Request for proposal: Study on Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Transportation of Laboratory Samples in Malawi (Phase 1)
Volunteer opportunity: Design Fellow (Fall Semester), New York

Terms of Reference

Title: Design Consultant
Division: Innovation Unit, Division of Policy and Strategy, UNICEF, NYHQ
Duration: 11.5 Months
Duty Station: New York, USA


UNICEF has been innovating for children for more than 60 years. The Innovation Unit in New York supports the organization’s 135+ country offices in finding solutions for the world’s most vulnerable children. The UNICEF innovation work includes both policy and practice of innovation in UNICEF, and the larger UN. UNICEF is engaged in testing and scaling up new partnerships, technologies, and collaborations in some of the world’s most difficult operating environments. UNICEF’s system of innovation throughout the organization includes:

  • An Innovation Unit in New York: to support UNICEF programmes on the ground and the organisation at large through partnerships, technologies, and connections
  • An Innovation node in San Francisco: to build partnerships with the technology sector, and will help scale social innovation start-ups
  • A Global Innovation Centre in Nairobi: to identify and field tests scalable innovations
  • A network of Innovation Labs around the world (from Armenia to Zambia): to bring together the private sector, academia, and the public sector to develop solutions for key social issues, and ensure we are always watching for new ideas from unexpected places.


We seek a strong self-motivated top-level designer who can maintain strong design sensibilities even under tight time constraints, who can work with others to create a plan of action to best communicate ideas visually and who can maintain clarity in their work while juggling and prioritizing several projects at once. The overall objective of this role will be to provide design support and expertise in several program areas and UNICEF projects, including but not limited to: team branding, product branding and maintenance, user research for brand development, systems mapping, layout design, user experience and information architecture.

This position will range from project support to owning projects and seeing them through to completion. We seek someone who can work closely with our Interaction team leads but who also can prove they can task manage and follow-through on projects independently. The designer will be responsible for creating and packaging branding materials and will also be responsible for ensuring that these materials are being applied by staff. Additionally, the designer will be asked to provide design support for innovation products such as RapidPro and be ready to create everything from data and systems visuals, wireframes, presentations and infographic-heavy layouts. User testing and research recommendations will also be required for many upcoming projects, so the designer must also be able to provide guidance on best practices with creating and deploying products and campaigns around products.

Due to the the diversity of the role, the team is looking for a hybrid designer, who can ideally work across various devices and platforms, who understands both print, exhibition/wayfinding and various digital and web mediums. The ideal candidate will be a visual designer who has experience with complex systems and who is able to toggle between a number of projects at the same time. The ideal candidate must have a strong sense of UNICEF’s programmes and goals, who expresses a passion for designing for social impact through their portfolio, who has experience communicating easily with a diverse range of staff – designers and non-designers alike – and who has a knack for extrapolating information from team members that can be translated into simplified and articulate ways.


  1. Work with the Innovation Fund Manager, Interaction leads and developers to develop an online Innovation Fund portfolio which includes real-time data sets and geo-location information of Innovation Fund projects and other innovations.
  2. Work with the Innovation Unit to envision longer terms goals are future focus areas and to also continuously assess how to progressively evolve the current ways in which we communicate our work.
  3. Maintain and update any brand identity guidelines developed for various mobile and web-based projects related to U-Report and other RapidPro products.
  4. Assist in designing for Innovation Unit projects and organizational support (i.e. branding start-up and scale-up projects for Innovation Unit, layouts to support partnerships, communications, field and visual strategy teams, etc.)
  5. Create mockups and wireframes for websites, software, and dashboards for different projects, as necessary and ensure branding guidelines are upheld across the various mediums. Equally, the candidate must be able to provide consultation on how products are shaped and deployed from a design and user perspective.
  6. Work with the design lead to assist on user interface design, system design, process design, system design and data visualization support for various programme areas and identify any areas needing branding support or development.
  7. Work with the design lead to find additional ways to provide new and efficient means to support the Innovation Unit as they prototype, develop, deploy and scale-up products. This includes figuring out new ways to bring on additional support in specialized fields of interaction, such as design, development and data visualization, or discovering cost-effective and productive ways to share and edit visual assets.

2015 05 October – 2016 16 September, 11.5 months (241 days)


Month 1

  • Work with the Innovation Fund manager to research and strategize around the various components (ex. user experience and interface design, researching existing and functional fund websites) of a portfolio website for the Innovation Fund.
    Become familiarized with the most recent innovation products and the design needs that revolve around them.

Month 2

  • [ONGOING: Innovation Fund] In consultation with the Innovation Fund manager and the design lead, create the branding for the Innovation Fund. This includes a logo and brand guidelines that will be followed throughout the site and any reports produced.
  • [ONGOING: Innovation Fund] In consultation with the Innovation Fund manager and the design lead, create a wireframe for the fund website and start the process of designing the web pages. Plan out both simplified and robust versions of the website and work with the Innovation Fund manager and interaction leads to prioritize the build and major emphasis of the website.

Month 3

  • [ONGOING: Innovation Fund] Propose a plan for user testing and schedule user tests on the website with internal UNICEF staff and donors to get better results. Iterate on the website design once all feedback and comments have been collected.
    Assist the design lead on user interface design, process design, system design and data visualization support for various programme areas.

