Org. Setting and Reporting
The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA unescwa.org) forms part of the United Nations Secretariat and, like the other regional commissions, operates under the supervision of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. ESCWA comprises 20 Arab countries in Western Asia and North Africa. ESCWA provides a framework for the formulation and harmonization of sectoral policies for member countries, a platform for congress and coordination, a home for expertise and knowledge, and an information observatory. ESCWA activities are coordinated with the divisions and main offices of the Headquarters of the United Nations, specialized agencies, and international and regional organizations, including the League of Arab States and its subsidiary bodies, and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
This position is under Cluster 4: ‘Statistics, the Information Society and Technology’ of ESCWA.
Cluster 4 acts as a pioneer and multi-stakeholder regional platform for deliberation, consensus-building, peer learning, and policy solutions to strengthen the institutional framework for official statistics in the Arab region, and enhance the production and use of harmonized, timely and reliable statistics for evidence-based policymaking, to enable the measurement of national and regional progress towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; and advance information society in the Arab region and promote the integration of technology and innovation for inclusive and sustainable development.
The Data Scientist will report to the Cluster Lead.
Within limits of delegated authority, the Data Scientist will be responsible for the following duties:
• Leverage the variety of data sources and data solutions provided by the data ecosystem to identify, analyze and interpret trends or patterns using machine learning techniques and statistical methods.
• Evaluate new and existing data sources to determine their effectiveness and accuracy for use in decision making and assess their suitability for actionable output.
• Collaborate with stakeholders across departments, including the Executive, Analytics and Design Teams, to develop implementation roadmaps for targeted and specific AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) use cases and support advanced data analytics needs.
• At the substantive level, design and coordinate predictive data science products, models and AI/ML algorithms for initial simulations or prototypes and subsequent ingestion into mainstream software applications.
• At the substantive level, extract deep insights from both structured and unstructured sources of information and data in compliance with UN data privacy and security protocols.
• Engage in complex research and analyses to integrate advanced data analytics and models in internal data intelligence solutions and systems provided to Member States.
• Translate immediate data-related requests and advanced analytics needs (e.g., nowcasting, predictive models, etc.) into prototype solutions and data and analytics requirements to articulate with the data solutions team.
• Liaise with data scientists and engineers in ESCWA Information and Communications Technology Section (ICTS) to access data features, infrastructure, software and services needed to develop and deploy data science products.
• Contribute to short- and long-term planning of the organization’s innovative data solutions and scalability activities.
• Coordinate with different functional teams to develop processes and tools to monitor and analyze model performance and data accuracy.
• Oversee the subsequent full implementation of roadmaps and advanced data analytics initiatives to deliver on the vision.
• Professionalism: Knowledge of statistical data analysis life cycle from ingest and wrangling to analysis and visualization to present findings. Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, ability to build new products and drive new approaches. Ability to convey complex / difficult data science and statistics topics to clients in a relatable manner. Takes pride in the work for the organization and understands the impact that can be brought into the organization by allowing data-driven and evidence-based decisions. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work..
• Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
• Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in data science, computer science, information management, statistics, mathematics, economics, management or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in data science, data analytics, applied mathematics, statistics, information management or related area is required.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. In addition, Arabic is a working language at ESCWA. For this position, fluency in English is required.
“Fluency" equals a rating of “fluent” in all four areas (speak, read, write, and understand) and "Knowledge of" equals a rating of “confident’ in two of the four areas.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include assessment(s) and a competency-based interview.Special Notice
This position is available for one year from the date of appointment/assignment. Extension of the appointment/assignment is subject to the availability of the post or funds, budgetary approval, extension of the mandate, continued need for services, and satisfactory performance.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 January 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Vietnam.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.
Individual Contractors and Consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for or be appointed to any professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions, within six months of the end of their current or most recent service. For such positions, at least six months need to have elapsed between the end of a consultancy or individual contract and the time of application and consideration for an appointment as a staff member under the Staff Rules and Regulations of the United Nations.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
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