Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.Data Scientist
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The UNHCR Data Transformation Strategy 2020-2025 envisions that by 2025 UNHCR becomes a trusted leader on data and information related to refugees and other persons of concern (POC), thereby enabling actions to protect and to empower them. The Strategy stipulates investing in four complementary priority areas: data management and governance; information systems; capacities and skill development; and culture for evidence-informed decision-making. The strategy envisages data and information management functions in UNHCR are carried out in a complementary and inter-linked manner between Headquarters Divisions and Services, Regional Bureaux, country operations and key external partners, including persons of concern.
UNHCR statistics are considered a global public good benefitting society as a whole and UNHCR¿s POC in particular. These statistics provide valuable information for a variety of stakeholders ranging from governments, donors, partners, international agencies to analysts, researchers, public bodies and civil society, among others. They enable increased accountability, transparency and evidence-based policy debate. High quality statistics, analysis and technical advice support UNHCR and its partners to formulate and implement improved policies, programmes and decisions, and to allow their effective monitoring and evaluation.
UNHCR¿s Statistics and Demographics Section is the global reference for the agency¿s public facing displacement statistics, serves as interlocutor with national and international statistical bodies and collaborates closely with the UNHCR-World Bank Joint Data Center on analytical and methodological aspects. The Section defines business requirements, statistical policies and best practices in population data aggregation and triangulation practices in close collaboration with respective Sections in the Global Data Service.
As a member of the Statistics and Demographics Section, the Data Scientist will employ big data and data science techniques to develop a range of solutions benefiting UNHCR¿s POC. S/he will serve as liaison to the UNHCR-World Bank Joint Data Center and support joint efforts such as the expansion of UNHCR¿s Microdata Library and will contribute in the area of predictive analytics. S/he is expected to utilize the Dataport, a centralized repository for curated registration and case management data to the fullest extent to ensure data quality and analytical approaches are in line with international statistical standards. The incumbent will apply statistical modelling techniques to project global forced displacement in the short-, mid- and long-term.
The Data Scientist reports to the Senior Data Scientist, within the Global Data Service. S/he will directly supervise staff at the Professional and General Service category.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
- Apply data science techniques to global forced displacement and statelessness situations to improve both understanding of population behaviour, needs, and vulnerabilities as well as capacity to monitor and evaluate the impact of UNHCR policies and programmes.
- Draft concept papers, prepare background analyses, and briefings to build support for the use of data analytics and data science techniques throughout UNHCR, in collaboration with relevant Services and Divisions.
- Provide consultation and guidance to non-technical audiences and develop and implement guidance on integrating advanced data and analysis in routine decision-making processes.
- Promote a knowledge sharing and learning culture. Conduct trainings to improve technical and research skills of headquarters and field staff in the area of data science and/or advanced statistical analysis, in collaboration with the Global Learning and Development Centre.
- Contribute to the research on the use of alternative data sources to produce data on global forced displacement and statelessness situations.
- Facilitate open access to anonymized forced displacement data while addressing protection and privacy concerns over microdata managed by UNHCR.
- Advance analytical techniques and data quality assurance approaches in UNHCR, bringing them in line with international statistical standards and analytical best practices.
- Apply predictive analytics techniques to produce population statistics.
- Visualise and report data findings creatively in a variety of formats.
- Support the development and enhancement of UNHCR data systems interoperability and systematic adoption by providing advice on data science techniques.
- Support the dialogue across UNHCR in collaboration with the appropriate colleagues for improvement of inter-operability and responsible access to corporate systems.
- Contribute to the delivery of high-profile analytical products, in consultation with the relevant operational teams, including field operations.
- Represent UNHCR in technical meetings and other events as required i.e.: workshops, conferences, etc.
- Perform other related duties as required.
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P3/NOC - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Computer Science,
Public Policy, Demography, Geography,
Engineering Quantitative Social Sciences or other relevant field with a focus on data science.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Certificates and/or Licenses
UNHCR ODM Module 7 Registration
HCR Operational Data Management Learning Programme
Information Management Evaluation Training
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Strong quantitative background; experience in data collection, management, cleaning, processing, and applied analysis using one or more of these statistical software or programming languages (Python, Stata, SAS, R, SPSS, MATLAB, Tableau, PowerBI). Strategic sense and demonstrated experience in ensuring the operational relevance of analytical and/or research work. Solid understanding of forced displacement-related issues. Drive, proven sense of initiative, results orientation, flexibility, as well as effective teamwork skills. Experience in a branch of computational informatics (development, health, bio-, geo-, etc.) using machine learning. Experience working with Big Data, social network data, and/or geospatial data/satellite imagery. Experience writing technical reports. Experience presenting work to both technical and non-technical audiences. Willingness to experiment in data innovation and big data and push the boundaries in applying technical skills for development and humanitarian action. Ability to work flexibly, creatively and to multitask as the need arises. A high degree of self-motivation, positive attitude and drive.
Experience in process re-engineering (process redesign, process transformation, or change management). Experience with data sharing, data management, and data analysis. Experience with UNHCR¿s corporate applications and operational data. Demonstrated understanding of civil registration and other national population registration systems. Knowledge of UNHCR and interagency policies, standards, programmes and operations.
PR-Experience in Forced Displacement situations
DM-Data collection methodologies
MS-Data Collection and Analysis
DM-Data science methodologies
DM-Qualitative data analysis
DM-Quantitative data analysis
DM-Population census and econometrics
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates. C001L2 - Accountability Level 2
C002L2 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 2
C003L2 - Communication Level 2
C004L2 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 2
C005L2 - Client & Result Orientation Level 2
C006L2 - Organizational Awareness Level 2
M001L2 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 2
M006L2 - Managing Resources Level 2
M003L2 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 2
M002L2 - Managing Performance Level 2
X001L2 - Analytical Thinking Level 2
X002L2 - Innovation and Creativity Level 2
X009L2 - Change Capability and Adaptability Level 2
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).
Please note that the closing date for vacancies in this addendum is Monday 7 December 2020 (midnight Geneva time).