Case Study: Brian Dodo RGD explores international collaboration with UN project for Timor-Leste

Case Study by Brian Dodo RGD, Principal & Creative Director, BmDodo Strategic Design

Paying tribute to the achievements of the people of Timor-Leste, the “Momentum” exit package marks the departure of UN peacekeepers from the region 13 years after embarking on the path to independence.


BmDodo was included in a team of international consultants invited to Timor-Leste to contribute, and designed a groundbreaking multimedia website for the project. Containing hundreds of photos and interviews and 55 exclusive videos chronicling every aspect of life, culture and progress in Timor-Leste since the Popular Consultation of 1999, the site is the first of its kind for a peace-keeping mission.



My firm developed multiple communication applications/tools for this project each targeted to a different audience: 

  • The website/multimedia was targeted to everyone interested in Timor Leste, the United Nations and conflict resolution. For that reason it was trilingual in English, Portuguese and Tetum. 
  • The Timor Leste exhibit was targeted at all Timorese in particular students, teachers, historians, UNMIT staff and all visitors to Timor Leste. The exhibit was designed to travel, and to be simple enough to move from location to location including to remote parts of the country.
  • The UN general assembly exhibit was targeted at UN delegates and Country representatives, General Assembly visitors, Journalists, students and researchers. This exhibit was also designed to travel.
  • The book was targeted to everyone interested in Timor Leste, the United Nations and conflict resolution.


Design Process

This project was fully collaborative with the 6 international consultants, myself included, and UNMIT communication department staff. A huge component of this project was research to get up to speed about the country, to understand the internal working processes of the United Nations and most importantly to ensure the information was historically accurate.




The final products were very well received and got a lot of international coverage.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “This multimedia exhibition showcases the energy that Timor-Leste and its people bring to culture and celebrations, peaceful elections, education, sports, street life and markets – all aspects of the nation-building that will continue into the future. I hope all those who view it will draw inspiration to tackle the many global problems we face”


The full results of this project are yet to be known.



1. Designers must be open to collaboration. It is important to be open-minded when it comes to hearing other people's ideas.

2. In a team, every individual has an important role to play. Think about how your contribution fits with the project as a whole and work with others to create a cohesive finished product.

3. Working on a project within a large institution means altering your design process. You need to recognize your role as a piece of a bigger picture and account for internal challenges.