View the complete Terms of Reference and deliverables here. To begin job application click here.

  • Role: Innovation Fund Technology Adviser
  • Location: Office of Global Innovation
  • Work Type: Consultancy
  • Duty Station: NYHQ
  • Travel:  Travel anticipated
  • Duration:  11.5 month; 241 days

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection, and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Background & Rationale

UNICEF has been innovating for children for more than 70 years. The Office of Innovation in New York supports 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. UNICEF is engaged in testing and scaling up new partnerships, technologies, and collaborations in some of the world’s most difficult operating environments.

With $11m available in funding for the Innovation Fund, the Office of Innovation is scaling up investments significantly over the course of 2017. We invest in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. We find these solutions clustered around $100 billion industries like emergency and epidemic response, transport & delivery, identity, finance, learning, personal data and related fields.

Following the announcement of its first 5 portfolio companies, the Innovation Fund plans to grow its portfolio by 20-40 companies in 2017. In addition, the Innovation Fund will continue to accept applications from UNICEF Country Offices for co-funding from the Innovation Fund. With a focus on investing exclusively in open source technology solutions, the Innovation Fund team is seeking a Technology Adviser to provide technology guidance to the current portfolio while helping to identify investment strategies for future emerging areas.


The growing portfolio will require ongoing monitoring and technical support to maximise the Fund’s return on investment and minimise risk associated with the investments. The consultancy aims to 1) provide technology-related support to the Innovation Fund’s current portfolio and 2) guide its future investment strategy, specifically to:

  • Monitor investment companies to assess progress against agreed milestones and contractual requirements related to licensing and tech development and quality
  • Provide technical assistance to companies/Country Offices on technology-, rapid evaluation, licensing- and project design and –implementation related needs and questions to increase the quality and scalability of tech solutions
  • Facilitate the engagement of internal and external technical experts to provide technical assistance on technology-related needs
  • Put in place systems to enable the development and maintenance of open source communities around the solutions receiving investment, providing peer-based support and ensuring an active community around open source tech stack
  • Provide high-level guidance to the identification of emerging technology spaces and future investment strategy for the Innovation Fund

Expected results: (measurable results)

  • Guidelines and approach document for open source community development and engagement
  • Technology-related technical assistance plan developed and implemented for the Innovation Fund
  • Set of technical assistance products against technology-related needs for IF investees, including open source licensing, quality control, rapid evaluation, community engagement, development and piloting
  • Roster of technology experts to provide assistance on needs basis
  • Guidance on investment priorities for emerging technology areas for the Innovation Fund


Deliverables Deadline
Conduct review of Innovation Fund funding agreement and technology-related requirements

Assess current portfolio companies progress against these requirements

End of Month 1
Provide recommendations and work plan for each portfolio company to achieve requirements

Review received proposals from the second call for applications and provide recommendations against scoring criteria

End Month 2
Conduct monitoring and support sessions with each investee

Review IF funding agreement and provide recommendations to strengthen technology and licensing requirement

End of Month 3
Develop monitoring plan to track technology development and related quality for IF portfolio End of Month 3
Develop technical guidance note on open source licensing for software, hardware and content investments

Provide investment guidance for first emerging technology space (as defined with Office of Innovation input)

End of Month 4
Guidelines and strategies for IF investees to engage on GitHub repositories to ensure community engagement on open source intellectual property End of Month 5
Guidelines for rapid evaluation and pilot design for portfolio companies

Review received proposals from the third call for applications and provide recommendations against scoring criteria

End of Month 6
Conduct monitoring and support sessions with each investee End of Month 6
Organise face to face meeting of select IF investees around priority technology area 1 to provide peer support and engage external advisors

Provide investment guidance for first emerging technology space (as defined with Office of Innovation input)

End of Month 8
Develop roster of external technology experts to tap into on needs basis


End of Month 9
Conduct monitoring and support sessions with each investee

Review received proposals from fourth call for applications and provide recommendations against scoring criteria

End of Month 9
Organise face to face meetings of select IF investees around priority technology area 2 to provide peer support and engage external advisors


End of Month 10
Review assessment criteria for IF proposals and provide recommendations


Month 11
Final report providing a technology-related technical assistance plan for the Innovation Fund and summary investment strategy for emerging technology areas Month 11


Key competencies, technical background, and experience required Deadline

  • University Degree (Bachelor, Master, PhD, etc.) in  Information Systems Management, Computer Science, technical engineering or other relevant field; or related equivalent practical experience.
  • Significant experience in developing and piloting technology products, ideally hardware, software, and content
  • Demonstrated expertise in required technical areas, including software quality control, open source license types and community management, technology pilot design and evaluation
  • Experience in delivering guidance, technical support and mentorship to individuals, teams, start-ups or other groups on complex challenges
  • Some experience in project management including relevant management systems and tools
  • Experience in managing networks and portfolios of consultants and technical advisors to deliver against agreed objectives
  • Understanding of different contexts and experience working in developing countries
  • Ability to synthesise technical information and translate it into accessible products and systems
  • Knowledge of international development and key challenges affecting children in developing countries is desired
  • Written and verbal fluency in English is required; other UN languages are an asset

Applications must include the following:

  • cover letter
  • CV
  • and P-11 form[1]

[1] P 11 form  can be downloaded from our website at

To view our competency framework, please click here.

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

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Opening Date 26 Jan 2017 Eastern Standard Time
Closing Date 15 Feb 2017 Eastern Standard Time

View the complete Terms of Reference and deliverables here. To begin job application click here.