SSRRE 2023 – Associate Director (Chief Data Officer), DAPM, D-1, NYHQ, USA (External Candidates)

Job no: 553255

Position type: Fixed Term Appointment

Location: United States Division/Equivalent: Programme

School/Unit: Division of Analysis, Planning & Monitor

Department/Office: DAPM – Data and Analytics

Categories: Senior Leadership Vacancies, Executive Management

The effective date of appointment for the successful candidate is expected to be in March 2024.

*Internal UNICEF candidates should apply through the SSRRE 2023 Batch Link

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, dedication.

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

The collection, analysis, dissemination and use of timely, good-quality, disaggregated data is the foundation of effective action on equitable support to children’s rights and well-being. Data and other evidence are also crucial to understand and improve the impact of policies and programmes for children, as well as to understand children’s own views and priorities.

For decades, UNICEF has played a crucial role in the collection, analysis, dissemination, communication and use of data about children. UNICEF supports governments to use data about children more effectively to inform investment decisions, policies and programmes, as well as to strengthen national data collection and analysis systems. UNICEF plays a key role in developing, testing and disseminating new data related tools and methodologies. UNICEF’s own databases and data analyses inform policy dialogue, advocacy and campaigning at country, regional and global levels.

The 2020 UN Data Strategy calls for governance mechanisms in data (Data Council and Chief Data Officer), as well as building a culture of data in each UN entity, and assuring the necessary technical and human resources are available to take good advantage of Artificial Intelligence and other related technologies to bring power to data within and outside UNICEF. The governance of data implies empowering heads of office and assuring their accountability for the quality, privacy, protection, and ethical aspects of data activities in (or paid for by) their office, including collection, storage, analysis, retention and discarding of data.

The Chief Data Officer will convene a Data Advisory Council of external and internal experts and data stakeholders to advise and guide these governance functions, and to stimulate use cases of real-time data solutions. The post-holder will oversee the quality, ethics and responsible collection, storage, analysis, sharing, use and publication of data whether generated from within UNICEF’s systems or collected from outside UNICEF. The Chief Data Officer will also be responsible for continuous development of a culture of data understanding and use within UNICEF and promoting the same in partners.

How can you make a difference?

The purpose of this post is to provide intellectual, managerial, technical and advocacy leadership in UNICEF for the collection, storage, analysis and use of data at global, regional and country levels within the overall mission of UNICEF to promote the rights of every child. The post is also the senior position in UNICEF to promulgate and uphold standards of quality and ethics in data produced or used by any part of UNICEF.

Key function, accountabilities and related duties/tasks: 1. Policy and strategy development

  • Manage and guide UNICEF in implementation of the UN Data Strategy, adapting and streamlining its considerations (People and Culture, Partnerships, Governance and Technology), by fostering the development, implementation and improvement of UNICEF’s wider strategy on data and related guidance tools and systems including the interaction of data, innovation and digital strategies
  • Formulate UNICEF strategies, identify priorities, develop policies and guidance to deliver on UNICEF’s Strategic Plan as it relates to data issues with particular attention care spent on the interaction with innovation and digital transformation, making sure data serve the delivery and monitoring of UNICEF action, as well as transformational change in country programmes for children
  • Particular support to a functional strategy for data governance in every division and office
  • Promote and distribute appropriate technical tools and guidelines on data-related activities at the HQ, Regional and Country levels to better serve the work of UNICEF in results for children
  • Guide and integrate policies on Artificial Intelligence, Geospatial Information Systems and Remote Sensing, Data Governance including Responsible Data for Children for coherent guidance and support to all data issues across the spectrum of work in UNICEF

2. Direct investments in data, and develop culture of data in UNICEF and oversee responsible data use, including ethical, privacy and quality standards