Month 4

  • Assess and identify the materials that can be included in the Innovation Annual Report 2015. Create a structure of the annual report, develop and edit content and graphics. Incorporate the existing Innovation Product catalogue data into the report for a better and more useful picture of UNICEF Innovation.
    Create a templates from the annual report that can be used as one-pagers or for presentations to communicate a certain part of innovation at UNICEF.

Month 5

  • User test the existing UNICEF Innovation Unit on-boarding website with the NYHQ and global team to get feedback and comments on the current functionality. This can be done by walking through the website with a team member or a group of members, researching other onboarding manuals or website etc.
  • [ONGOING: On-boarding website] Use the new data collected from research on the on-boarding website to create new designs and update the information on the website. Make the information more streamlined to ensure ease of the on-boarding process for new members. Orient the team to the updated components.
  • Work with the design lead to assess the latest version of the design candidate pool platform. Strategize on next steps and present considerations for how to evolve the platform to include other features.

Month 6

  • Document and organize the visual strategy team’s work in order to publish past, current, and future design projects. Create a portfolio of work on a website or in a publication that can be used to present at conferences, design schools or to country offices.
  • Draft recommendations and present findings to the design lead, specifically on lessons learned, future-thinking presentation methods and designs that complement our 9 principles.

Month 7

  • Get familiarized with the U-Report deployment process and all the documents involved.
  • Similar to the documents that help streamline the process of U-Report deployment, design a document that helps country offices put in easy design requests for the Innovation Unit visual strategy team. This document should help the country office understand the bandwidth of support they might have for each innovation product and helps the visual strategy team establish an organized manner of accepting requests.

Month 8

  • [ONGOING: Streamlining design requests] Similar to the testing done for the U-Report documents, send out this document to country offices for a beta test and get feedback from them. Create iterations of the document if needed.
  • Assist the design lead in maintaining the design candidate pool available for UNICEF Innovation globally. This includes removing inactive candidates, requesting updates to profiles, sending out applications to new candidates, updating interview processes and conducting interviews.

Month 9

  • Work with the communications team to support on any ongoing needs for outreach. Ex. Posters for innovation products, graphics for events, sharable social media items that go along with articles written about innovation at UNICEF.
    Develop concepts for projects in the future that relate to RapidPro or other technology based products.

Month 10

  • Assist and advise the Innovation Unit data science team on any mapping projects that might need presentations. Create maps that help communicate fluently what our big data projects can accomplish.
  • Work with the design lead to strategize around the General Assembly 2016 – depending on the kind of work displayed or presented by the Innovation team.

Month 11 – Month 11.5

  • [ONGOING: General Assembly 2016] Produce design work for Innovation Product related events at the General Assembly 2016 – this includes publications explaining the products, posters, flyers, banners and presentations for speakers. (ex. Taking content from various country office and organizing it in a way that is easy to understand).
  • Package any brand materials, presentations, posters and other visual communication in a comprehensive handover note for the design lead.


  • Continue design work related to mobile and technology-based products such as RapidPro and U-Report. Provide design support to CO’s on RapidPro and U-Report related apps – including brand deployment, web deployment and production of communication campaign assets.
  • Continue to assist on user interface design, process design, system design and data visualization support for various programme areas.
  • Continue to provide support for the Innovation Unit with the development of information graphics, diagrams, charts, etc.
  • Continue to support the development of the design candidate pool platform and work on adding features.

The applicant must hold a Bachelor’s degree and/or Master’s degree and 3-5 years of professional experience in a relevant field – ie. graphic design, interaction design, visual communication, media design, system design or others – and have proven experience in translating complex ideas into unified storytelling visuals. Qualifications include:

  • Strong graphic design skills particularly in layout, presentations, branding and visualization of systems and complex information and structures. Strong knowledge of design platforms like Adobe Creative Suite, design techniques, software, data visualization.
  • Global-level branding work (for example, U-Report is a global brand which is disseminated across several countries).
  • Experience in print, digital, UX/UI design, data visualization
  • Ability to design effectively using constrained mediums such as Powerpoint
  • Proven capability of working on a project from the concept to the final design package
  • An ability to communicate complex, abstract concepts using both visual, verbal and written language.
  • Ability to work with a diverse team in a rapidly-changing work environment: Proven experience working with a diverse team and being able to parse through large amounts of information in order to create synthesized and clear designs.
  • At least 3-5 years of professional experience in developing branding and layout.
  • Additionally, the candidate should be able to integrate new guidelines into the team workflow.
  • Knowledge of SMS technology and mobile usage in developing countries and a familiarity with UNICEF Innovation Labs and products is a plus.

Additional Experience and Knowledge:

  • Familiarity with open-source technology
  • Familiarity with development/programming language
  • Self-starter and able to time-manage oneself.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Design preparation and production skills
  • Ability to work in a team and in a diverse and rapidly-changing work environment
  • Experience working within the social impact space

Fluency in English. Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

To Apply:
Please submit the following materials to with the Subject line – “Application: Design Consultant”:

Note: Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in USD) to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered. Application Deadline: 26 August 2015, 5pm EST

Questions can be directed to with the Subject line: “QUERY: Design Consultant”

Request for proposal: Study on Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Transportation of Laboratory Samples in Malawi (Phase 1)
Volunteer opportunity: Design Fellow (Fall Semester), New York