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.

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.

This intern will join the Data Science team – a team that does research and support product development with non-traditional data (aka Big Data) and methods (aka Computer Science). It does so by combining several disciplines such as network science, complex systems, natural language processing, data mining, machine learning, remote sensing and artificial intelligence looking into programmatic problems such as epidemiology, sudden onsets, urbanization, migration, human dynamics, vulnerabilities, poverty, inequalities and bias.

The Science Team interacts with world class scientists, on the ground responders, private sector data holders and tech leaders to push the Data Science and AI agenda towards the problems that affect the most vulnerable children. Breakthroughs and working methodologies are streamlined to the Development Team to scale into operational tools that can make a real impact.

How can you make a difference?

What could be a better way to spend your summer than trying to help develop and streamline lifesaving innovations in UNICEF – one of the world’s largest organizations serving children. The UNICEF Internship Programme offers eligible/qualified students the opportunity to acquire direct practical experience in UNICEF’s work under the direct supervision of experienced UNICEF staff.

As a UNICEF Innovation Intern you will:
Get to work on a specific project of strategic value to the team. You’ll get to present your ideas and outputs to the team at the end of the summer.

Receive dedicated mentorship from a member of multidisciplinary team related to your project and your career and development plans

Be part of a dedicated induction programme to UNICEF and UNICEF Innovation

Have a fun and inspiring internship experience

Main responsibilities will be:
Support our science team in building interpretable machine learning models to estimate socio-economic indicators for middle and low-income countries.

Clean, curate, and prepare dataset to be used for machine learning purposes.

Build machine learning models to predict HDI (Human Development Index) and MPI (Multidimensional Poverty Index) for administrative regions.

Visualize, Interpret, and communicate findings to the research group and the broader public.

To qualify as a champion for every child, you will meet the following requirements…

Be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or Ph.D. degree programme in the area of computer science, geospatial science, statistics or related field, or have graduated within the past two years. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Have excellent academic performance as demonstrated by recent university or institution records.

Have no immediate relatives (e.g. father, mother, brother, sister) working in any UNICEF office; and

Have no other relatives in the line of authority which the intern will report to.

Additional consideration will be given for any past experience.

Experience working with Python, R, Matlab or any similar language.

Have experience in applying machine learning techniques (regression, classification, dimensionality reduction) to solve problems

Fluency in English is required.


Individuals must fund their own travel and living expenses. A monthly stipend might be considered.

Individuals must have proof of medical insurance covering their time at the duty station.

Individuals are responsible for arranging any visa or immigration requirements.

Individuals are expected to provide their own laptop. Remote interns are expected to provide their own internet connection.

Duration: 10 – 12 weeks.

Duty Station: New York or Remote

Applications must include:
Cover letter


Link to Github profile or similar if available.

Link to Google scholar profile or comprehensive list of scientific publications if any.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Opening Date Fri Apr 20 2018 08:00:00 GMT-0500 (CDT) Eastern Daylight Time

Closing Date Fri May 04 2018 22:55:00 GMT-0500 (CDT)


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