  • Direct the work of developing and maintaining “people and culture” of data use in UNICEF, using a network of data advisers to act as stewards of data under the control of their office, empowering and providing ameans of oversight of data issues to heads of office
  • This network to support ethics, quality, and data-sharing and responsible use of data within UNICEF
  • Manage data as a strategic asset, and operationalize data governance, data quality and other competencies and controls to sustain the integrity of UNICEF’s data. This includes upholding data standards (what data are good-enough for what purpose), including through reporting from the focal points
  • Lead the data agenda of UNICEF, to include fostering innovation and leveraging Frontier Data and analytics technologies, both HQ level leadership and field support and oversight
  • Ensure the establishment and delivery of technologies, tools, approaches and methodologies to unlock the value in UNICEF data, including guiding data use and structures to remove data silos, and ensure responsible cross-fertilization of data across the organization
  • Advise GMT, PBR and other decision-making mechanisms such as the ICT Board on allocation of resources for data work
  • Ensure the application of data ethics (including in data collection, storage, and use)
  • Lead a Data Governance and Strategy Unit with a targeted data strategy and governance experts to set the overall direction and standards
  • Advise on and guide partnerships with private sector entities for access to Frontier Data, and their analysis
  • Establish and act as Secretariat for a Data Advisory Council of data industry-leader professionals, to advise upon and provide stimulus to cutting edge data collection, storage and use within UNICEF

3. Technical leadership

  • Lead and oversee the Frontier Data and Data Technology Unit, particularly to sustain and grow the Frontier Data Network, establishing global expertise in Frontier Data solutions to children’s issues, and supporting the uptake of Frontier Data in countries to address children’s issues.

  • Strongly supported by senior technical staff, provide technical and quality assurance oversight in the development of new and improvement of existing methodologies and tools in the collection, analysis and use of various types of data
  • Keep up to date on technical issues and innovations in the data field, use state-of-the-art knowledge to enhance UNICEF’s work on data and keep senior leadership informed

4. Advocacy and partnership management

  • Advocate for the use of data as it relates to children’s issues including by representing UNICEF in global, regional and country level advocacy and technical venues, often serve as the representative and spokesperson of the Executive Office on data issues including ethics, use of data, applications of AI for predictive analytics and other modelling
  • Be the “final port of call” for disagreements on data issues, and spokesperson for UNICEF if there is public disagreement on data issues
  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with partners including UN agencies, global data partnerships, multilateral and bilateral donors, foundations, private sector organizations, academia, civil society organizations and professional associations
  • Foster UNICEF’s leadership role in key data partnerships and initiatives

5. Capacity development

  • Lead support to UNICEF’s field offices and to governments in the areas of capacity development for responsible data work: data collection, data analysis and data use
  • Guide the development of training and other capacity-building activities and mechanisms for UNICEF staff and national partners in the areas of data collection, analysis and use
  • Support RO and CO efforts to expand data-related expertise especially through the identification, interviewing, orientation and career development of data-related staff at HQ, Regional and Country Offices
  • Establish and nurture a series of Frontier Data Nodes which assist Country Offices to build capacity in Governments to identify issues susceptible to being solved using Frontier Data, and to build the partnerships necessary to access the data, avail of expertise and computing power, and apply the insights for results for children

6. Resource mobilization

  • Identify, develop, pursue and secure funding opportunities for UNICEF’s data strategy work with multilateral and bilateral agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private sector foundations and other donors
  • Oversee management of the relevant budgets and supervise the reporting to ensure timely fulfilment of donor reporting requirements

7. Management of Data Governance and Strategy and Frontier Data and Data Technology Units

  • Establish, fund and oversee these Units which support the organization-wide Chief Data Officer role on oversight, capacity development and support for ethical and responsible use of high-quality data, and breaking down data silos
  • Establish, manage and maintain the highest quality standards for efficient and effective operation of the Units, including recruitment, orientation and supervision of professional and support staff, formulation and monitoring of the annual workplan, management and monitoring of the budget including approval of travel plans, fulfilment of reporting requirements and oversight of day-to-day issues as required

To qualify as a champion for every child you will have…


  • An advanced university degree in statistics, demography, econometrics, data science or any other relevant field of discipline.
  • At least 13 years of professional experience at national and international levels in generation and use of statistics and data as well as other areas of applied statistics, information systems and data interpretation and use in sectors of concern to UNICEF. With at least 6 out of the 13 years required in senior leadership and management positions required.
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead teams.
  • 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).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

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.


This position is classified as “rotational” which means the incumbent is expected to rotate to another duty station upon completion of their tour of duty.

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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

Advertised: Jul 22 2022 Eastern Daylight Time Application close: Aug 11 2022 Eastern Daylight Time

Tags: artificial intelligence, basic needs, breastfeeding, capacity development, career development, childrens rights, country programmes, data analysis, data collection, data governance, data quality, data science, demography, econometrics, ethics, field support, human resources, information systems, parental leave, professional associations, remote sensing, resource mobilization