Vacancy Details

DISCLAIMER: The screening of your application will be conducted based on the information in your profile. Before applying, we strongly suggest that you review your profile to ensure completeness, especially the education and experience sections.

Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.
Vacancy code VA/2015/B5004/9026
Position title Data Innovation Specialist , Multiple positions
Level ICS-10
Department/office ECR, DGC, Development Group Cluster
Duty station New York, United States of America
Contract type International ICA
Contract level IICA-2
Duration 6 months (with possibility of extension)
Application period 24-Nov-2015 to 21-Dec-2015
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
This vacancy has been cancelled.
Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale. 

Background information- ECR

The Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOPS offices throughout the region through: management, financial and programmatic oversight of global and country-specific portfolios, clusters and operations centres, including hosting services; fund and management advisory services; project implementation; procuring goods and services; and managing human resources.

ECR ensures that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between business units and projects across the entire region.

ECR strategy is to:

  • Strengthen UNOPS role in operationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Strengthen the implementation of ECR global and regional programmes, with revitalized partnerships in infrastructure, procurement and project management.

ECR operates global portfolios from offices in Geneva, Brussels and New York, and country-specific programmes from its operations and project centres located in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries.

Background Information - Development Group Cluster

Based in the New York, the UNOPS Development Group Cluster supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. For example, within the United Nations Development Programme, the Cluster works with the Bureau for Policy and Programme and the Office of South-South Cooperation.

The cluster also supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as a broadening community of other New York-based United Nations organizations in the delivery of project management and implementation services.

Background Information - Job-specific

Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, exploring how digital data and real-time analytics can be used to understand and respond to changes in human well-being. To this end, Global Pulse is working to promote awareness of the opportunities Big Data presents for relief and development, forge public-private data sharing partnerships, generate high-impact analytical tools and approaches, and drive broad adoption of useful innovations across the UN System.

Global Pulse operates as a network of Pulse Labs, headquartered in New York with Labs in Kampala and Jakarta, 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 to support decision-making and policy action. Examples of Global Pulse publications and reports include:, and

Functional Responsibilities

The Data Innovation Specialist will work under the supervision of the Chief Data Scientist to manage, implement, coordinate and communicate applied big data innovative projects in collaboration with partners from the UN system, the private sector and academia. The Data Innovation Specialist will provide guidance and coordination support to the data science teams across the Pulse Lab Network - including the labs in Jakarta and Kampala.

 Specifically, the incumbent will:

  • Define and plan product roadmaps for software toolkits with the engineering team;
  • Ensure the efficient management of assigned data innovation projects and solutions, acting as focal point for partners and internal staff, and in general act as a translator between data science/technology and development/humanitarian subject experts;
  • Produce concept notes, project reports, and other high quality documents on innovation projects and activities;
  • Coordinate testing of solutions and processes by development and humanitarian partners to strengthen, adapt and improve the project’s efficiency and effectiveness;
  • Conduct feasibility studies that can help the overall understanding of data sets and problem statements relevant to Global Pulse and UN partners;
  • Extract insights from data analysis and support the data science team;
  • Document tested innovation projects and processes and ensure effective sharing and generation of knowledge around innovation throughout the Pulse Lab Network;
  • Provide support in developing partnerships and networks, including negotiations with data providers and other technical service providers;
  • Support the communications team in producing relevant communication material including data visualisations and infographics. 
  • Proactively scout for new innovative ideas and opportunities;
  • Participate in meetings and conferences as needed.


UNOPS Core Values/Competencies

  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Respect for Diversity
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Planning & Organizing
  • Accountability
  • Creativity
  • Client Orientation
  • Commitment to continuous Learning
  • Technological Awareness
Education/Experience/Language requirements


Advanced university degree in data science, international development, business administration, economics, computer science, engineering, design or other relevant discipline. A first-level university degree in combination with an additional two years qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible work experience in project or product management, particularly in the areas of innovation, data, research, software development or technology.
  • Experience in humanitarian, development or other public sector work is required.
  • Proven strong writing and communication skills including demonstrated experience documenting processes and writing research articles and/or project proposals;
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with partners, including government, universities, UN organizations, NGOs and the private sector;
  • Experience with user-centered design;
  • Demonstrated ability to translate between data/science/technology and international development and humanitarian experts;
  • Demonstrable ability to meet deadlines, work under pressure, manage workflows and operate as part of a dispersed team with members across various time zones;
  • Experience working in the field in humanitarian crisis is an asset.
  • Experience in coding algorithms and data analysis methodologies is an asset.
  • Experience creating data visualizations and interactive dashboards is an asset.

Experience working with agile project management is an asset;

Other Desirable Skills

  • Very good organizational, written and verbal communication skills;
  • Familiarity with the big data for development landscape
  • A proactive, critical and flexible thinker, and problem solver;
  • Capacity to multi-task and coordinate several projects; 
  • Able to work under own initiative and as part of a team on a common project;
  • Willingness to travel and to work flexible hours and on weekends, when required.


Fluency in English (written and oral) and a working knowledge of another UN language.

*Interested consultants are advised to carefully study all the sections of this vacancy details and ensure that they are able to meet the listed working experience requirements and skills by including this relevant information in the narrative of your prior jobs description of duties in the online application.   
Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement
Contract level: IICA-2
Contract duration: 6 months (with possibility of extension)

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

This vacancy has been cancelled.