UNDP Fresher Jobs – Speech Technology Developer at United Nations Development Programme

Organization: United Nations Development Programme
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda
Reports to: Data Scientist
About UNDP:
The United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network.  UNDP advocates for change and connects
countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better
life. The UNDP provides expert advice, training, grant support to developing
countries including Uganda with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least
developed countries.
Global Pulse 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. 
About United Nations Pulse Lab:
Pulse Lab 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.
Radio is a vibrant medium for public
discussion in Uganda. Variety shows and phone-ins hosted by community radio
stations are popular ways for Ugandans to voice their needs, concerns and
opinions, particularly in rural areas. By using technology to capture audio and
transcribe the content into text, radio can become a digital big data source.
Pulse Lab Kampala is working closely with Stellenbosh and Makerere Universities
to develop the technology to conduct radio mining in Uganda. The project will
capture radio audio in Ugandan English, Acholi and Luganda and transcribe the
content into text. Pulse Lab Kampala is currently analysing around 40 stations
in Kampala and will soon expand to other locations in Uganda. Speech
recognition pronunciation dictionaries, and language and acoustic models are
under development. Details on the project are available at: http://pulselabkampala.ug/radiomining
Job Summary: The UNDP Speech Technology Developer will
support in setting up a speech recognition system for deployment of radio
mining in Uganda. This system will be based on open source speech software, and
will take radio recordings in Ugandan English, Luganda and Acholi as input and
produce text transcripts.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:  
The job
holder will set up a working installation of a speech recognition system, based
on available open source software (for example HTK and Kaldi);
the system to allow for ongoing adaptation of speech models, given training
data, and refinement of accuracy;
support in the development of vocabulary lists and pronunciation dictionaries
for Ugandan languages;
the speech recognition system on a cloud server, such that it is possible to
take several radio recordings, split them up into batches, and process each
ongoing upgrades to the server-based speech recognition system to support the
needs of the radio mining project.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience:  
The ideal
candidate for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Speech Technology
Developer should hold a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Software
Engineering or related field.
A minimum
of two years’ working knowledge / experience of various programming languages
and experience with software development. Prior experience with Python is an
of software development and deployment on cloud servers;
knowledge and understanding of the operation of speech recognition software.
oral and written skills.
Language: Excellent command of English.
Personal Competencies:
judgment and initiative;
to think out-of-the-box;
to present complex issues in simple and clear manner;
to work under pressure and deliver high quality results on time;
and independence;
communication and organizational skills, with demonstrated evidence of capacity
to produce and present good reports; and
complex, technical information to technical and general audiences;
to draft concise and informative documentation in English for a range of uses
from detailed progress reports to media releases including ability to analyse
complex information and to draw out the key points and issues and to present
these in a way that can be easily understood;
inter-personal, networking and team-building skills; competent in leading teams
and creating team spirit, management of inter-group dynamics and conflicting
interests of various actors, stimulating team members to produce quality
outputs in a timely and transparent fashion;
oral and written skills, with analytic capacity and ability to synthesize
project outputs and relevant findings for the preparation of quality papers and
driven and to meet strict deadlines; remains calm and in control under
Information Technology effectively as a tool and resource;
in negotiating effectively in sensitive situations;
in achieving results through persuading, influencing and working with others;
in facilitating meetings effectively and efficiently and to resolve conflicts as
they arise.
to conceptualize, plan and execute innovative ideas;
open, co-operative behavior with other team members;
calm and in control, and good humoured even under pressure;
positively to critical feedback and differing points of view;
priorities, produces quality outputs,
deadlines and manages time efficiently.
cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and
integrity and ethical standards.
UNDP is 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
How to Apply:  
All candidates who wish to join the United
Nations UNDP should upload their electronic application in one single PDF at
the web link below. The application should include the following documents/information:
accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the
template provided by UNDP (see Annex II); Download
Personal CV highlighting past experience in similar assignments and with 3
professional references with contact details (email and telephone);        
proposal (1/2 page maximum);
proposal (in template provided in Annex II) stating an all-inclusive fixed lump
sum fee for this assignment in USD, 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, etc. The consultant will be
paid against the completion of specific, measurable deliverables as identified
in this TOR. Download
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Deadline: 13th July, 2015
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