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Consultancy - Giga User Experience Design Specialist, Office of Innovation, Remote, 11.5 months

Apply now Job no: 546057
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...

About Giga

Launched in 2019 as a joint-initiative between UNICEF and ITU, Giga has set the ambitious goal to connect every school in the world to the internet.

Half of the world’s population has no regular access to the Internet. Millions of children leave school without any digital skills, making it much more difficult for them to thrive and contribute to local and global economies. This has created a digital divide between those who are connected and those who are not, a divide that has become even wider during the Covid-19 pandemic. UNICEF and ITU have therefore joined forces to create Giga, an initiative to connect every school in the world to the Internet and address this new form of inequality.  

Giga focuses on connecting schools so that children and young people have access to information, opportunity, and choice. It also uses schools as anchor points for their surrounding communities: if you connect the school, you can also connect local businesses and services. This creates opportunities for service providers to generate revenue from paying users, making connectivity more sustainable. A recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that a 10% increase in school connectivity can increase effective years of schooling by 0.6% and increase GDP per capita by 1.1%.  

You cannot fix a problem unless you can see it, so the first step is to map schools and their connectivity levels. Giga uses machine learning to scan satellite images and identify schools. These are then marked by coloured dots on an open-source map: green where there is good connectivity (over 5mb/s); amber where it is limited; and red where there is no connectivity at all. The project has already mapped over 920,000 schools in 40 countries, including several which were previously unknown to governments. 

Connecting every school in the world could cost US$428 billion or more. Much of the funding already exists but it is not always well aligned. Giga therefore works with governments to unlock public funds for use in delivering connectivity and to attract private investors by reducing the risks in harder-to-reach areas. We are also proposing a $5 billion Bond to finance last-mile connectivity and catalyze large-scale investment. The bond would be backed by donor governments and private foundations, much like the one issued by Gavi / IFFIm to deliver vaccines around the world.  

Once school connectivity has been mapped and financing secured, Giga works with a range of partners to bring the Internet to schools. We support governments in designing competitive procurement processes. We are also developing real-time payment mechanisms, meaning that if a dot on the connectivity map is only green for three hours a day, the provider only gets paid for three hours of access. Giga is already connecting schools in 19 countries and is prototyping several test solutions, including in refugee camps and remote, mountainous regions.   

Just as building railroads allowed previously isolated towns to flourish, providing good quality Internet access will allow communities to participate in the digital economy for the first time. But Giga’s work in laying the tracks for connectivity is only one part of a wider effort to bridge the digital divide. UNICEF’s Reimagine Education initiative brings all of this work together and has set the goal of connecting every child and young person – some 3.5 billion - to world-class digital learning solutions by 2030. In addition to Giga, it includes components focusing on the affordability of data and content, access to devices, teacher certification and the engagement of young people. Along with ITU’s digital skills programme and other initiatives, Reimagine Education aims to ensure that, once connected, young people are empowered with the tools they need to shape their own futures.  

Our partners are a huge part of our work, supporting us with both financial resources and in-kind support. We currently have a portfolio of a small group of major financial partners, and a larger group of others who provide technical assistance on important projects, including data sharing, cost model development, and more.

You can read more about Giga’s work at and by following us on twitter @Gigaconnect

About Our Team

We are a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary team of software engineers, finance specialists, data scientists, policy experts, and much more. Our team is a distributed workforce and plans to remain distributed into the foreseeable future.

We are growing fast. Our team has grown by over 400% in the last 6 months are we rapidly scale to meet our stated mission. Much, if not all, of this growth is supported by our partners and the work of our Partnerships Team. To-date, Giga has brought on more than a dozen partners and raised over $20M in funding. But many of our partners contribute more than just funding. To us, partners are collaborators, working shoulder to shoulder with our team to develop software, analyze data, conduct groundbreaking research, and much more!

The Ericsson Account Manager will report to the Partnerships Lead and work closely with the Communications team, Mapping team, and Data & Product team to coordinate their contributions to the Ericsson partnership.

Outside of the Giga team, this individual will work with several key counterparts on the Ericsson team, as well as the UNICEF Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division, and the Swedish National Committee for UNICEF.

How can you make a difference?

We seek a creative, self-motivated UX Design Specialist who has a passion for 1) maintaining strong, user-facing design sensibilities across products and 2) collaborating with diverse interdisciplinary team to communicate and execute ideas. =

  • The UX Design Specialist will own Giga’s and Project Connect’s foundational product design research and ideation, see it through from MVP launch, and data-driven, iterative improvements.
  • The UX Design Specialist will also collaborate with Giga team and its partners to advise on new products or solutions that will help Project Connect achieve the ambitious goal of connecting every school, and every community to the Internet.
  • Our team takes large ideas and makes them a reality; being able to communicate complex and abstract ideas using data-driven decisions and clear visual, verbal and written language is crucial.

Your main responsibilities will be

The team is looking for a UX Design Specialist with experience designing products across various devices and platforms for low-bandwidth or data-restricted environments. The UX Design Specialist will work with a range of data and blockchain related products. The candidate should exemplify a strong expertise in Agile/Lean practice and interaction design for websites, apps, data information systems, information architecture and systems mapping.

  • Work closely with the Giga tech team to continue a healthy, data-driven evolution and the global scale of current and future Giga products such as Project Connect and Blockchain.
  • Create and validate wireframes, low- and high-fidelity mockups that support the technical development of websites, applications, software, and dashboards while ensuring that branding and technical guidelines are upheld across these platforms.
  • Produce user personas, journey maps, scenarios, flows etc. to give shape to and communicate any preliminary idea.
  • Own user experience design lifecycle, from in-field prototype testing, MVP launch and ongoing, versioned iterations.
  • Coordinate the work of colleagues, vendors and/or external partners who will support or iterate on concepts already established by the Giga team, providing UX leadership, guidance and ensuring quality of their work.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in  interaction design, human-computer interaction, research and heuristics, information design and information architecture or other 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 5 year of relevant professional experience in digital UX design experience
  • Strong understanding of design systems and front-end architecture for websites, mobile applications, data visualization and content management systems.
  • In-depth understanding of typography and fundamentals of graphic design like colour, form, composition etc.
  • Experience in creating interactive prototypes in tools like Sketch, Adobe CC, Invision, and Collaboration tools such as GitHub, Trello, Slack, Jira and Miro.
  • Knowledge of capabilities and limitations of Web-based technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, ML/AI.
  • Experience working in start-up environments towards scale, being an advocate for human-centered design in Agile/Lean practices and resource constrained teams
  • Knowledge of UI and brand design is an asset.
  • Curiosity and willingness to learn about emerging Open-source technologies and communities are an asset.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered 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...

  • Innovates and embraces change - Lv 2
  • Drive to achieve results for impact
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity - Lv 2
  • Works collaboratively with others – Lv 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 Standard Time
Deadline: Eastern Standard Time

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