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Data Engineer

Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)
  • Grade: IICA-1, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Statistics
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-22

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Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has a Centre for Humanitarian Data in The Hague, the Netherlands which is focused on increasing the use and impact of data in the humanitarian sector. The vision is to create a future where all people involved in a humanitarian emergency have access to the data they need, when and how they need it, to make responsible and informed decisions. The Centre has four workstreams: data services, data responsibility, data literacy and predictive analytics.

As part of the data services workstream, the Centre manages the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) which is an open platform for sharing data across crises and organisations. Launched in July 2014, the goal of HDX is to make humanitarian data easy to find and use for analysis. Our growing collection of datasets has been accessed by millions of users in over 200 countries and territories. HDX is based on CKAN, an open-source data management system for powering data hubs and portals. The Centre has built a Python library to interact with the CKAN API to support a suite of scrapers that extract humanitarian data from remote files or APIs for upload as datasets into the portal and for use in visualisations.

The Centre is seeking to expand its team with a Data Engineer who has the skills and experience to investigate, clean and transform data sources, making them available in a form suitable for analysis, reporting and visualisation. We are looking for a candidate who is self-motivated and can thrive in an international, multidisciplinary team. The right candidate has the skills and abilities to develop both novel prototypes to fulfil immediate demands and robust solutions to satisfy longer term needs, to understand existing systems and update them to meet new requirements, and to think strategically about improvements to HDX’s data pipelines and processes.

Reporting Relationships The Data Engineer will report to the Data Systems Team Lead under the overall direction of the Lead for the Centre for Humanitarian Data. She or he will be expected to work closely with the rest of the Centre team.

Functional Responsibilities

-         Automate extraction, cleaning and transformation of data from external file storage and APIs for upload into HDX and/or visualisation.

-         Check metadata and data ingested into HDX meet accuracy, consistency and comparability requirements.

-         Learn about the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL) and use it to improve data interoperability.

-         Ensure existing and new data pipelines operate reliably, refactoring and improving them as needed.

-         Work with other teams in the Centre to enhance the architecture and implementation of their data pipelines.

-         Add functionality to the Centre’s Python libraries as needed including testing and documentation.

-         Productionise successful prototypes integrating them into the Centre’s infrastructure in partnership with the dev team.

-         Work with HDX data contributors and data consumers to identify new projects and areas of opportunities for data integration.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


●       An advanced university degree in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, statistics or a related field

●       A Bachelor's degree with additional two years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Work Experience

●       Two years of computer programming experience in areas like statistical modelling, data analytics, data editing and processing, including at least two years of experience using the Python programming language.

Desired Experience

●       Experience with data visualization, especially web-based is desirable.

●       Experience in the humanitarian or development aid sectors is desirable.


●       Fluency in English is required (both oral and written). Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Individual Contractor Agreement holders (ICAs) Contract level: IICA-1/LICA-9/ICSC-9
Contract duration: 6 months initially with the possibility of extension  (retainer contract modality)

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

This is not a position in UNOPS. UNOPS is solely providing operational support to its partner UNOCHA for this recruitment process. The selected candidate will be a personnel member of UNOCA under its full responsibility and salaries and benefits will be decided by UNOCHA.

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

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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