Consultancy, Technology Lead, Digital Public Goods ,11.5 months, Remote

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 programmes 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.
Our team
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 programme 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.”

How can you make a difference?

This consultant will provide leadership on frontier technologies and product development within the UNICEF Ventures team and the Digital Public Goods Alliance. You will work across technology areas on the team advising product teams and leading the conceptualisation and executing of prototypes under the DPG Alliance. You will conceptualise and lead the development of a top level domain and related explorations that aim to challenge and redefine major aspects of the digital ecosystem and how digital public goods are designed, accessed and interacted with. You lead technical support to DPGs in UNICEF’s pathfinder countries and build global partnerships to leverage resources from across sectors to this end.

Main responsibilities will be:

  • Provide technical guidance to Ventures’ product and platform development
  • Lead knowledge development and exchange in the Ventures team focused frontier technologies, including facilitating access to related resources, expertise and partners
  • Lead conceptualisation and launch of platforms for DPGs, such as the top level domain
  • Manage explorations such as incentivisation, decentralised decision making, accounting/digital financing and safety around the theme of creating a digital world that is .good
  • Develop a scalable technical assistance strategy and for select, high priority DPGs and nominees
  • Provide technical input to the assessment process and act as technical expert on relevant areas during DPG vetting process
  • Provide strategic guidance to UNICEF Ventures’ engagement in open source

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

  • An Advanced degree in relevant field (Information Technology, Engineering, or related areas) or equivalent professional experience
  • At least 8 years of experience in coding and building technology products
  • Demonstrated leadership, strategy and management level experience for development of technical platforms
  • Experience engaging at senior levels with stakeholders in the open source, digital public goods and frontier technology space
  • A track record of architecting and prototyping systems rapidly within large open conceptual spaces and across different technology platforms and areas, including blockchain
  • Demonstrated ability to lay out technical vision for product and engineering work end-to-end
  • Capacity to forecast timelines and anticipate challenges
  • Well developed, extensive open source experience
  • Effective communication skills to collaborate cross-functionally
  • Superior project management skills for managing tasks and dependencies
  • Ability to inspire and mentor teammates
  • Must be able to write and review code as an individual contributor and provide track record of own open source development
  • Deep understanding of engineering considerations and tradeoffs for different product and business decisions
  • Ability to think ahead in terms of product and engineering implications for potential designs and ask the right questions to ensure that we are on the right path
  • Fluency in English is required.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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.

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


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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