UNDP Jobs – Data Scientist at United Nations Development Programme

Job Title: Data Scientist
Organisation: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda
Reports to: Pulse Lab Manager
About UNDP:
Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of the United Nations
Secretary-General, established to harness today’s new world of digital data and
real-time analytics to gain a better understanding of changes in human
well-being. Global Pulse aims to contribute a future in which access to better
information sooner makes it possible to keep international development on
track, protect the world’s most vulnerable populations, and strengthen
resilience to global shocks. Global Pulse is being implemented as a global
network of Pulse Labs, bringing together expertise from UN agencies,
governments, academia, and the private sector to research, develop, test and share
tools and approaches for harnessing real-time data for more effective and
efficient policy action. For more information on Global Pulse go to http://www.unglobalpulse.org.
Pulse Lab Kampala
Global Pulse is establishing an innovation hub for real-time monitoring
in Kampala. The Lab will function as an open innovation space where policy
experts together with UN development practitioners and other partners
experiment with new types of data and emerging technologies to evaluate their
potential to enhance both public policy decision-making and community
resilience. Following the development of useful approaches, Pulse Lab
Kampala will support institutional adoption of these innovations into policy
and practice.
Job Summary: The Data
Scientist will apply data mining techniques (anomaly detection, association
learning, cluster detection, classification, and predictive modeling) to create
actionable insights from a broad range of structured and unstructured data that
is growing rapidly in scale. The Data Scientist will be responsible for
the acquisition, analysis and visualization of data from a variety of sources
in order to i) help understand emerging human vulnerabilities to socio-economic
shocks, ii) detect and highlight patterns that could indicate how people are
coping with emerging hardship, and iii) gather evidence of changes in behavior
and perception correlated with public sector policies and programmes.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Define, design and
    implement research projects harnessing Big Data to improve both
    understanding of population behavior, needs, and vulnerabilities as well
    as capacity to monitor and evaluate the impacts of development policies
    and programmes;
  • Perform data studies
    and data discovery around new data sources or new uses for existing data
  • Assist in developing
    new approaches to detecting events and trends within real-time data
    sources such as online media, social networks, imagery, geospatial data,
    communications logs, transaction records, etc.;
  • Contribute to the
    project’s plans on the strategic uses of data and how data use interacts
    with data design;
  • Design and implement
    statistical data quality procedures around new data
  • Implement any software
    required for accessing and handling data appropriately;
  • Visualize and report
    data findings creatively in a variety of formats;
  • Coordinate joint data
    mining research projects with diverse partners;
  • Interact with the
    global community through a variety of media.
 Key Outputs and Deliverables:
  • Draft six-month plan
    of research projects using Big Data to improve understanding of UN
    partner’s programmes on population behavior, needs, and vulnerabilities.
    Required end of first month;
  • Report on new
    data/digital data sources, and data discovery around new data sources and
    new uses for existing data sources in Uganda. Required end of second
  • Report on new
    approaches to detecting events and trends within real-time data sources
    and strategic uses of data and its interaction with data design. Required
    end of third month;
  • Report on design and
    implementation of statistical data quality procedures around new data
    sources and software required for accessing and handling data
    appropriately. Required end of fourth month;
  • Report on coordination
    initiatives of joint data mining research projects with diverse partners
    and outreach initiatives with global community through a variety of media.
    Required end of fifth month;
  • Final report on all
    research projects activity and accomplishment and creative visualization
    report on data findings in a variety of formats. Required end of sixth
Institutional arrangement
  • The Data Scientist
    will report to the Pulse Lab Manager;
  • He or she will report
    on the progress of activities on a weekly basis and this will be done in
    line with the set deliverables of the assignment;
  • The Consultant will be
    supported with all required equipment and supporting resources to conduct
    the required assignment.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
  • Masters degree in
    computer science, engineering, statistics, applied mathematics, physics,
    computational finance, economics, or other related technical disciplines
  • A first degree and an
    additional two years relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the
    higher university degree.
  • Familiarity with
    analytical techniques such as text mining, sentiment analysis, predictive
    analysis, event detection, and modeling of complex systems;
  • At least three years
    of experience in analysis and data visualization;
  • Experience in a branch
    of computational informatics (development, health, bio-, geo-, etc), using
    machine learning;
  • Experience working
    with Big Data, social network data, and geospatial data/satellite imagery;
  • Experience analyzing
    data from social monitoring systems, monitoring and evaluation work, or
    other survey work in developing countries;
  • Experience writing
    research proposals, scientific articles and technical reports;
  • Familiarity working
    with quantitative and qualitative data;
  • Experience with
    scripting, coding, and web design required for data access, analysis, and presentation;
  • Demonstrated
    experience presenting work to both technical and non-technical audiences;
  • Willingness to
    evaluate and adopt the latest advances in AI, machine learning, predictive
    analysis and visualization.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluent in English
    (both oral and written).
 Personal Competencies:
  • Understanding
    of big data and data analytics;
  • Strong
    leadership skills;
  • Ability to effectively
    lead teams in ambiguously or undefined problem spaces;
  • Ability to
    manage and mentor teams in rapidly shifting environment;
  • Demonstrated
    sense of initiative and problem-solving skills;
  • Knowledge of
    utility of data in crisis situations;
  • Understanding
    of government partners’ workflows and agendas.
Evaluation Criteria:
Technical Proposal (Maximum 70
  • Relevance of education – 5 points;
  • Language skills – 5 points;
  • Relevance of experience (professional /
    work experience)– 30 points;
  • Interpretation of the assignment and
    methodology – 30 points.
Financial Proposal (Maximum 30
points): To be computed as a ratio of the Proposal’s offer to the lowest price
among the proposals received by UNDP.
The award of the contract shall
be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and
determined as responsive / compliant / acceptable and should have the highest
combined score (based on 70% technical and 30% price weight distribution) where
the minimum passing score of the technical proposal is 70%.
How to Apply:
Interested individual consultants must submit the following
documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF
  • Duly accomplished
    Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template
    provided by UNDP (see Annex II);
  • Updated Personal CV
    highlighting past experience in similar assignments and with 3
    professional references with contact details (email and telephone);
  • Technical Proposal:
    suggested outline for technical proposal:  The offerors
    interpretation of the assignment; Approach and methodology for undertaking
    the assignment.
  • Financial proposal (in
    template provided in Annex II) stating an all-inclusive fixed lumpsum fee
    for this assignment in Ugandan Shillings or US Dollars, supported by a
    breakdown of costs. Such total lump sum price must include professional
    fee, and costs necessary to conduct the assignment such as communication
    costs, travel etc. The consultant will be paid against the completion of
    specific, measurable deliverables as identified in this TOR.
 Annexes (to be downloaded from UNDP Uganda Website, procurement
notices section: www.undp.or.ug):):
  • Annex I – Individual
    Contractor General Terms and Conditions;
  • Annex II – Offerors
    Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability for the Individual
    Contractor Assignment.
NB: UNDP is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified Women are
encouraged to apply.
Deadline: 25th September, 2013
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