RapidPro DevOps Specialist

Duration: 2.5 months

Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda (Global Innovation Lab, Mbuya)

Level: Individual contract (equivalent to NO-A)



UNICEF has been innovating for children for more than 60 years. Innovations support 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. Innovation in UNICEF is defined as “doing something new or different that adds value.” Innovation is a cross-sectoral function that enhances programme and development effectiveness as well as management and is guided in all contexts by UNICEF’s Innovation Principles (http://unicefstories.org/principles/). UNICEF is engaged in testing and scaling up new partnerships, technologies, and collaborations in some of the world’s most difficult operating environments.

In January 2016, the Executive Director established UNICEF’s Office of Innovation in order to establish UNICEF’s innovation functions in one office and leverage the increasing initiatives across UNICEF.  Through this decision, the Executive Director’s vision is to scale up successes to achieve results for children across the organization. The Executive Director has asked the newly unified innovation team to develop a common, coordinated strategic plan that continues to support creativity and agility while addressing key operational risks and enhances efficiencies and enables increased access to innovations.  The newly established Office of Innovation combines:

  • The Global Innovation Centre (GIC) in Bangkok, Kampala and Nairobi: established in 2014, and focusing on Scale Up which looks at expanding the application of proven solutions from one to several countries and regions by UNICEF and partners
  • Ventures in New York which looks at investing in new solutions with a 0-2 year horizon
  • Futures in San Francisco: focusing on what is coming in the 2-5 year horizon and works with big tech partners

UNICEF Scale Up is functioning primarily through UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre and identifies proven solutions with the potential to be implemented at national scale in multiple countries. The GIC provides the leadership and technical support to deploy and scale these up, expanding their application by UNICEF and others from one to several countries and regions, specifically in the following main areas: Real-time information, Youth engagement and Access to Information.

As part of this effort, the Global Innovation Centre launched RapidPro – a globally supported communication engine that powers UNICEF’s mobile services in 30+ countries. All instances are currently cloud hosted, to meet specific Country Office needs, the Innovation Centre plans to provide instructions for local hosting as an optional solution. The consultant will work with the RapidPro technical team and test RapidPro under local hosting conditions (installation, load test, step-by-step documentation).


To work as RapidPro DevOps Specialist,

  • Work with GIC Senior Software Developer, GIC Senior Technology Specialist and UCO mTrac team to develop reference deployment kit for local hosting of RapidPro and related dashboards.
  • To document recommended tools for remote management (for installation, monitoring, upgrading, etc.).
  • Conduct comprehensive load testing and document recommended usage limits (e.g., message throughput, estimated maximum users, etc.) for given server hardware specifications. Include estimated hardware requirements and a possible approach to scaling a local deployment above and beyond these limitations.
  • Identify opportunities to automate installation, upgrading, and other system administration tasks. Provide recommendations for scripts, tools, etc. to fulfill automation needs.


  • Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with a supervisor.
  • Consultant is responsible for his own health insurance
  • UNICEF will provide office space, the internet and other required server equipment at the Mbuya Global Innovation Lab. The consultant is expected to bring his/her own laptop.


  • University degree in Information Systems Management, Computer Science, or similar; or related practical experience.
  • Minimum 2 years of professional experience in designing and implementing solutions for large-scale technical projects, etc.

Specialized Experience and Knowledge required for the assignment

  • Administration and maintenance of management information systems.
  • Experience with mobile technology: Kannel, IVR, RapidSMS, RapidPro etc.
  • At least two of PostgreSQL, MySQL, MS SQL Database Systems.
  • Server hardware and software technologies (including Linux-based servers).
  • Deploying, updating and maintaining software remotely on a Linux Servers.
  • Remote installation, upgrading, monitoring, and management tools (such as Sentry, Fabric, Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Salt, Docker, Dokku, etc).
  • ONLY Ugandan Nationals will be considered


  • Fluency in English.


Interested and suitable candidates are requested to send their applications with Subject “RapidPro DevOps Specialist” to: jobsugic@gmail.com on or before 31 July 2016.

Applications must include the following:

Incomplete applications will be disqualified. Applicants must clearly indicate the position applied for and use this order to name file attachments: Firstname_Lastname followed by document e.g. Gold_Mukasa_CV or Gold_Mukasa_CoverLetter. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Visit us at www.unicefstories.org and www.unicef.org/innovation

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