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Terms of Reference
(download here)

Title: Market Research Consultant – Satellite
Location of Assignment: Flexible; NYHQ and Remote Based
Language (s): English (knowledge of an additional language a plus)
Travel: N/A
Duration of contract: 45 days (15 December 2015 through 18 February 2016)

UNICEF has been innovating for children for more than 50 years. The work in this area is led by an Innovation Unit in New York that supports the organization – and particularly our 135 country offices – in finding solutions for the world’s most vulnerable children. The 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. Since 2007 UNICEF’s Innovation Unit has worked with partners to develop open-source, equity-focused solutions including those that have created nationwide systems for real-time information on children in countries throughout East Africa, real-time tracking of the distribution of more than 25 million insecticide treated mosquito nets in Nigeria; and mentored and supported more than 1,000 youth entrepreneurship projects through the Kosovo Innovation Lab.

Access to Information, as one of the three portfolio areas of UNICEF’s innovation work, focuses on three main building blocks. Objectives include:

  1. Provide access to better educational resources in both formal and non-formal environments to improve learning outcomes and increase income-generating skills and household contribution.
  2. Develop, curate and share locally relevant, open learning materials, multimedia content and games, including educational, curriculum based content as well as life-saving, health and vocational / business information.
  3. Bridge the digital divide and provide access to “global” communication through adequate infrastructure solutions.

Providing sustainable infrastructure in hard-to-reach environments remains one of the biggest challenges in UNICEF´s Access to Information portfolio. Although mobile broadband coverage is spreading in developing countries, most remote and rural areas either still remain uncovered, or running costs for internet infrastructure are not affordable. Other solutions (e.g. point-to-point local Wi-Fi networks) usually come with high maintenance requirements that need advanced local technical capacity. Satellite connectivity could help overcome coverage issues in remote areas but high bandwidth costs present significant challenges to date.

The market research would provide insight on the use of satellite services in emerging markets, and contribute to UNICEF Innovation’s strategy and work in extending equitable access to information and infrastructure for the most vulnerable children and their families.


To research and advise how satellite services can support UNICEF programmes (specifically related to increasing access to information and localized content, life-saving services and real-time monitoring) over the next 3-5 years.


The market research and recommendations report, should address the following questions:

How can satellites support UNICEF programmes for children (specifically increasing access to life-saving information and services, roll out of localized content and real-time monitoring) over the next 3-5 years?


  1. Description of the current and projected ecosystem – including:
  • Policy and global ecosystem
  • Market leader profiles (global, regional and local market leaders, including products, technology, pricing, target users, contacts and other relevant information),
  • Changes, trends, growth rate, high-potential regions, etc. In depth analysis should include, but not limited to (current sources of financing; competitive landscape; industry chain structure; capacity; production; cost; price; profit; production value; gross margin; R&D status; Other relevant areas)

2. Description of the current technology and projected new technology advancements – which current and evolving technologies should we be observing/considering?

  • What are the major areas of utility (i.e. functionality of payload)?
  • Where (in relation to geography and potential use cases) would satellites add value for us in the next 3-5 years (particularly given trends in mobile broadband infrastructure)?
  • Create 5-10 country profiles (from all continents and regions) that are representative of different types of markets. Each country profile should include;
  • Regulatory considerations within each national market: the presence/absence of policy incentives; laws, taxes or tax credits which might affect legal structures, project economics or the ability to offer certain products/services
    • Baseline metrics: willingness to pay (volume of service and monetary amount), current sources/uses, current usage amount, quality and quantity of current products/services used
    • Extant distribution channels: current customer reach and the capability distribute additional products

3. What engagement/business models could we consider to leverage technology and services? What are the cost and other implications, risks and advantages of each?
4. With the expectation that ubiquitous coverage is a near-term reality – what factors should and can UNICEF be influencing in the discussions around access to information?
5. Informed recommendations to UNICEF Innovation’s future strategy in promoting equitable access to information and services through satellite services
Expected results: (measurable results)

  1. Proposed work plan
  2. First draft
  3. Compilation of feedback from consultations
  4. Second draft
  5. Final report

Duty Station

Flexible location with no travel expected.


Start date: 15 December 2015
End date: 18 February 2016           

(See the last page for guidance on formulating deliverables)

  1. Deliverables: Desk review of satellite industry trends, players, current and emerging technologies, potential use cases to increase access to life-saving information and services and potential engagement models
    Duration (Estimated # of Days):
    15 days
    16 January 2016
  2. Deliverables: Undertake interviews and consultations with experts in the industry and others (including UNICEF issue area experts, programme specialists, external scholars, industry experts, entrepreneurs and investors etc.) to verify and complement desk review findings, document and analyze use cases and establish a mapping of key player
    Duration (Estimated # of Days):
    14 days
    26 January 2016
  3. Deliverables: Present first and second drafts (approximately 10-20 pages each) to supervisor, compile comments and feedback
    Duration (Estimated # of Days):
    5 days
    2 February 2016
  4. Deliverables: Submit a final comprehensive market analysis report (approximately 20-30 pages) based on feedback received through wide consultation
    Duration (Estimated # of Days):
    11 days
    18 February 2016
  5. Deliverables: Communicate weekly with supervisor providing regular progress reports and responding to information request
    Duration (Estimated # of Days): 

Total: 45 days

Key competences, technical background, and experience required Deadline

  • Advanced university degree in social sciences, engineering or in a related field such as market research, operational research, information technology, business, development, children or social research.
  • 5- 7 years of Mid to Senior level professional with good qualitative and quantitative research skills including experience in conducting community-based processes and/or research on social issues (Essential).
  • Familiarity with the satellite services industry and experience in emerging markets would be desirable.
  • Excellent knowledge of English (knowledge of an additional language a plus).
  • Experience in computer data entry for research analysis is recommended.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with people of various professional, academic and cultural backgrounds.

How to Apply

Applicants are requested to send their submissions to with subject line:

Market Research Consultant – Satellite” by 27 November 2015, 5:00pm EST.

Applications must include:

  • Cover letter,
  • CV, and
  • P-11 form[1]
  • Two writing samples presenting relevant desk- or delivery interview based research findings and recommendations (max 10 pages each)
  • Indicate where you heard about this advertisement

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above.  Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered. Payment will be made as a lump sum at the end of the consultancy.

NOTE: Files should not exceed 5.0MB limit

UNICEF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Job opportunity: Mobile Network Consultant, Bangkok
Job Opportunity: Business Model Research Consultant, New York