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Consultancy, Software Developer mentor ,Part-time , up to 50 days within 11.5 months

Apply now Job no: 542057
Contract type: Consultancy
Level: Consultancy
Location: United States
Categories: Innovation

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, innovate

UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives. 

The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions. UNICEF's Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world's children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by: 

  • Connecting youth communities (or more broadly -- anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children. 

  • Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach -- in a traditionally risk-averse field -- to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children. 

  • Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children. 

The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs – and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively. 

UNICEF's Innovation (Venture) Fund is a pooled funding vehicle specifically designed to finance early stage, Open Source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Innovation Fund is to identify "clusters" or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology - so that UNICEF can both shape markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We invest in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. The Innovation Fund’s Data Science and Artificial Intelligence portfolio is composed of a set of companies that develop solutions that bridge learning or connectivity gaps towards employability. 

How can you make a difference?

This is a part-time mentor role within the Office of Innovation, reporting to the Venture Fund team. You are an experienced professional in software engineering and/or information technology, particularly in the context of early stage innovation. You will work with emerging technology startups onboarded to the Venture Fund on software architecture, product planning, and engineering best practices. You will also contribute to existing, public onboarding tools / checklists for startups to help them build better technology. Furthermore, this role will support the Fund companies in building their prototypes by meeting regularly with the companies and helping them assess where gaps might exist, developing a roadmap for support over their investment period, and connecting them with resources to unblock challenges as they occur. 

Your main responsibilities will be: 

  1. Provide specialized technical guidance to the Venture Fund startups and country office pilots, specifically supporting software engineers by:  

  • improving operations by conducting system analysis and recommending changes in procedures and policies. 

  • Develop and maintain standards for quality documentation and work with UNICEF Innovation Fund companies to ensure project conventions and best practices a clearly documented and uploaded onto agreed-upon public source code repositories (e.g. GitHub, GitLab, Pagure, etc.). 

  • Support the Venture Fund in portfolio company repositories and validating they are in line with contractual requirements. 

  • Develop technical resources and tools based on technical needs. 

  • Provide technical support for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence call for submissions, reviewing submissions to UNICEF Innovation Fund 

  1. Support various technical engagements, including internally with the Innovation Fund team, collaboration with external partners on prototypes and demonstrating solutions by developing documentation, flowcharts, diagrams, etc. for other developers (internal and external). 

  1. Contribute new content and maintain existing content in the UNICEF Open Source Inventory. This includes developing programme documentation and guides for other mentors, creating new articles for mentees based on common problems faced across a cohort, and maintaining existing content when it needs modernization. 

  1. Building on the learnings from working with a cohort of investees, develop recommendations on how software development best practices can be integrated into the existing support structure and process for startups. 

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in computer science, engineering, or another relevant field. 
    *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree. 

  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in developing applications, preference given to full-stack software development projects 

  • Technical experience in:  

  • JavaScript front-end frameworks (React / Redux, Angular, etc.)  

  • Languages: node.js, ruby, python, bash, Rust, Go, C++ 

  • Cloud services: Azure, AWS (Amazon Web Services), etc.  

  • Geospatial DBs, libraries and data structures  

  • Sql and NoSQL database systems  

  • Experience with git, pull requests, and continuous integration and deployment. 

  • Experience working in an Open Source project community with an active upstream community. 

  • Extensive experience with system integration, interface design, API development 

  • Proven capacity to work with collaborative teams across various locations and with different technical skills.  

  • Experience in knowledge sharing, capacity building or training for innovation is desirable.  

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.  

  • A track record of providing technology-centered mentorship and assistance to early-stage products.   

  • Experience of identifying and developing technical assistance tools for companies   

  • Demonstrable understanding (and ideally experience) of how frontier technology can be applied to social impact solutions.  

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

  • Applying Technical Expertise – Level 3 

  • Creating and Innovating – Level 3 

  • Deciding and Initiating Action – Level 3   

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Payment details and further considerations 

  • Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor. 

  • Consultant is responsible for his/her own health and travel insurance 

  • Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel 


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: Eastern Daylight Time

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