Entry Level United Nations UNDP Jobs – Officer – Data Science

Organization: United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Kampala, Uganda
  Lab Manager
Global Pulse
(http://www.unglobalpulse.org/about-new) is an innovation initiative of the
United Nations Secretary-General on Big Data. Its vision is a future in which
big data is harnessed safely and responsibly as a public good. Its mission is
to accelerate discovery, development and scaled adoption of big data innovation
for sustainable development and humanitarian action. Global Pulse is building a
catalytic network of in-country innovation centers, which will test new tools,
data and analysis, share what lessons with the global community, mainstream
successful approaches for real-time impact monitoring into policymaking. The
first Lab has been established in New York (Pulse Lab New York) followed by
Jakarta, Indonesia and Kampala, Uganda.
Pulse Lab Kampala
(http://www.unglobalpulse.org/kampala) is an inter-agency initiative of the
United Nations under the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Uganda. The
first of its kind in Africa, it brings together researchers from Government,
the UN, non-governmental organizations and private sector to explore the
utility of new sources of digital “Big Data” (such as social media, mobile
data, online information) and real-time analysis techniques for social
development monitoring and program planning.
A data revolution is underway
in Uganda and in Africa. There is more data now than ever. New technologies are
leading to an exponential increase in the volume and types of data available,
creating unprecedented possibilities for informing and transforming society and
protecting the environment. There is more data produced in the last 2 years
than in all of human history. There is a tremendous potential in new
technology; indeed, this is the forefront of the data revolution already well
underway in in the private sector.  The
new SDGs agenda will have increased demands – and opportunities- for the use of
data. Pulse Lab Kampala supports the UN Country team to tap into the revolution
obtaining more and better data to support development work and humanitarian
action supporting: 
  • Enhance Early Warning: Detection of anomalous trends and
    patterns of events enables early warning of emerging crises and earlier
    responses to prevent long-term harm;
  • Real-Time Awareness: 
    An up-to-date picture of trends, hotspots and dynamic changes in
    population behaviour enhances programme planning and monitoring of
    implementation and rapid
  • Impact Monitoring and Evaluation: Timely feedback on the impact of
    programmes and policies allows for adaptive course correction and
    accelerated achievement of results
Job Summary: The UNDP Officer, Data Science will be a
part of a team that will focus on accessing and deriving insights from large
data sets to solve problems. The incumbent will support the team in 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 behaviour
and perception correlated with public sector policies and programmes.
Key Duties and
  • Technically
    support the definition, design and implementation of 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 sources;         
  • Significantly
    contribute to data studies and data discovery around new data sources or
    new uses for existing data sources;
  • Render
    support 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.;
  • In
    charge of designing and implementing statistical data quality procedures
    around new data sources;           
  • Implement
    any software required for accessing and handling data appropriately;
  • Visualize
    and report data findings creatively in a variety of formats;
  • Support
    the team in the development of working prototypes and applications for the
    Pulse Library that will be used by UN agencies and partners;
  • Produce
    interactive data visualizations and user interaction environments
  • Perform
    any other duties as may be assigned by the Lab Manager.
Skills and Experience: 
  • The
    ideal candidate for the United Nations UN Officer-Data Science vacancy
    should preferably hold Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Computer
    Science, Electrical engineering, Mathematics, Statistics, or related
  • A
    minimum of two years of paid working experience in analysis and data
    visualization, preferably in a developing country;
  • Past
    exposure and experience in a branch of computational informatics
    (development, health, bio-, geo-, etc), using machine learning;
  • Familiarity
    with analytical techniques such as text mining, sentiment analysis,
    predictive analysis, event detection, and modeling of complex systems;
  • Familiarity
    with statistical programming and discrete mathematics;
  • Working
    knowledge of various programming languages, particularly as used for data
    analytics (Python, Matlab, R);
  • Prior
    exposure and experience with scripting, coding, and web design required
    for data access, analysis, and presentation;
  • Familiarity
    working with quantitative and qualitative data
  • Past
    UN experience desirable.
  • Language and IT Skills: Fluency in both written and spoken
    English. Knowledge of a language widely spoken in Uganda is required.
Personal Competencies:
  • Ability
    to plan and produce quality results to meet established goals;
  • Generates
    innovative, practical solutions to challenging situations.
  • Shows
    pride in work and in achievements;
  • Demonstrates
    professional competence and mastery of subject matter;
  • Is
    conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines
    and achieving results;
  • Is
    motivated by professional rather than personal concerns;
  • Shows
    persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges;
  • Remains
    calm in stressful situations.
  • Commitment
    to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal
    participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of
  • Works
    collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals;
  • Solicits
    input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise;
  • Is
    willing to learn from others;
  • Places
    team agenda before personal agenda;
    Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such
    decisions may not entirely reflect own position;
  • Shares
    credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team
Planning and Organizing:
  • Develops
    clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies;
  • Identifies
    priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required;
  • Allocates
    appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work;
  • Foresees
    risks and allows for contingencies when planning;
  • Monitors
    and adjusts plans and actions as necessary;
  • Uses
    time efficiently.
Functional Competencies:
  • Ability
    to conceptualize, plan and execute innovative ideas;
  • Displays
    open, co-operative behavior with other team members;
  • Maintains
    strong relationships with partners and clients;
  • Remains
    calm and in control, and good humored even under pressure;
  • Responds
    positively to critical feedback and differing points of view;
  • Sets
    priorities, produces quality outputs, meets deadlines and manages time
  • Excellent
    oral and written communication skills.
committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of 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.
to Apply:
All suitably
qualified and interested candidates who so desire to join the United Nations
Development Programme, UNDP, in the aforementioned capacity should endeavor to
Apply Online by Clicking on the link below. Please further review job
requirements and if competent Click Apply Now.
17th June 2015
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