Technology for development Specialist


UNICEF recruits a Technology for development Specialist.

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, make a difference

The T4D Specialist (Data Innovation) is directly supervised by the Regional Business Analyst – BA- (Technology for Development). The incumbent will work closely with Programme staff and in close liaison with the ICT Division and UNICEF Innovation where applicable. The T4D Specialist will liaise with UNICEF Headquarters Data focal points and work with UNICEF West and Central Africa regional office programme sections to build a preferred set of practical data solutions to reduce the complexity of entry into projects and increase solution portability.

How can you make a difference?

The purpose for the job:

The 2020 T4D regional mapping assessment documented that UNICEF in WCAR has 110 different innovative interventions. Over 90 per cent of these initiatives fall into the digital category, including data interventions. The purpose of the T4D Specialist (Data Innovation) is to assist and advise UNICEF WCARO and the Country Offices in the identification, assessment and integration of technology-driven data solutions into UNICEF Programming. S/he will also strengthen internal digital data capacity to lead and support common work packages, helping to identify and engage with key partners, including government counterparts, apply reusable and replicable technical buildings blocks, and maximise the potential for data solutions scale-up rollouts and sustainability.

The T4D Specialist (Data Innovation) is expected to provide cross-sectoral advisory services to programmes in real-time monitoring, digital data management and opensource visualisation of data collected through various data streams. The function will also support digital intervention development and design, assisting in the procurement of services where applicable to support the programme needs. The T4D Specialist will support the Regional T4D BA in liaising with all stakeholders to build a preferred set of mature, scalable, sustainable and replicable state of the art data solutions to accelerate the results for children in West and Central Africa.

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties or tasks

Identification and assistance in the implementation of cross-sectoral digital engagement tools for data collection, analysis, programme monitoring as well as data visualisation approaches

  • In close coordination with WCAR data guild, NYHQ Division of Data Analytics, Planning and Monitoring, NYHQ T4D Data focal points, support the Regional and Country Office stakeholders and counterparts to develop and maintain a good understanding of available digital tools for data collection, engagement, real-time monitoring (RTM) and applicable policies, guidelines, contractual and other frameworks;
  • In collaboration with the WCAR Data team, Regional and Country Offices, stakeholders and counterparts identify data collection requirements, opensource fit for purpose analytical tools and, when applicable, data visualisation needs;
  • Support the Regional and Country Office stakeholders and counterparts with the implementation of complete RTM, digital engagement and data collection systems, including setting up of programmatic data dashboards, required workspaces, contractual arrangements and agreements with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), aggregators and other service providers;
  • Advice on the suitability of existing RTM and digital engagement tools such as ODK, RapidPro and U-Report to meet the identified data collection requirements;
  • Advice on the availability of suitable digital channels and other technologies to reach required respondents; and
  • Strengthen already implemented RTM and digital engagement solutions to support the identified data collection, processing, analysis and dissemination requirements with the WCAR Data team.

Identify and apply innovative methods (e.g. machine learning / AI, data mining, remote sensing, predictive analytics, etc.) to improve the production, analysis, usage and dissemination of data

  • Apply data science techniques to improve both understandings of population behaviour, needs, vulnerabilities and capacity to monitor and evaluate the impact of UNICEF policies and programmes.
  • Apply appropriate analytical techniques to create information and insights supporting better programmatic decision-making at regional, national and sub-national levels.
  • Proactively identify opportunities for Machine Learning approaches and leverage historical, real-time, and survey data to increase data-driven decision-making effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Understand UNICEF WCAR programme data needs and gaps to identify and apply Machine Learning approaches to address gaps as and where necessary
  • Visualise triangulated data using textual, numerical, graphical and other visualisation methods appropriate to the target audience.
  • Participate as data innovation resource person in capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies and capacity; train UNICEF staff, partners, government counterparts and other end users.

Training, documentation and capacity development of Country Office staff and partners in the ongoing global, regional and local digital data best practices

  • In collaboration with the relevant Regional and Country Office stakeholders and counterparts, identify training, documentation and capacity development requirements to support ongoing data collection using RTM, cross-sectoral data analysis, data visualisation digital engagement tools;
  • Identify and contextualise existing training, documentation and capacity development resources available and develop training, documentation and capacity development tools that may be required;
  • Deliver data training and other capacity development activities (e.g. webinars) as agreed with the relevant Regional and Country Office stakeholders and their counterparts; and
  • Capture any lessons learnt from the training and capacity development activities to enhance and improve future data activities in WCAR.

Engage and maintain data partnerships and networks

  • Engage and maintain partnerships and networks: Develop Data partnerships and networks with local solution providers, innovators, NGOs, cultural and religious organisations, the private sector, local media and academia to build and provide a space to nurture and test new and innovative data technologies; and build local capacity.
  • Advocacy and communications: Represent the country office in external, inter-agency or partner forums on data related technology Innovation.
  • Proposal writing and data partnership development: Identify opportunities for resource mobilisation and new partnerships and lead proposal and data partnership development efforts in close collaboration with the partnerships team and the wider regional office Data Guild
  • Provide digital data advice and support to programme partners: Provide technical and operational support on data to a wide range of stakeholders and partners on UNICEF policies, practices, standards and norms on data innovation.
  • Standards and procedures for ownership: Work with WCAR data guild and other stakeholders to help develop data standards, procedures and partnerships to transition to relevant Government and Civil Society Institutions.
  • Transfer and skill-sharing for programme partners: Build and sustain effective partnerships on data with government counterparts and national stakeholders through active sharing and transfer of knowledge, skills and tools to foster and facilitate data technology-enabled programming.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

  • An advanced university degree is required in Data and Information Management, Business Analysis, Computer Science, Innovation, Digital Development, International Development or another relevant technical field.A first-level university degree in a relevant field combined with seven years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in data management, digital development, information communication technology for development (ICT4D) in a large international organisation and/or corporation is required.
  • Experience in identifying, designing and implementing data solutions for large-scale projects with technical components – including supervising external vendors and software developers; responsibility for business analysis, budgets, contracts, project management and procurement, etc.;
  • Experience with data tools like ICT, mobile and web-based technologies, particularly designing or deploying tools appropriate to Africa and the global south;
  • Experience in Open Source, mobile and emerging technology applied to UNICEF programme areas is extremely desirable.
  • Exposure to UNICEF, UN or other INGO programmatic areas, including (but not limited to) health, nutrition, child protection and/or education, and experience in applying technical solutions to address programmatic issues.
  • Experience with RapidPro, OpenSRP, DHIS2, ODK and other global public good technologies and deploying, maintaining and scaling these technologies.
  • Additional experiences in multinational private-sector data companies on AI, Machine learning, predictive analysis, open data science is regarded as an asset
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English and working knowledge of French is required.

For every Child, you demonstrate:

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are:

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (1)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

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.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

The selected candidate is expected to be based and work in Dakar, Senegal, the duty station.

Deadline: 22 May 2022 Greenwich Standard Time.

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