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Information Comm. Technology Specialist (GIS Lead), (P-4), Temporary Appointment (364 days), Office of the Chief Data Officer, DAPM, Florence, Italy #128250

Remote | Florence

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Remote | Florence
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Statistics
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Population matters (trends and census)
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

The ideal candidate for this role is a seasoned international geospatial expert who can push geospatial capabilities at UNICEF along all the core dimension of our activities: platforms, data, talent, capacity development, partnership, and community. This is a key leadership role in the rapidly evolving area of spatial data analytics.

UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

At UNICEF, we are committed, passionate, and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not just a job – it is a calling.
UNICEF is a place where careers are built: we offer our staff diverse opportunities for personal and professional development that will help them develop a fulfilling career while delivering on a rewarding mission. We pride ourselves on a culture that helps staff thrive, coupled with an attractive compensation and benefits package.

Visit our website to learn more about what we do at UNICEF.

For every child, data

The Division of Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring (DAPM) was established in 2019 to drive decision making and organizational learning, improve effectiveness and achievement of results of UNICEF and its partners to realize the rights and improve the life of every child. DAPM promotes the use of data and monitoring to achieve transformative impact on lives of children.

The Division is responsible for driving, shaping and guiding UNICEF’s evidence-informed analysis, strategic planning, programme monitoring and organizational performance management. As such, DAPM enables the organization to deliver on results in a more coherent manner, based on agile and contextualized programming process, and on data, evidence, and analysis, as well as the application of human-rights based and results-based management approaches.

Within DAPM, the Data & Analytics Team (DAT) is the global go-to for data on children. It leads the collection, validation, analysis, use and communication of the most statistically sound, internationally comparable data on the situation of children and women around the world. For this purpose, both traditional and innovative data and analysis – including administrative and household survey data as well as geospatial analysis, big data, and machine learning – are used. DAT upholds the quality, integrity and organization of these data and makes them accessible as a global public good on platforms such as

DAT provides leadership, strategic and normative guidance and technical support to generate data and evidence on children. The team works together with other teams within UNICEF as well as partner organizations, to support statistical systems strengthening at the country level. DAT is also fostering a data-driven transformation in how UNICEF works internally and together with partners that includes positioning UNICEF as a leader on data for children, protecting children through governance of data and building an organization-wide culture of data. Finally, is Frontier Data Network is building a global community of practice through a regional set of Frontier Data Nodes that push the boundaries of what UNICEF can do with data to drive results for children.

Purpose for the job:

UNICEF is investing in geospatial data, technology, and talent to drive our emergency response and programme planning. We are positioning this work as a core integration solution that enables our staff to analyze and react to fast-breaking challenges using rapid, high-resolution spatial data combined with more traditional sources such as survey, census, and administrative data.

On the spatial platform side, we are consolidating our investments in commercial solutions, especially ArcGIS, while we simultaneously build community around our open-source Python solution GeoSight. We are also pushing the frontiers for UNICEF, exploring the use of spatial big data with modern data types like H3 and data science platforms like Data Bricks.

From a spatial data perspective, we are brokering access to new sources such as earth observation and mobility data and providing curated foundational spatial data assets like standard administrative boundaries, providing them through dedicated catalogs such as our open-source Python solution GeoRepo.

Building a spatial data community around internal and external partnership is core to how we build our geospatial capacity. Through the Frontier Data Network and its nodes we support geospatial practitioners across UNICEF to scale, reproduce, and industrialize their approaches.

The ideal candidate for this role is a seasoned international geospatial expert who can push geospatial capabilities at UNICEF along all the core dimension of our activities: platforms, data, talent, capacity development, partnership, and community. This is a key leadership role in the rapidly evolving area of spatial data analytics.

How can you make a difference?

