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Consultancy - Creating safer data environments: Responsible data for children 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
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Ebola
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-24

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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 (here), 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: Responsible data for children in a post Covid-19 world

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

Duration: 160 days over 8 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 (here), 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.

UNICEF’s Data & Analytics (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, 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.  

The Responsible Data for Children program in UNICEF commenced in 2018 as a means of building stronger practical support to country offices and field partners on how to collect, manage and use data on children both safely and effectively; and to provide a “public good” to advocate for responsible use of childrens’ data more broadly.  The work built on previous guidelines developed by UNICEF in the child protection space – responding to an identified need for a broader, more flexible approach that included how UNICEF interacts with and influences both field partners and governments across the breadth of our work; and a substantive gap in the public discussions on data use in relation to the specific issues related to data on children. The work has been taken forward to date through a partnership with the GovLAB at New York University; which has undertaken the field work, development of case studies and guidance tools, and the design and maintenance of a public facing web site and resource repository (www.rd4c.org). A key product of phase one of the partnership was the development and release of key principles on the responsible use of data. Phase two of this work will focus on both institutionalizing the RD4C principles within UNICEF data processes, and a continued & strengthened collaboration with GovLAB to develop, test and support practical solutions in the field.

Terms of Reference / Deliverables

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

  1. Provide substantive technical support, undertake research, and coordinate input to improve the integration of RD4C principles and tools into routine UNICEF work practices
  • Mapping document of RD4C tools against internal UNICEF use cases
  • Guidance (and web links) on the use of RD4C within UNICEF process documents
  • Adapted material/ content for data landscape and maturity model documents
  • Support to reviewing Country Office data landscape and action plan documents as relevant
  1. In collaboration with the RD4C steering committee, develop an appropriate M&E framework to evaluate the impact of the work, including changes in attitudes, knowledge and practice.
  2. Develop and deliver, in collaboration with GovLAB, training materials, webinars and other support material for UNICEF staff and field partners.
  • Training materials targeted to specific audience groups
  • Webinars/ video/ training
  • Agora course design and delivery on responsible data
  • Presentation / engagement on RD4C at key milestone events.
  • Writing for platforms such as ICON, the Data for Children site, external RD4C site, and others as appropriate.
  1. In collaboration with GovLAB and the UNICEF Steering committee, contribute substantive technical expertise and input into the design, implementation, document and review of key deliverables for the RD4C project including
  • Case studies to unpack key principles, understand specific applications (such as real time monitoring or cash systems) in the field, and evaluate and adapt current tools in the field based on identified needs.
  1. Provide secretariat support to the RD4C Steering committee 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 Steering committee (including minutes, routine briefings for snr staff, funding proposals and reporting etc)
  • Build and maintain a strong network of communication with key regional staff on RD4C issues
  • Provide support to field activities and coordination to ensure broad UNICEF engagement and input into RD4C field activities (case studies, research, capacity building and tool development etc).

The consultant will report to the Statistics Specialist (Administrative Data), in the Data Use Unit and will be expected to engage closely with UNICEF staff, GovLAB and other partners in the design and completion of this work

Work Assignment Overview:

Tasks/Milestone: Technical support on RD4C including guidance, country support and coordination.

Tasks will reflect the scope of outlined above, with specific milestones to be agreed over the 8 month period during the recruitment process/ inception report development. Compensation will be payable based by product bundle from this agreed schedule.

Qualifications

We are looking for a remarkable person to join our team and provide strong leadership to this important work as we move forward.

(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 official statistics, research ethics, sectoral data systems, or a related field (ten if applying with a Bachelor’s degree)
  • Demonstrated work experience in data ethics, responsible data  or related fields (including published work).
  • Strong experience working with data collection, including administrative data systems and government functions. This should include system design, evaluation, functional identity and data linkage, and data use.
  • 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.
  • A solid understanding of UNICEF's core areas of work and familiarity with the UN statistical community
  • 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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