Duty Station: UNICEF NYHQ
Start Date: January 15, 2015
Reporting to: Senior Advisor, Innovation, UNICEF NYHQ
UNICEF’s Innovation Unit in New York helps UNICEF’s 135+ Country Offices strengthen programmes on the ground using innovative approaches and technologies. Innovation at UNICEF means doing things in a new and different way that adds value and helps us achieve results for the most vulnerable children. This means, concretely, researching and understanding strengths, vulnerabilities and environmental factors for children and their families, and therefore translating ideas, technologies, and partnerships into products and services that bring about better, more equitable results for children.
The Big Data Project is looking to explore the possibilities of data analytics within UNICEF, by looking at new types of real time information such as phone records, postal logs, online social networks or U-reportSMS records and exploring their potential to serve as proxies for socio-economic indicators and to improve preparedness, response and monitoring. U-report is a revolutionary and free SMS-based system geared towards the engagement and empowerment of young people that was launched in Uganda in May 2011.
PURPOSE OF THE CONSULTANCY
The Innovation Unit seeks to hire a Research Scientist Consultant to explore the possibilities of new data analytics within UNICEF, with special attention to continuing existing results (fingerprints of unemployment, mobility networks and CDR-based analysis) and key products (U-report), showcasing results both internally and into the scientific community (impact journals and conferences)
- Explore U-report possibilities (40% time allocation):
- Perform basic analysis on U-report data: evolution, participation, potential, coverage.
- Advise on using U-report polls to extract operational and analytical knowledge (e.g., language distribution, unemployment, income, traveling patterns).
- Devise advanced analysis on methods to extendU-report informative power (e.g., socioeconomic indexes, health monitoring, identify sex of non-defined users. Possibility to trigger partnerships, challenges and experiments.
- Expand knowledge and visibility of nontraditional data sources and methods of data analysis/monitoring, with UNICEF Data, Public Policy and/or UN Global Pulse (40% time allocation):
- CDR-based analysis for Ebola/Humanitarian response: further the development and dissemination of access policy/guidelines (i.e. how to get access to data) and applications (i.e. using the data). Conduct experiments if data is available.
- Explore methods and unconventional data sources for rapid indexing, monitoring and horizontal scanning.
- Research exploration (20% time allocation)
- Gather data/team on CDRs and humanitarian response (1-page summary on data available and tentative work plan) (in collaboration with UN Global Pulse)
- Gather data/team on unconventional data and socio-economic indicators (1-page summary on data available and tentative work plan) (in collaboration with UN Global Pulse & Data)
- 3-pager summary on U-report basic analysis and perspective
- Gather Data on U-report ground truth (in collaboration with Data & MICS)
- Document outlying rationale for methodologies to asses humanitarian response using CDR based analysis & literature review
- Document outlying rationale for methodologies to pilot socio-economic indicators from unconventional data & literature review
- Document outlying rationale for methodologies to extend U-report informative scope
- Attend NetSci (June 1-5 2015, Zaragoza, Spain)
- Attend ICCSS (June 8-11 2015, Helsinki, Finland)
Month 6 :
- Brownbag lunch PowerPoint presentation on using CDRs for humanitarian response
- Brownbag lunch PowerPoint presentation on using unconventional data sources for piloting socio-economic indicators
- Submit scientific paper on using unconventional data sources for piloting socio-economic indicators to multidisciplinary impact journal (Scientific Reports, impact factor 2013: 5.078)
- Report/Scientific paper on U-report based project
- Submit scientific paper on using CDRs for humanitarian response to multidisciplinary impact journal (PLoS ONE, impact factor 2013: 3.53)
- Report on Big Data on UNICEF, summarizing the experiences of the three projects (CDRs, unconventional data for piloting socio-economic indicators and U-report)
- Bi-weekly meetings with UN Global Pulse
- Weekly meetings with other UNICEF Divisions/Sections (Policy Planning, Data, EMOPS and C4D)
DURATION OF CONTRACT AND DUTY STATION
11 months (January 15 – December 23, 2015)
Consultant will split time between Global Pulse New York Headquarters and UNICEF New York Headquarters as needed
Travel is anticipated. Destination(s)TBC.
QUALIFICATIONS AND COMPETENCIES
- Advanced university degree, in computer science, engineering, statistics, applied mathematics, physics, computational finance, or other related technical fields. Desirable at least 2-3 years experience in Big Data analytics research.
- Competent in data analysis, network analysis, time series analysis or modeling of complex systems.
- Competency in R or Python, shell scripting and/or awk and specific libraries such as iGraph are a plus
- Familiarity working with quantitative and qualitative data
- Experience working with cell phone data or remote sensing data
- Experienced in working with complex network data to create decision making algorithm and processes
- UNICEF experience; familiarity with the UN system is ideal
- Ability to package work and collaborate with IU Visual Strategy team to visualize data
- Knowledge of cell phone networks, Twitter and network analysis
- Fluency in English and a second UN language
Salary commensurate with experience.
Monthly payment based on outputs to deliverables, certified upon monthly review and report with supervisor.
UNICEF recourse in case of unsatisfactory performance:
Payment will only be made for work satisfactorily completed and accepted by UNICEF.
Qualified candidates are requested to submit:
- Cover letter/application.
- Financial quote for consultancy as a monthly rate in US Dollars
- 2-3 samples of work or Case Studies of previous work
- References (3)
- P 11 form (which can be downloaded from our website at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_53129.html)
Applications are to be sent to email@example.com with subject line: Research Scientist Consultant by December 31, 2014. Please indicate your availability and monthly rate to undertake the terms of reference above.
*Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.