  1. Strategically manage the global consolidation and adoption of geospatial platforms:
    1. Manage the design and implementation of strategic change management mechanisms that move UNICEF offices from legacy and stand-alone solutions to common enterprise and open-source GIS solutions.
    2. Be responsible for the availability and performance of geospatial platforms.
    3. Manage the pipeline of feature requests for GIS platforms from a global set of stakeholders, interacting with solutions engineers and engineering leads to help realize those solutions.
    4. Represent the combined interests of UNICEF geospatial users as a Senior User, also managing acceptance criteria, and ensuring that new features and solutions meet those criteria.
    5. Lead the administration of users on geospatial platforms through the design and adoption of strategic service desk approaches, training junior staff to triage requests.
    6. Broker needs of other UNICEF software solution teams to facilitate their access to GIS data and platforms, including design and implementation of APIs.
    7. Lead the work to connect business intelligence platforms, especially Power BI with geospatial platforms.
  2. Promote the use of geospatial solutions:
    1. Represent UNICEF at conferences, e.g. Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G).
    2. Represent UNICEF for standards group like United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UNGGIM).
    3. Organize events for the UNICEF GIS community of practitioners including webinars, brown bags, panels, etc.
  3. Lead field office capacity development on the use of geospatial data and analytics:
    1. Advise and help field offices hire qualified geospatial staff and consultants.
    2. Upskill field office staff through focused field visits based on emergency and humanitarian needs, training them in geospatial platform use.
    3. Lead development of GIS solutions for field offices, especially in emergency and humanitarian settings.
  4. Lead UNICEF geospatial data responses:
    1. Build and use inter-agency partnerships to promote shared datasets, especially in emergency and humanitarian settings.
    2. Manage support to geospatial data analysis, such as Children’s Climate Risk Index and Equity Profiles.
  5. Lead the standardization of UNICEF spatial data and spatial data standards.
    1. Manage the curation of core spatial data assets such as administrative boundaries, locations, services, high resolution population maps, etc.
    2. Lead data managers in the implementation and maintenance of geospatial reference data such as names and codes of administrative boundaries.
    3. Raise awareness to foster reuse and deduplication of spatial data assets.
    4. Foster partnerships with public and private spatial data producers to facilitate UNICEF access to external spatial data assets.
  6. Manage relationships with external GIS vendors.
    1. Manage and maintain LTAs with external vendors.
    2. Advise UNICEF stakeholders on the appropriate use of GIS vendors.
    3. Manage review of vendor outputs.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

The following minimum requirements:

Education: An advanced university degree (equivalent to a Master’s) from an accredited institution is required in geospatial, computer science, software engineering, mathematics, or another relevant technical field.
Work Experience: At least 8 years of relevant work experience:

  • with GIS in a large international organization or corporation.
  • managing and implementing IT and GIS data and technology solutions for medium and large-scale organizations, including national statistical offices.
  • partnering with internal and external stakeholders across GIS communities and networks to build GIS capacity across data, talent, and technology.
  • in GIS product management, representing stakeholders as a senior user, developing product plans, and executing them to develop customer focused tools.
  • Familiarity with statistical data concepts, including SDMX.


  • Advanced proficiency designing and implementing web-based GIS solutions using commercial (e.g., ArcGIS, Carto) and open-source (e.g., GeoServer, PostGIS, GeoNode, Leaflet, Mapbox, etc.) tools and frameworks, including programming (e.g., Python, ArcPy).
  • Experience working with cloud-based data platforms (e.g., Data Bricks), using scripted ETL processes to convert data (e.g. time-series, earth observation, mobility, survey, etc.) from APIs, databases, data lakes, etc. into common raster and vector GIS formats.

Language Requirements: Fluency in English is required.

The following desirables:

  • Experience in a UN organization is an asset.
  • Experience working with Business Intelligence data platforms, such as Power BI, Tableau or Superset.
  • Advanced knowledge of mobile data collection solutions (e.g., Survey123, KoBo Collect, QField).
  • Experience delivering solutions for emergency and humanitarian settings.

Language: Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language.


For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others

Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF does not hire candidates who are married to children (persons under 18). UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station is required for IP positions and will be facilitated by UNICEF. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be canceled.


Duties may be performed remotely.

As per Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.

Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government positions before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason. 

UNICEF does not charge a processing fee at any stage of its recruitment, selection, and hiring processes (i.e., application stage, interview stage, validation stage, or appointment and training). UNICEF will not ask for applicants’ bank account information.

All UNICEF positions are advertised, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. An internal candidate performing at the level of the post in the relevant functional area, or an internal/external candidate in the corresponding Talent Group, may be selected, if suitable for the post, without assessment of other candidates.

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

This vacancy is now closed.
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