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.
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.”
- Blockchain systems have no central points of control, are powered by the internet, and are governed by computer code normally referred to as smart contracts. Digital currencies (e.g bitcoin) are famous applications of blockchain technologies, nevertheless, these technologies have promises that go beyond currencies or financial transactions.
UNICEF Innovation Ventures team explores these technologies, with the potential to impact children. The team sees blockchain technology as having benefits in 3 main ways:
- new ways of donating money
- creating better transparency in internal processes, and
- leveraging tokenisation to reduce friction in transactions, as well as create new opportunities.
To understand the technical, social, ethical, and legal challenges of utilizing blockchain technologies in our complex and interconnected world — the team is exploring this space with open eyes on practical experimentations of cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, digital scarcity, digital collectibles and various types of tokens.
How can you make a difference?
This consultancy provides the following support in the Blockchain Team, UNICEF Ventures. In your role as blockchain developer, you will be expected to contribute in the following ways:
- Lead the development and deployment of various blockchain related prototypes (note that our team is platform agnostic, and therefore prototypes may be built on various platforms)
- Contribute to prototypes developed in conjunction with partners (within the UN and externally)
- Manage the technical environments of such prototypes
- Act as an advisor to the blockchain startups that UNICEF Ventures invest in, assist the teams in working through challenges, refer to them to additional resources, or act as a connector to mentors
- Participate in ideation and design of blockchain prototypes. This may include, requirements gathering, architectural design, and technology roadmap
- Engage internally with the blockchain lead, as well as other developers
- Collaborate with external partners on prototypes or learning
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
- An advanced university degree (Master's or higher) in Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering or in other relevant areas. A first university degree (Bachelor's) in a relevant field, combined with 7 years of professional experience, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- At least 5 years of professional experience in a relevant field.
- Experience or knowledge in the following areas is required:
- Understanding and experience with various blockchain platforms; can quickly learn new tooling systems
- Understanding and experience with system integration: interface design, API development
- Experience working with large amounts of data and databases
- Familiar with cloud hosting; Azure (required), Amazon Web Service (desired)
- Strong grasp on architectural best practices; specifically, knowledge in parallelization, and distributed systems design is desired
- Familiar with industry best practices for security
- 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.
- Willingness to travel (sometimes on short notice) and develop software in the field, directly with end-users
- Fluency in English is required.
Payments details and further considerations
- Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.
- Consultant is responsible for his own health insurance
- Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel