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Consultancy - Creating safer data environments: data sharing and protection in a post Covid-19 world, Data & Analytics (D&A), DAPM NYHQ (home based)

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Ebola
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-03

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A responsible approach to data is essential in creating an environment that supports effective program delivery and innovation. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of data in responding to not only the immediate pandemic, but also understanding the secondary and long-term impacts on children and their families. In response to this demand, we have seen a rapid increase in the use of new data technologies, data sharing arrangements and partnerships, and new data collections in member states. Additionally we have also seen growing awareness in the risks associated with these data collections, the potential for discrimination or differential access due to biases in algorithms or in the capabilities of the technologies themselves, the risk to privacy and importance of data protection, and increased public scrutiny and uncertainty in who has access to data on children and individuals and what they are able to do with it. These changes come on top of an already rapidly changing data landscape at both the global and national level. Digitization, identity management systems, and new platforms have made it easier than ever to collect, store and link data on children.

Consultancy Title: Creating safer data environments: data sharing and protection in a post Covid-19 world

Section/Division/Duty Station: Data & Analytics D&A/DAPM/NY (home based consultancy)

Duration: 220 days over 11 months

About UNICEF

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you. For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.

BACKGROUND

A responsible approach to data is essential in creating an environment that supports effective program delivery and innovation. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of data in responding to not only the immediate pandemic, but also understanding the secondary and long-term impacts on children and their families. In response to this demand, we have seen a rapid increase in the use of new data technologies, data sharing arrangements and partnerships, and new data collections in member states. Additionally we have also seen growing awareness in the risks associated with these data collections, the potential for discrimination or differential access due to biases in algorithms or in the capabilities of the technologies themselves, the risk to privacy and importance of data protection, and increased public scrutiny and uncertainty in who has access to data on children and individuals and what they are able to do with it.  These changes come on top of an already rapidly changing data landscape at both the global and national level. Digitization, identity management systems, and new platforms have made it easier than ever to collect, store and link data on children.

We are looking for an exceptional person to work with UNICEF’s Data and Analytics (D&A) team who has broad experience across management information systems, statistical reporting, data use and advocacy, research and ethics to help us navigate these complex issues. The D&A team within the Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring Division 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. It also provides a central role in supporting data work, planning and standards throughout the organization. In collaboration with a broad range of colleagues across the UNICEF, D&A has a key role in providing guidance and support on data collection tools, approaches, standards, and priorities. UNICEF offices are increasingly engaging to provide technical support to governments and field partners; and in many cases are scaling up data collections through tools such as U-report, rapid surveys, Primero, and mobile platforms. At the same time – UNICEF is also working to ensure that we are able to innovate and make use of new technologies for children, establish for the first time centralized databases of beneficiary data, and to work together more closely with UN partners to implement the “One UN Strategy” and ensure we are as effective as we can be in the field.

Creating an environment that encourages innovation, uses data effectively to drive programming for children, and at the same time – ensures that children’s rights are at the centre of all of these discussion requires

a) Building capacity in, and tools for the field (both within UNICEF and as a global public good) to identify, operationalize and support best practices; including the appropriate use of data to drive change for children.

b) Addressing our own activities around data protection, use, and sharing – reflecting the responsible data for children principles in our own work and in our partnerships with other agencies.

c) Improving our understanding of the risks and opportunities related to data in relation to new and emerging data technologies and applications.  

UNICEF and UNHCR’s two-year blueprint for joint action aims to transform the quality of life for refugee children and their families. The agencies have committed to working together, through a Joint Data Working Group, to identify and develop tangible solutions to pilot country data challenges and to strengthen coordination and collaboration on data-related issues.

  • Strengthened national data systems (including surveys, routine data collections and systems) in order to improve availability and accessibility of quality and disaggregated data, information, and analysis on the situation of refugee and returnee children.
  • Improved aggregate data sharing and analysis practices between agencies to support programming and monitoring in line with interagency agreements, best practices, principles for data protection and data inter-operability.
  • Strengthened engagement on data protection and rights and refugee protection case management and information management.

Terms of Reference / Deliverables

The scope of work is anticipated to address the following elements:

  1. Contribute and coordinate substantive technical guidance and support to key data sharing, data privacy and protection, and risk and responsibility issues outlined in the workplan of the Working Group on Data for the UNICEF/ UNHCR blueprint
  • Evaluate risks and options for safe disaggregation of data across sectoral applications
  • Support work on developing data sharing guidance and agreements between the organizations, in line with UNCIEF mandates and data needs, responsible data for children principles, and to promote consistency and predictability across sectors and systems; including a particular focus on child protection data systems.
  • Identify and evaluate how improved data sharing could address critical data gaps on children on the move, particularly in light of Covid-19 response.
  • Document key lessons/ case studies from Blueprint target countries in relation to data sharing needs, practices, and concerns; to inform the development of a broader agreement with UNHCR.
  1. Manage the time-bound Data Working Group for the Blueprint, and coordinate UNICEF contributions to the ongoing workplans and deliverables
  • Organize regular meetings in line with the TORS and workplan deadlines, and provide secretariat support to the Data Working Group (including minutes, routine briefings for snr staff, funding proposals and reporting etc)
  • Build and maintain a strong network of communication with key HQ and regional staff, and project country offices on data collection and sharing issues
  • Leverage the lessons learned through the Blueprint Data Working Group in broader implementation of the UN Data Strategy, informing best practice on data sharing between agencies and highlighting the impacts through improved outcomes for children.
  1. Create a “landscape” or decision tree to both support country offices and other staff to navigate existing tools and requirements on the safe collection, processing, storing, sharing and use of sensitive data; and identify and address gaps and inconsistencies, along with recommendations for senior management to address these. Subsequent is anticipated to include high level technical input to current guidance such as:
  • Development of standard non-disclosure (NDA) templates (overseen by the legal team) to simplify safe data sharing in the field
  • Development of an open data policy and processes within UNICEF by the Office of research, balancing the key demands of open data and access against data protection and privacy. Develop guidance and support to reflect
  • Advice on designing for responsible data for children principles in the development of new data management information systems or processes (such as in relation to Cash, CP etc)
  • Integration of data responsibility and ethics principles into the draft UNICEF data quality guidance documents and roll-out of this work.
  1. Seek and contribute to opportunities to strengthen the links between data protection, responsibility and ethics in programmes/ development within UNICEF with ongoing data work on strengthening data support in humanitarian settings.

The consultant will report to the Statistics Specialist (Administrative Data), in the Data Use Unit and will be expected to engage closely with UNICEF colleagues, UNHCR, and other partners in the design and completion of this work. The consultant will also work closely with the responsible data

Tasks/Milestone:

Technical support on data sharing, ethics and protection including guidance, country support and 

Coordination.

Tasks will reflect the scope of outlined above, with specific milestones to be agreed over the 11-month period during the recruitment process/ inception report development. Compensation will be payable based by product bundle from this agreed schedule.

Qualifications

(1) Education

  • Masters degree in Official Statistics, or equivalent; OR
  • Bachelors degree in Official statistics (or equivalent) may be considered sufficient with 10+ years relevant experience in a national or regional statistics office/ official (government) data role

2) Work experience

  • At least six years of experience in monitoring and evaluation, demography, or another data related field with strong sectoral data systems experience (ten if applying with a Bachelor’s degree)
  • Demonstrated work experience in data ethics, responsible data, human rights or related fields (including published work).
  • Excellent understanding of UNICEF's core areas of work and programming, with familiarity of the broader UN data community, and UN Partners (including UNHCR)
  • Demonstrated experience with analysis of data issues in relation to new technology, data linkage, and functional identity.
  • Proven research skills (including qualitative analysis and study design) and demonstrated record of peer-reviewed publications and/or technical publication.
  • Experience formulating guidance documents and tools
  • Strong experience in training or advocacy on data related issues.
  • Excellent written and spoken language skills; and strong inter-personal communication skills.
  • A second language (particularly Spanish, or French) would also be valuable (but not necessary)

3) Competencies

  • Drive to achieve results for impact       
  • Works collaboratively  
  • Thinks and acts strategically    
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity

Requirements:

  • Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Financial proposal that will include:
  • your daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference (can be downloaded here: https://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_consultancy_assignments.html 
    • travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
    • Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
    • Indicate your availability
  • Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.
  • At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
  • Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

U.S. Visa information:

With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.  

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

View our competency framework at

http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

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.

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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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.

Remarks:

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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.
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