Head of Exploration
Duties and Responsibilities
- Work with government counterparts and UNDP programs to identify, visualize and communicate emerging development trends, data, technologies and issues with a particular focus on the edges and “below the radar screen” events, opportunities and players, and systemically map their impacts on economy, environment, society, and livelihoods of the poorest.
- Identify new sources of evidence and insights, analyze and visualize patterns in unstructured sources of data, present new insights in accessible and comprehensive ways to enable sensemaking and analysis
- Proactively explore and identify the new methods/approaches and frontier knowledge to tackle development challenges, collaborate with the Experimentation lead to turn these into learning options for addressing specific policy issues in the country
- Provide technical guidance for horizon scanning, foresight and data analysis for colleagues and partners.
- Contribute to the formulation of the Accelerator Lab service lines to the UNDP Country Programme based on findings from horizon scanning, systems’ mapping, and local knowledge
- Demonstrate through exploratory tests the utility of new data sources for UNDP’s development work
- Connect UNDP with different players in the data ecosystem: data providers, experts in ethics and privacy, data scientists, subject domain experts, social scientists, IT providers
- Create partnerships for analyses of real time and other data to better inform decisions and policies
- Set up partnerships with private sector companies including mobile network operators among others to gain access to anonymized data sets that can be used for sustainable development.
- Design and deliver workshops, tools, or platforms that tap into the collective intelligence of communities and mobilise action.
- Proactively manage risks with using data and technology, including those related to ethics and privacy
- Transform unstructured data sets into insights for UNDP and partners
- Share findings from the exploration on future trends, new methodologies/approaches, potential partnership,and others within UNDP and with partners;
- Proactively use blog posts and social media to share insights, attract partners and help position Accelerator Lab at the forefront of the exploration of new trends.
- Liaise with UNDP’s global Accelerator Lab network and share learnings and insights from the country-specific experience
- Jointly with the CO, support lab partners to develop an emerging pipeline of new initiatives, support other activities related to the design and operation of the Lab
- Advocates for the need of UNDP programs and government counterparts to keep abreast of emerging trends, identify “weak signals” and adopt anticipatory approaches
- Advocates for the need to embed intelligence derived from data into programs and portfolios of experiments
- Set up tools and partnerships to ransform information into actionable intelligence
- Design and deliver horizon scanning trainings for partners and UNDP, help embed horizon scanning and attention to the ‘edge’ activities in the CO and with the partners
- Work together with your Accelerator Lab colleagues and experts to codify and advance the Accelerator Lab practice and exploration in particular.
- Organize and implement knowledge sharing and network events;
- Lead other activities related to the design and operations of the Accelerator Lab
- Design and deliver engaging and meaningful methods for reflection on learning from explorations
Ability to make new and useful ideas work
Ability to persuade others to follow
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
Required Skills and Experience
- Professional experience in development programming or specific policy areas and social innovation.
- Demonstrated capacity in horizon scanning;
- Demonstrated capacity in data analysis and visualization.
- Experience in following areas is desirable but not necessary:
- Proven professional knowledge and experience in social innovation approaches such as Systems Thinking, Ethnography, Crowdsourcing, Collective Intelligence Design, Citizen Science, Positive Deviance, Social Network Analysis, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
- Demonstrated successful experience in bringing about organizational change
- Professional experience in partnership building and engagement (public and private sector)
- Demonstrated capacity to use open data, mobile data, geospatial data, drone & satellite data, citizen data for informing policy making, strategic planning, or programme design.
- Proven professional knowledge and experience in at least one of the following: Future thinking and Foresight, Design Research, and Systems Mapping;
- Key awareness of key global and regional trends;
- Demonstrated access to networks of edge innovators
- Proficiency in written and spoken English.
* The Accelerator Labs will be comprised of a core team with niche capabilities that focus on exploration, experimentation and grassroots innovation. Within the first 6-8 months of the Lab fully functioning, each member of the Core team will take the lead on one of the following functions:
- Experimentation (instituting rapid learning about emerging challenges through design and running of a portfolio of experiments that is coherent with the type of challenges that are part of UNDP’s strategic plan, and
- Mapping Solutions: ethnographic methods and immersion in community dynamics, identification of and work with lead users, and implications of bottom up solutions for the policy design
- Exploration: The exploration function focuses on discovery and sensemaking of emerging trends, implications for systemic impacts and risks, and their potential for accelerating progress toward SDGs. Its work feeds into the portfolio of experiments ensuring its coherence with the emerging risks and opportunities and connects local dynamics and solutions into the broader national and international ecosystem of potential funders, partners, and allies thereby increasing the chances for acceleration. While critical for the functioning of the Accelerator Lab, the exploration function will also service the Country Office as determined and agreed with the UNDP senior management.
Important applicant information
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