Consultancy: Researcher (Digital Public Goods), 4 months, Full time, Remote
Job no: 535580
Contract type: Consultancy
Location: United States
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.
Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.
And we never give up.
For every child, innovate…
UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives.
The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.
UNICEF’s Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world’s children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:
● Connecting youth communities (or more broadly — anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
● Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach — in a traditionally risk-averse field — to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
● Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.
The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs – and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively.
We’re an interdisciplinary team around the world tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling new technologies and practices. With our partners, we focus on convening and collaborating on new and different solutions, low- and high-tech, by:
· Looking at the 2-5 year horizon to evaluate emerging and trending technologies and to see how UNICEF can work with the private sector on doing better business while improving essential services for children;
· Investing in early stage solutions that show great potential to positively impact children in the 0-2 year future including the Venture Fund that invests in open source technology solutions from start-ups based in UNICEF’s programme countries;
· Identifying proven solutions that can be implemented at national scale in multiple countries – taking the ideas that help thousands in one country, bringing them to dozens of countries across multiple sectors, and impacting the lives of millions of children.”
The Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA) is a multi-stakeholder initiative to accelerate the attainment of the sustainable development goals in low- and middle-income countries by facilitating the discovery, development, use of, and investment in digital public goods.
The Secretariat of the Digital Public Goods Alliance is co-hosted by UNICEF and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and governed by an Interim Strategy Group consisting of: iSPIRT; The Government of Norway; The Government of Sierra Leone; and UNICEF.
The Secretariat is seeking a consultant to support the evaluation of digital public goods of high-interest to priority areas, specifically: financial inclusion, climate change adaptation and digital health.
How can you make a difference?
We’re looking for a researcher who will be able to support the review and assessment of high-potential digital public goods in order to create lists of digital public goods that are recommended by the DPGA.
Endorsed by the UN Secretary’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, the Alliance defines digital public goods as: “open source software, open data, open AI models, open standards and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable laws and best practices, do no harm, and help attain the SDGs.”
Based on the guidance of experts from three Communities of Practice, you will investigate a number of open source projects to determine, among other things: how the projects are being used; the impact the projects are having in current implementations; how interoperable they are with other technologies; how accessible the projects are; the requirements for implementation etc.
Your main responsibilities will be:
- Creating a research strategy for gathering the required information on each project, based on the questions provided;
- Setting up interviews with project owners, users, and implementers;
- Sourcing and reviewing publicly available documentation;
- Identifying, and supporting the discovery of additional expert opinions as necessary;
- Summarizing results of the research into a comprehensive set of findings;
- Presenting findings to the communities of practice; and
- Documenting your methodology.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Advanced degree in computer science, research, sociology or another relevant field.
*A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
- A minimum of 3 years of relevant professional experience in product research, user experience research, or research.
- Experience or knowledge with open source software, data, and/or content is considered an asset.
- Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The functional competencies required for this post are…
- Relating and Networking – Level 2
- Apply Technical Expertise – Level 2
- Creating and Innovating – Level 2
View our competency framework at
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Payment details and further considerations
- Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.
- Consultant is responsible for his/her own health and travel insurance
- Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: Eastern Standard Time
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