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Download the complete Terms of Reference here

Title Data Science Researcher & Lead analyst for Information Poverty Phase Classification
Location of Assignment New York, NY
Language(s) required English
Travel Flexibility to travel if needed
Duration of Contract 11.5 months
Section & unit Office of Innovation
Consultant Reporting to Co-lead Innovation Unit


Background & Rationale

In the same way that we have tools to measure nutrition access (kcal/day) and identify populations at risk of famine, UNICEF is developing tools to measure information access (kb/day) and identify populations suffering from severe information deprivation.

Access to information is critical in allowing families to make decisions regarding health, finances, education, etc., and as more and more of the global population is connected via mobile phones and internet, the disparity between those with access and those without is growing exponentially. UNICEF and partners need to be able to reach the most deprived populations with essential information and services.

The Information Poverty Phase Classification (IPPC) is a new tool focused on identifying and targeting severe information deprivation. It aims to provide actionable insights that can benefit vulnerable populations and populations in crisis through a “convergence of evidence” approach, that includes both traditional data and measures (such as government data, ITU statistics, etc.) as well as new and exploratory data sources and methods (such as satellite images and mobile phone data).The IPPC brings together all of these sources of evidence to produce a quantitative and qualitative measure of information deprivation, considering key actionable dimensions such as:

  1. Information reach (e.g. is critical information from UNICEF and governments campaigns reaching vulnerable children)
  2. Information search (e.g. can children seek out and find relevant information)
  3. Connectivity to bigger community (e.g. can children share problems and ideas with relevant actors)

About UNICEF Innovation:

UNICEF Innovation is an interdisciplinary team of individuals around the world focused on identifying, prototyping, and scaling technologies and practices to improve the lives of children and young people. We leverage our network of local entrepreneurs, academics, private sector companies, and others to test promising emerging technologies, to incubate prototype applications of these to assist UNICEF programs and to support scale up of successful prototypes to the rest of the organisation.

The purpose of this consultancy is twofold:

  1. To conduct research and analysis of survey and other suitable data for the pilot of the Information Poverty Phase Classification (IPPC). The pilot will focus on identifying and analysing relevant data from three participating countries and refining the methodology for IPPC.
  2. To provide support on existing data science projects as well as leading one new line of research based on organisational needs and after a period of surveying opportunities including large scale text analysis, disease modelling and analysis of large scale social behaviour as reflected in patterns of social network interactions.

Expected results: (measurable results)

  • Coordination of IPPC stakeholders including UNICEF country offices, other UN agencies and statistical agencies to identify relevant and useful data-sources to be compiled in an evidence table for the first pilot country and eventually extended to second and third countries
  • Documentation of IPPC learnings in a comprehensive report and communication of findings to stakeholders.
  • Development of infrastructure to collect, house and analyse non-traditional forms of data such as text documents and social media interactions. Code will be documentation and compiled in an open-source repository.
  • Communication of findings in the form of technical documentation and a scientific publication and also communicated in a verbal form to both internal and external stakeholders.

Duty Station


Download the complete Terms of Reference here

Volunteer opportunity: Primero/Child Protection IMS Volunteer, remote
Job opportunity: Design Consultant, New York