12 June 2019


from $90,970 p/a

Duties and Qualifications

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The UNHCR-World Bank Joint Data Centre (JDC) established within the UN City premises in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a component of the overall cooperation between the two organisations. Its purpose are (i) to improve global data and analysis of the socio-economic circumstances of forcibly displaced populations (refugees, IDPs and stateless), and (ii) to influence the internal organisation and delivery of data and analytics on forced displacement within the respective organisations.

The JDC is headed by a Head (WB) and a Deputy Head (UNHCR), appointed on a rotational basis, by UNHCR and the World Bank (WB). