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West and Central Africa Region

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Technical International Consultant for Digital Public Goods (DPG), Freetown, Sierra Leone, 11.5 months

Apply now Job no: 546320
Contract type: Consultancy
Level: Consultancy
Location: Sierra Leone
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

Please access UNICEF Sierra Leone information here and  here

How can you make a difference?

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

“To realize the SDGs’ vision of a world in which no one is left behind, we need to go beyond business as usual – investing in innovation and building broader, bolder partnerships that help us reach every child.” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore

Purpose of Assignment:

Since 2014, UNICEF Sierra Leone has been championing the use of innovation to help identify and address the issues that affect the children and women of Sierra Leone. Work done over the past 6 years has established UNICEF Sierra Leone as the leading agency for innovative programming to help deliver results for children in Sierra Leone.

In 2018, the Government of Sierra Leone established a new Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI). DSTI’s mandate is to use Science, Technology and Innovation to support the Government of Sierra Leone to deliver on its national development plan effectively and efficiently; and to help transform Sierra Leone into an innovation and entrepreneurship hub. UNICEF Sierra Leone has already established a workplan with DSTI to promote and enable the use of Innovation in Sierra Leone for improved results for children.

The Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA) aims to facilitate the discovery, development, use of, and investments in DPGs of high relevance for attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Digital Public Goods are defined as open-source software, open data, open AI models, open standards and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable best practices, do no harm and are of high relevance for attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Objectives of the Assignment:

As part of Sierra Leone’s role as a co-champion of the DPGA, and to strengthen the existing collaboration between UNICEF and DSTI on DPGs, this assignment aims to:

  1. Provide product development support to selected DPGs created and/or curated by DSTI (60%).
  2. Provide open-source-community management support to the same projects to strengthen local capacity & talent (40%).

The Digital Public Goods (DPG) Technical Consultant reports to the Innovation Specialist for general guidance and direction.

Scope of Work:

Under the general guidance and supervision of the Innovation Specialist, the post has the following key responsibilities including, but are not limited to:

  • Provide product development/programming support to digital public goods such as, OpenG2P, GoSL USSD Services Platform
  • Coordinate the engagement and technical cooperation with the UNICEF Office of Innovation.
  • Support any solution development to be prepared to meet the DPG Standard and to be included in the DPG Registry.
  • Provide technical assistance to each solution as outlined in the description of the assignment below.
  • Provide opensource community management support to digital public goods projects to strengthen local capacity & talent.
  • Identify key open-source community organizations, academia and/or private sector to be engaged in each of the projects
  • Advocate for the adoption of open-source best practices in the development and maintenance of these projects’ software repositories
  • Develop and deploy clear and structured documentation for all project repositories
  • Develop, deploy and manage issue and pull request templates for each of the projects and position these projects overall to welcome external contributions
  • Regularly review and incorporate community contributions functions/accountabilities:
  • Underpin UNICEF’s role as a convener to enable the scale-up of the DPGA at country level.
  • Maintain collaboration with government of Sierra Leone and identify new opportunities for engaging other stakeholders to contribute to the DPGA for Sierra Leone.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the supervisor to ensure the success of the team, as needed.

Please see attached ToR for detailed information Download File Consultant-ToR-DPG-Innovation.pdf

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Technology, Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or related 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 years of experience developing and managing open source technology projects.
  • Solid experience in programming languages including Java, Python, and Golang.
  • Previous experience developing projects in the open and the ability to demonstrate an active Github or Gitlab profile.
  • Familiarity with different frameworks such as Java/ Spring & Python/ Django.
  • Experience in system design and architecture.
  • Familiarity with Sierra Leone’s developer community organizations/landscape.
  • Ability to work with a diverse team in a rapidly changing work environment and adapt to unforeseen changes.
  • Experience working in the social impact space.
  • Fluency in English is required, strong written and verbal competency is necessary.
  • Experience working in a developing country required, working in the West African region is considered as 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.

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.

Consultants and Individual contractors are responsible for paying any taxes derived from the earnings received from UNICEF.

  • Application to include financial proposal that will detail your daily/monthly rate (in Sierra Leone Leones) to undertake the terms of reference. 
  • Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.


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: Greenwich Standard Time
Deadline: Greenwich Standard Time

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