View the complete Terms of Reference here.

Title: Technical Coordinator, UAS Testing Corridor

Location of Assignment: Lilongwe, Malawi

Language(s) required: English, another UN language is an asset

Travel: Travel anticipated – including traveling to UNICEF Office of Innovation New York Headquarters (NYHQ).

Duration of Contract: 11.5 months – estimated start date: 15 January 2017, 241 days

Section & Unit: Office of Innovation, UNICEF Malawi

Consultant Reporting to UNICEF Malawi Country Representative, Ventures Lead at NYHQ, coordination with HIV/AIDS, UNICEF Malawi.


About the position

UNICEF Malawi in collaboration with the Office of Innovation is seeking a Technical Coordinator to manage the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) testing corridor in Malawi. This technical liaison position will involve:

●      Designing the operational framework for the testing corridor,
●      Contributing to the criteria to test drones in the corridor,
●      Working with private sector companies interested in testing their technology,
●      Working with government to maintain the corridor, and
●      Potentially coordinating across multiple UNICEF offices.
This is an emerging field, and we’re looking for someone with the capacity to build new things in a complex environment, knowledge of air traffic management, and entrepreneurial or communications experience in UNICEF’s program countries.

About us

UNICEF and Unmanned Aerial Systems

In about ten to fifteen years, drones will be fully incorporated into commercial airspace. Will we be ready? How can we use these emerging technologies to help children? UNICEF Innovation is looking at the future of flying robots, otherwise known as drones, for humanitarian response and development goals. Though they are a new technology, we believe their potential use in imagery, connectivity, and transport situations will be integral. UNICEF sees drones as being helpful, for example, in mudslides in humanitarian and refugee flooding situations, by bringing connectivity to disconnected areas and for transporting important medical supplies to hard-to-reach places. Unmanned aircraft can be piloted autonomously, and programmed to do work that a manned aircraft cannot do. They are currently in an early stage of technological and infrastructural integration, and federal aviation authorities are still figuring out national guidelines for governing airspace. We want UNICEF active in these early conversations to develop uses that enhance children’s lives.

The Government of Malawi in collaboration with UNICEF is opening a first-of-its-kind dedicated corridor for the use and testing of UAS for humanitarian purposes in Malawi. This testing corridor will be open to corporations, universities and individuals who apply and meet the air corridor criteria. As this has never been done before, we’re looking for a dynamic and experienced individual who can adapt as the situation demands and can further the goals of UNICEF.

Scope

This position is primarily based in Malawi. However, the expected candidate would spend approximately one month at UNICEF New York in preparation for deployment to Malawi, with at least two multi-week trips back to New York, along with the potential for travel to other countries to guide the regulatory framework processes. There will be a living stipend provided for the time in New York. Modalities for the use of the corridor still have to be determined with the Government of Malawi, and you would be involved in the discussions.
The Drone Corridor Technical Coordinator will provide high-level technical inputs and project management support for the drone corridor in Malawi, specifically towards the following expected results:

Facilitate relationships and partnerships between the Government of Malawi, UNICEF and relevant corporate partners

  • Prepare a Terms of Reference to recruit future national staffing of the drone corridor and facilitate the mentoring and hiring process, as agreed with government
  • Develop and implement strategy for Malawi’s drone corridor to guide UNICEF’s engagement, including partnership management, logistical arrangements, protocols and overall implementation to ensure coordination of technical outcomes
  • Manage the process of outreach and selection of companies that use the corridor, based on established selection criteria and in close collaboration with UNICEF Malawi Country Office, UNICEF New York and the Government of Malawi
  • Develop and implement a plan for publication and dissemination of lessons learned and eventual research developed in the corridor
  • Document experiences of establishment and management of corridor to inform other similar future efforts in other regions

Key competencies, technical background, and experience required:

• University degree
• At least six (6) years of professional experience
• Experience working in emerging economies is desired
• Experience working with government is desired
• Knowledge or experience of airspace regulations and air traffic control
• Experience working in the private sector or managing corporate partnerships
• Proven capacity to build new things in complex situations
• Project management skills including results driven task prioritization and budget monitoring
• Experience building policy within complex bureaucracies or organizations is desired
• Experience implementing and scaling new projects or technologies in developing countries an asset
• Experience working within UNICEF is an asset
• Solid understanding of the role technology plays in the development and sectors, as well as the UN system
• Proactive and organized, must be able to multitask
• Fluency in English is required and in other UN Languages it is an asset

How to Apply

Applicants are requested to send their submissions to oirecruitment@unicef.org with the subject line:
“Application: Drone Corridor Technical Coordinator” by 29 December 2016.
Applications must include:

●      Cover letter,
●      CV, and
●      P-11 form – http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/P11.doc
●      Indicate where you heard about this advertisement

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

NOTE: Files should not exceed 5.0MB limit

View the complete Terms of Reference here.

UNICEF is committed to achieving workforce diversity regarding 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.


Background

The Office of Innovation identifies promising new technologies (data science, SMS, drones) that have potential to impact UNICEF core operations (education, health, disaster response). Through our network of technology companies, UNICEF Country Offices and academic institutions, we construct pilots to quickly determine if projects should be continued or discontinued. Requests for collaboration, advice and support are fielded from UNICEF programmes, and other parts of the UN system.

We also have a small venture fund – the UNICEF Innovation Fund – which provides resources to quickly assess, fund and scale companies, teams, and ideas that have been developed in new and emerging markets. The Innovation Fund supports the generation of open source, public goods that address the most pressing challenges facing children. We work very fast, we embrace startup culture, and we work with the worlds of academia, public and private sector around the world who help us find solutions to the biggest problems that face children. While working from the UNICEF Headquarters in New York, we also work closely with the UNICEF Innovation office in San Francisco, and the UNICEF Global Innovation Centre.

In March 2016, UNICEF Malawi implemented a study on “The feasibility and a cost analysis of the use of UAVs in transporting laboratory samples for early infant diagnosis of HIV in Malawi.” Following the study’s success in documenting that UAVs are a feasible component of a laboratory supply chain, UNICEF supported the Government of Malawi in developing its UAV policy. The Government subsequently approved the development of the UAV air corridor, with a strong emphasis on building partnerships with Malawian academic institutions and private sector.

See link: http://unicefstories.org/2016/03/14/malawi-tests-first-unmanned-aerial-vehicle-flights-for-hiv-early-infant-diagnosis/  

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