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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2018-04-19

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Magic Box Software Lead, P-4, ICTD New York (Temporary Appointment) #106279

New York City (United States of America)

UNICEF seeks a Software Lead to manage planning and implementation of the full life cycle of data ingestion, aggregation, and delivery of insights to end users for the Magic Box, a new platform that seeks to use new sources of data and computational techniques to further UNICEF's mission.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, a connected world

The overarching strategic goal of UNICEF's ICT Division (ICTD) is to transform and build partnerships with our stakeholders to successfully implement UNICEF programmes globally through the use of innovative technology-enabled solutions.

The Magic Box is a platform that is being developed since 2015, to harness the opportunities that new sources of data (how people are moving in aggregate, usage of mobile and social media, weather patterns for mosquito prevalence, satellite imagery) and new computational techniques (including AI) can bring to the organization. Click here for more information on Magic Box.

How can you make a difference?

Under the guidance and supervision of the ICTD and UNICEF Office of Innovation, the Magic Box Software Lead manages planning and implementation of the full life cycle of data ingestion, aggregation, and delivery of insights to end users, as products of the Magic Box platform. This person will supervise a team of consultants and work closely with data science and product management counterparts, and will oversee relationships with external partners, regarding the technical aspects of data sharing, and vendors for software development.

The Software Lead ensures that Magic Box performs as a forward-looking software that inputs country office needs and frontier data science spaces. They make sure that Magic Box integrates functionally across the division of ICT, including allowing projects that start in prototype phase in the Office of Innovation and scale as a platform across the organization.

This Temporary Appointment will be for a period of 364 days. 

Key results-based accountabilities:

  1. Scale and integrate existing Magic Box modules and datasets into the UNICEF enterprise technology stack.
  2. Prototype and scale new products to serve country office programs through the Magic Box platform.
  3. Coordinate channels of communication within ICTD and regional / country offices in order to optimize development and promotion of Magic Box services within UNICEF.
  4. Manage relationships with partners and vendors to ensure the success of external engagements that involve software development contributions to the platform.
  5. Create and manage a software development environment conducive to applying best practices and effective onboarding of new developers.
  6. Build an open source community around Magic Box to ensure ongoing contributions to the codebase. Engage with the community to ensure that Magic Box software projects are developed in line with community best practices.


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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Information Systems Management, Software Engineering, Computer Science, or related field.  A first-level university degree in combination with additional 2 years qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree.
  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience, articulated as follows:
    • Experience Building and deploying apps with Javascript and Ruby, MVC frameworks (like Rails), Node.js, and JavaScript frameworks (such as Polymer, React with Redux, and Angular);
    • Experience building relational databases such as MySQL and Postgres as well as document based databases like MongoDB;
    • Experience with geospatial libraries and databases like postgis, mongodb, elasticsearch;
    • Experience with web-based geospatial visualization libraries like leaflet, d3.js and webgl;
    • Experience with test frameworks like Rspec and Mocha;
    • Experience in humanitarian innovation products (under creation, scope unclear).
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

  • Analyzing (II)
  • Applying Technical Expertise (II)
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts (II)
  • Leading and Supervising (I)
  • Planning and Organizing (II)

View our competency framework here.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

What does it mean?

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