Consultancy - AI Advisor, Office of Innovation, Home-based, full-time (11.5 months)

This opening expired 2 months ago.

UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

Open positions at UNICEF
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SE Home-based; Stockholm (Sweden)

Application deadline 2 months ago: Monday 7 Nov 2022 at 22:55 UTC

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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, innovate

UNICEF has a history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships, and technologies are critical for achieve improved outcomes for children. The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive and agile team in UNICEF that sits at the unique intersection of working on material global issues, start up thinking, technology and partnerships that can scale solutions. We look to form partnerships around frontier technologies (including AI, drones and UAVs, blockchain, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, and 3D-printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion markets and 1 billion person needs.

The Office of Innovation’s Venture Fund is a pooled funding vehicle specially designed to finance early stage, open-source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Innovation Fund is to identify clusters or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology – so that UNICEF can both shape markets and learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We invest in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. The Innovation Fund’s Data Science and AI portfolio is composed of a set of companies that develop solutions that bridge learning or connectivity gaps towards employability.

Most recently, the Office of Innovation led the drafting of an ambitious UNICEF-wide strategy for AI. With a strong foundation of ethical AI, the strategy aims to make AI a powerful tool to improve the way we deliver our programs, make our internal operations more efficient and advocate for AI to accelerate results for children.

How can you make a difference?

The UNICEF Office of Innovation (OOI) is looking for an experienced AI Specialist to provide technical support and guidance to the AI-related work at the Office as well as across UNICEF through the implementation of the organisation-wide AI strategy.

Successful candidates will have demonstrated practice in ethical and responsible AI/ML development and deployment and experience implementing AI/ML initiatives in complex or constrained contexts. The candidate will also possess high level organization and communication skills to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders.

Overall, this position is responsible for:

  • Facilitating knowledge management and the understanding of AI/ML within UNICEF.
  • Work with internal and external stakeholders to support the adoption and scale of AI/ML initiatives for internal process and programmes.
  • Support the evaluation and identification of scale opportunities in machine learning and large datasets
  • Technical advice on machine learning techniques and capacity building for portfolio managers.
  • Support the review of technical proposals from country offices, internal departments, DAPM or suppliers.
  • Support with the technical exploration, guidance and development of AI/ML initiatives within UNICEF that accelerate results for children.
  • Support the negotiation, advocacy and implementation of the newly developed AI strategy.
  • Collaborating with relevant divisions and country offices as they commence AI projects.
  • Support execution of high priority use cases within the Office of Innovation, including coordination of related technical resources.
  • Provide ongoing advice to start-ups funded by UNICEF’s Venture Fund, as needed.
  • Provide technical guidance, support and mentorship to seed, growth, scale and hub initiatives within the Ventures team and the wider Office of Innovation.
  • Provide ongoing advice to solutions in the by UNICEF’s innovation portfolios, as needed.
  • Provide technical guidance, support and mentorship to seed, growth, scale and hub initiatives within the Ventures team, PCS team and the wider Office of Innovation.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Computer Science, Data Science/Machine Learning, or another relevant field *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant professional experience in (e.g., AI, data science, technical project management, product ownership etc.)
  • Working knowledge of AI/ML as well as the associated ecosystem is required
  • Current knowledge of AI/ML trends, particularly in emerging and developing markets is a must have
  • Track record of delivery for cross-functional AI/ML projects is a must have
  • Demonstrated experience in development and deployment of ethical and responsible AI/ML practices, preferably in UNICEF program countries is required
  • Demonstrated understanding of open source and open data principles and practices is a must have
  • Demonstrated experience working with technical teams of product managers, software developers and designers is essential
  • Demonstrated experience working with non-technical teams in formulating their use cases and helping their involvement in the project delivery is required
  • Good writing and communication skills, including for advocacy purposes, and the aptitude to handle competing agendas and priorities with multiple audiences and at various levels of seniority are a must
  • Work experience and/or familiarity with UNICEF program countries and/or emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Innovates and embraces change

  • Thinks and acts strategically
  • Drive to achieve results for impact
  • Works collaboratively with others
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity

Payment details and further considerations

    1. Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.
    2. Consultant is responsible for his/her own health and travel insurance
    3. Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

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.


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.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

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