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 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives.
The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.
UNICEF’s Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world’s children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:
- Connecting youth communities (or more broadly — anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programs that build better, stronger futures for children.
- Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach — in a traditionally risk-averse field — to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
- Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.
The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs – and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively.
We’re an interdisciplinary team around the world tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling new technologies and practices. With our partners, we focus on convening and collaborating on new and different solutions, low- and high-tech, by:
- Looking at the 2-5 year horizon to evaluate emerging and trending technologies and to see how UNICEF can work with the private sector on doing better business while improving essential services for children;
- Investing in early stage solutions that show great potential to positively impact children in the 0-2 year future including the Venture Fund that invests in open source technology solutions from start-ups based in UNICEF’s program countries;
Identifying proven solutions that can be implemented at national scale in multiple countries – taking the ideas that help thousands in one country, bringing them to dozens of countries across multiple sectors, and impacting the lives of millions of children.”
The Office of Innovation currently hosts the Secretariat for the Digital Public Goods Alliance, established in follow-up to the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. In its report, the Panel recommends as 1B “that a broad, multi-stakeholder alliance, involving the UN, create a platform for sharing digital public goods, engaging talent and pooling data sets, in a manner that respects privacy, in areas related to attaining the SDGs”. Norway, Sierra Leone, UNICEF and the Indian thinktank iSPIRT are the four initial champions working to implement this recommendation.
As part of facilitating use of digital public goods, the Alliance will help potential users identify and engage with relevant implementation support communities and will also link to relevant policy and regulatory resources. The Alliance also wants to help ensure future development and management of digital public goods, through identifying and developing funding models and business models.
How can you make a difference?
You’ll be part of the digital public goods team that builds prototypes and digital infrastructure; and supports governments, UNICEF country offices and open communities in the adoption and adaptation of digital public goods. You will work with a cross-functional team to build applications to help solve challenges large and small.
Your main responsibilities will be:
We seek a strong self-motivated Product Manager who can maintain the quality of their work even under tight time constraints and who can work with a diverse interdisciplinary team of engineers, designers, data scientists and community managers to help us build quality tools and products that support the successful implementation of digital public goods. Specifically, you will:
- Drive concept development and implementation for DPG-related explorations and prototypes, including potential NFT campaigns, tokenizing contributions and decentralizing decision making
- Support the adoption and adaptation of digital public goods – specifically further piloting and integration of the Kindly app and development of a longer product roadmap and strategy
- Conduct user/market research and gather user requirements from different stakeholders and users.
- Create relevant documents and communication materials and communicate the work to internal and external audiences.
- Work closely with other parts of the team (e.g., blockchain team, GIGA team) to explore collaboration and integration.
- Support coordination, reporting and alignment with the DPGA Secretariat team and relevant parts of the Ventures team
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in computer science, engineering or other 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 5 years of relevant professional experience in building and shipping technical products
- Experience in creating product roadmaps and defining go-to-market strategies
- Experience working with a multidisciplinary team of designers, engineers, researchers
- Experience working in an agile software development environment
- Knowledge of project management tools, preferably open-source ones (e.g. GitHub, ZenHub)Knowledge of the environment in which UNICEF operates, and understanding the constraints of working in a developing-world environment. This should include experience developing low-bandwidth applications in challenging work environments.
- Good verbal and communication skills.
- Ability to align technical goals with UNICEF strategic goals — that always will mean UNICEF’s mission over any particular technology.
- Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with 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, and Accountability (CRITA).
The competencies required for this post are
- Applying Technical Expertise – Lv 2
- Creating and Innovating – Lv 2
- Deciding and Initiating Action – Lv 2
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
Payment details and further considerations
- Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.
- Consultant is responsible for his/her own health and travel insurance
- Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
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.
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