Data Integration Developer, Data and Analytics Section

UN Children's Fund, New York, United States

Skill Required:, IT and ICT
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
22nd February, 2019

Job Description

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.

You are an experienced software developer with a solid history of working on data-driven products. You champion service/component-based designs that adhere to good practices of high cohesion, and loose coupling. You are standards-oriented, and driven by a desire to create test-driven, well-architected code that is efficient, maintainable, well-documented, and easy for other developers to read. You are sensitive to the varied needs inherent to the widely divergent domains that fall within UNICEF’s mission, and thrive within a global, multi-lingual, multi-cultural environment.

Background & Rationale

Problems that go unmeasured often go unsolved and we believe that smart demand, supply and use of data drives better results for children. When the right data are in the right hands at the right time, decisions can be better informed, more equitable, and more likely to protect children’s rights. Decades of partnerships, capacity building and technical work have put UNICEF in a global leadership position on data for children. As UNICEF works toward improving the use and sharing of data on and for children we have an opportunity to build on those assets and adapt our work to a shifting data environment.

UNICEF’s Division of Data, Research and Policy (DRP) was created in 2014 to more effectively link and lead the organization’s data, research, policy and strategy functions, so that UNICEF can better track a rapidly changing world and strengthen policies and advocacy in an integrated way. The Data and Analytics (D&A) Section within the division maintains representative global databases used to guide UNICEF’s advocacy and policy programming, analyses data for programmatic policy and decision-making, and innovates on new methodologies, indicators, and monitoring tools. More information is available on D&A leads the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) programme, a country-led household survey programme that generates high quality, internationally comparable data for monitoring the progress and improving the wellbeing of children. Our team works closely with other divisions and units across the organization levering the potential of the data to deliver results for children, especially the most vulnerable and hardest to reach.


The Data and Analytics team is implementing Helix, a data management initiative that brings UNICEF’s disparate data sources under one roof, sharing storage and reference data, as well as conforming to a common set of structural and communications standards via Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange (SDMX).

As the custodian for ten sustainable development goals (SDGs), and co-custodians for another seven, UNICEF collaborates at country level and with other international agencies across the international development community sharing data and standards as part of delivering SDGs.

We’re looking for a developer to join our team as we focus on an exciting and challenging part of the business process – the way in which we integrate the many underlying data sources that feed our analytical work. A combination of census and survey microdata, administrative data, times series and more, running ETL over these disparate sources that conform to a widely different models and standards has been an ongoing challenge that we plan to resolve using the best latest-gen toolkits. We’re looking to build out a flexible solution that meets our functional requirements while also maintaining a steady eye on the non-functional attributes that will make or break this new approach: configurability, versionability, flexibility, usability, maintainability, disaster-recovery to name but a few.

A pilot proof of concept is underway. You’ll use the results of that pilot to work closely with subject matter experts, statisticians, information managers and quality assurance engineers to further gather requirements, specify designs, and implement working software that will be deployed on UNICEF’s cloud services platform.

This position is NY-based with possible travel to attend technical conferences and/or assist in capacity development efforts at national and regional level.

Expected Results

Specification, design, implementation, testing, and documentation of software components for the following:

  • Generic Macrodata Access component
  • Generic Microdata Access component
  • Variable harmonization/recode component
  • Tabulation component to generate tables from multiple data sources
  • Versionable mixed data datastore to hold tabulation sources and products
  • Other components as required

Key competencies, technical background, and experience required

  • Bachelor’s Degree in computer science, software engineering, mathematics, or related discipline
  • 8+ years professional experience;
  • Advanced proficiency in at least one object-oriented programming language;
  • Relational data modelling experience and proficiency with SQL;
  • Experience harmonizing and integrating data from multiple data sources;
  • Experience developing software for data-centric products.


  • Advanced Degree in computer science, software engineering, mathematics, or related discipline;
  • R, especially with Validate, ETL, and RShiny packages
  • Python, especially with Pandas, NumPy, and SciPy
  • Extracting structured data from unstructured sources
  • Data warehousing


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