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Consultancy, Data Science/AI mentor, Part time, 35 days within 6 months, Remote

Apply now Job no: 542077
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. The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for a data scientist to provide technical expertise to the Fund’s early stage investments in data science and artificial intelligence. This role will also support the Fund companies in building their prototypes by meeting with the companies and helping them assess where they might be gaps, developing a roadmap for support over their investment period, and connecting them with resources to unblock challenges as they occur. This role would also propose ways in which the Venture Fund Team can leverage DS/AI internally to improve efficiency of the overall functions of the fund.   

Your main responsibilities will be: 

  • Provide technical assistance in DS and AI to Innovation Fund investments (start-up and country office) including: 

  • Mentor companies 1:1 and provide them with technical advice through monthly calls and remote sprints. 

  • Develop and maintain standards for quality documentation and work with UNICEF Innovation Fund companies to ensure code is clearly documented and uploaded onto agreed upon Github repositories.  

  • Support the Venture Fund in reviewing Data Science and Artificial Intelligence 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 

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

  • Advanced degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or related technical discipline. *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. 

  • Five years of Data Analysis/Software Engineering experience 

  • Experience with Big Data analytics (NLP, Network Analysis, ...) and applying these to solving real-world problems 

  • Experience with professional software engineering practices and best practices for the full software development life cycle, specifically: 

  • Strong coding capabilities in Python or R and Data Science related libraries (e.g. scipy, pandas, igraph...) 

  • Experience with analytics & visualization tools (open viz libraries e.g. Shiny, flexdashboard or equivalent for R or Dash,Panel or equivalent for Python) 

  • Git and other open source software development tools 

  • Experience with cloud computing platforms such as GCP, AWS, Azure or others 

  • A track record of mentoring projects / startups 

  • Ability to communicate complex concepts in a clear and effective manner. 

  • Experience with rapid prototyping and evaluation of user feedback, and breaking down large features into a series of smaller, usable deliverables 

  • Experience with open-source technologies 

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, excellent technical communication with peers and non-technical stakeholders 

  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset. 

  • Desire to work in a highly-collaborative environment is an asset 

  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset. 

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 2) 

  • Formulating strategies and concepts (Level 2) 

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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