Jobs at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Title: Technical Specialist (Global Pulse Lab)

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.

About 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 Technical Specialist 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 UNDP 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;
  • Conduct data studies and data discovery around new data sources or new uses for existing data sources;
  • Give technical 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;
  • Think strategically about uses of data and how data use interacts with data design;
  • Design and implement 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;
  • Coordinate joint data mining research projects with diverse partners;
  • Rigorously interact with the global community through a variety of media.
  • Perform any other job-related duties as assigned.
Key Result Areas:
  • Improved understanding of population behavior, needs, and vulnerabilities as well as capacity to monitor and evaluate the impacts of development policies and programmes;
  • Data studies conducted for new data sources or new uses for existing data sources;
  • New approaches identified to detect events and trends within real-time data sources such as online media, social networks, imagery, geospatial data, communications logs, transaction records, etc.;
  • Effective software in place for accessing and handling data appropriately;
  • Effective coordination with partners for data mining research.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The ideal United Nations Development Programme candidate must possess an advanced degree in statistics, applied mathematics, physics, computational finance, economics, computer science, engineering or other related technical disciplines;
  • A first degree and seven years’ relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the higher university degree.
  • A minimum of five years’ experience in analysis and data visualization;
  • Experience in a branch of computational informatics (development, health, bio-, geo-, etc), using machine learning;
  • Good familiarity with analytical techniques such as text mining, sentiment analysis, predictive analysis, event detection, and modeling of complex systems;
  • Familiarity working with quantitative and qualitative data;
  • Past exposure and 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.
  • Fluent in English; Knowledge of a language widely spoken in Uganda would be an asset.
Personal Competencies: 
Functional 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;
  • Good understanding of government partners’ workflows and agendas.
Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
How to apply for the job:
If you believe you are one of the ideal candidates for this opportunity in working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), then visit the web link below for full job details and How to Apply; http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur
NB: UNDP is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified Women are encouraged to apply.

Deadline:  4th April 2014

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