaborate seamlessly, with the ability to chat and video-conference.
- Promote Information Dissemination: Information dissemination is enhanced with the ability to send general information, messages, alerts and more to all, or specific, members.
- Feedback Mechanisms: All forms of communication allow for feedback if needed. As well, all members have the ability to create and disseminate surveys to all, or specific members.
These are only some of the benefits this platform provides to the TRIP community. Increasing timely, accessible information with enhanced collaboration and communication tools, results in more effective and efficient traveller identification programmes.
The TRIP Platform was conceived with simplicity in mind – it is intuitive and user friendly, without being overly complicated. It has a clean and modern “look and feel” with many features. All members have their own dashboards where they can quickly see the latest messages, upcoming events, alerts and shared content. Figure 1 represents the information available on the dashboard.
In the “Messages” section (Figure 2), all members receive alerts and announcements and are able to send them to specific (or all) members.
Members are able to follow, initiate and reply to discussions while in both the “Discussions” and “Resources” sections. Also, while in the “Resources” section (Figure 3), they are able to open resources which have been shared by other members and upload and share their own resources. The “Live Meetings” and “Webinar Lite” sections let members communicate in real time and present their materials, either through chat or video-conference. The “Forms” section allows all members to easily create and send survey forms to other members. The data collected in such forms can then be aggregated and analyzed by the owner of the form.
The Platform Concept
The platform was designed with the flexibility to accommodate several different scenarios:
- The ICAO Secretariat administers the platform with national focal points assigned to governments;
- Focal points are responsible for authorizing organizations and appointed experts access to specific groups under their jurisdiction;
- The platform allows for the formation of groups with related interests. Global passport offices could, for example, be part of a Passport Offices group; and
- An organization can be part of more than one group. Depending on the level of privacy required, groups may share information among its private members or with all other groups in the platform. Groups may wish to be private or public and therefore visible to all other members in the platform.
About the author
Serge Elgaly has over 17 years of experience in project management and systems development and has actively overseen many projects in academic, health and commercial industries. He holds a B.Sc. in Science and a Bcomm. in Management Information Systems and has lead and implemented many essential projects since joining ICAO in 2011. Serge currently serves as the Head of ICAO’s Knowledge Management Group.