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Data Scientist Consultant

Italy (Italy)

  • Organization: WFP - World Food Programme
  • Location: Italy (Italy)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2022-02-11

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WFP celebrates and embraces diversity. It is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and

encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information,


gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, HIV status, physical or mental disability.




Job Title:  Data Scientist


Type of Contract: Junior Consultant


Division: RAM Hunger Monitoring Unit / Research, Assessment and Monitoring Division


Duty Station (City, Country): Rome, HQ Italy


Duration: 6 months





The Hunger Monitoring Unit (RAMAH) in WFP’s Research Assessment and Monitoring (RAM) Division manages WFP’s global hunger monitoring systems, building upon the successes of the mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) initiative. This entails the establishment and oversight of WFP’s near real-time food security monitoring systems in close to 40 countries, as well as developing and refining advanced analytical approaches for nowcasting and forecasting food security indicators using predictive analytics in collaboration with internal and external partners to general timely information on global food security. Data from these systems flows into the HungerMap LIVE (, WFP’s global hunger monitoring system. This information is also published through Global and Regional Insights and Key Trends reports and other related resources, enabling decision makers to monitor the situation effectively and adopt early mitigation actions.

To support this effort, the Hunger Monitoring Unit seeks a Data Scientist Consultant to support the research and development of the aforementioned activities on predictive analytics and strengthen the data analysis and reporting of collected data globally.






The Consultant will be responsible for the following activities:

  • Research, design and implement machine learning models for estimating and forecasting food security;
  • Support the predictive analytics work done in partnership with research institutes and universities to look at correlations between food insecurity and its potential drivers for improving machine learning models;
  • Support the writing of technical papers and reports to be submitted to peer-reviewed international journals;
  • Participate in scientific and humanitarian conferences, workshops and meetings to present the Unit’s predictive analytics work;
  • In collaboration with the engineering team, design and implement production-ready data pipelines;
  • Support management and analysts in ad-hoc data explorations and analysis, by means of traditional statistical analysis as well as state-of-the-art data science methodologies;
  • Ensure adherence to WFP policies regarding data, including data privacy, security, management, and code documentation;
  • Participate in field missions as required;
  • Perform other tasks as required.






  • New predictive features in the Hunger Map Live and related products developed;
  • Peer reviewed papers published in scientific journals;
  • Presentations and trainings on predictive analytics undertaken;
  • Documentation and guidelines on mVAM analytics designed and shared as needs arise.








  • Master’s degree in statistics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative economics or a similar quantitative field.




  • Experience in a data science-related field


Knowledge & Skills:


  • Strong Python programming skills and experience with data science libraries (pandas, numpy, scikit-learn, keras/tensorflow/pytorch, etc.);
  • A passion for machine learning with an understanding of algorithms ranging from NLP to Computer Vision.
  • Experience in designing and querying SQL databases (NoSQL an asset);
  • Experience with Remote Sensing data and GIS skills (QGIS, GDAL) is highly valued;
  • Proficiency in git and experience with other developer tools (aws, docker, etc.) is highly valued;
  • Knowledge of survey methodologies is an asset;
  • Knowledge of Bayesian inference is an asset;
  • Data Visualization coding skills (JavaScript libraries) and Business Intelligence software (Tableau) is an asset;
  • Experience working with the humanitarian sector or in a social science field is an asset.




Spoken and written English required. Spoken and written French, Spanish or Arabic would be an asset.



Terms and Conditions


WFP offers a competitive compensation package which will be determined by the


contract type and selected candidate’s qualifications and experience.


Please visit the following websites for detailed information on working with WFP. Click on: “Our work” and “Countries” to learn more about WFP’s operations.




Deadline for applications: 11 February 2022


Ref.: VA No. 155855




All employment decisions are made on the basis of organizational needs, job requirements, merit, and individual qualifications. WFP is committed to providing an inclusive work


environment free of sexual exploitation and abuse, all forms of discrimination, any kind of harassment, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. Therefore, all selected candidates


will undergo rigorous reference and background checks.



No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil


Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations


system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.


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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