Title: Data Science/ Data Visualization Consultant
Location of Assignment: NYHQ
Language(s) Required: English
Travel: No
Duration of Contract: 8 months

Background & Rationale
UNICEF’s Data, Research and Policy (DRP) division was created in 2014 in order to more effectively link and lead the organization’s data, research, policy and strategy functions, so that UNICEF can better track a rapidly changing world and strengthen our policies and advocacy in an integrated and holistic way. Making the ongoing data revolution work for children is a  key corporate priority and DRP has been leading this discussion through an inter-divisional Reference Group, the organization of the first Data for Children Forum (11 September 2015) and through the development of the next-generation data strategy for UNICEF.

Numerous conversations related to strengthening UNICEF’s data analysis and data use capacity have been taking place in different divisions and different teams across the organization.  From the Ebola Cell to the Strengthening Humanitarian Action initiative, better using information to inform decision making has been identified as critical to UNICEF’s ability to manage contemporary challenges.  A series of prototypes in both text/sentiment analysis and data visualization tools have been created in hopes to extract data value and usage of troves of information produced by the organization in a wide range of areas (e.g. communication, evaluation, emergency).

The purpose of this position is leverage the potential of data science to strengthen UNICEF’s ability to systematize and analyze horizon scanning exercises and make sense of available information for decision-making. Building on existing pilot exercises, the candidate will be responsible for working with teams across UNICEF HQ to conduct text/sentiment/networks analysis and strengthen the design and scope of tool/data visualization/ that can bring efficiencies to decision-makers in their work. Ultimately, the consultant will support efforts to mainstream and leverage the potential of data science to create value for children.

Expected results: (measurable results)

  1. In coordination with different UNICEF teams, scope emerging opportunities where natural language processing (NLP) and/or machine learning methods can be used to extract, identify or characterize data meaning of available information.
  1. Building on ongoing pilots, conduct text/sentiment/network analyses of existing and new information generated by different divisions at UNICEF (e.g. communication, evaluation, and emergency).
  2. Build and/or strengthen the user interface for existing text analytics tools at UNICEF or create new ones.
  3. Aim for one full submission to a leading multi-disciplinary journal by the end of the consultancy. While publication can never be guaranteed, the work must satisfy the level of those journals, and be within the priority lines of the team.

Duty Station: NYHQ

Start date: December 2015            End date:  July 2016
(Dates will be adjusted to reflect the actual starting date of the consultancy)


1. Scoping opportunities for application of text/sentiment/network analysis
Estimated # of Days: 21 days
Deadline: Dec 2015

2. Literature Review
Estimated # of Days: 21 days
Deadline: 16 Jan 2016

3. Methodology for analysis identified
Estimated # of Days: 20 days
Deadline: 16 Feb 2016

4. First draft text/sentiment/network analysis
Estimated # of Days: 21 days
Deadline: 16 Mar 2016

5. First prototype of tool
Estimated # of Days: 21 days
Deadline: 18 Apr 2016

6. Second draft/text/sentiment/network analysis
Estimated # of Days: 21 days
Deadline: 16 May 2016

7. Proof of concept
Estimated # of Days: 21 days
Deadline: 16 Jun 2016

8. Scientific paper
Estimated # of Days: 21 days
Deadline: 18 Jul 2016

Total:  168 days

Key competences, technical background, and experience required Deadline

  • An Advanced Degree on Computational Science, Data Science, Design Engineering
  • Experience with Python (or R) (Extra: iGraph library, NLP libraries JavaScript); D3 (Extra: leaflet)
  • At least 5 years of Mid-level experience in relevant field – i.e. Text analysis, sentiment analysis, network analysis (introduction to networks, M. Newman), data visualization.
  • Proven capability of working on a project from the concept to the final research/design package.
  • Ability to parse through large amounts of information in order to create simplified and clear products for useful for decision-making.
  • Self-starter and able to time-manage oneself
  • Fluency in English

How to Apply
Applicants are requested to send their submissions to pdconsultants@unicef.org with subject line:

Data Science/Data Visualization Consultant” by 18th December 2015, 5:00pm EST.

Applications must include:

  • Cover letter,
  • CV, and
  • P-11 form[1]
  • Indicate where you heard about this advertisement

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above.  Applications submitted without a daily rate will not be considered. 

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.

[1] P 11 form  can be downloaded from our website at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/Personal_History_P11.doc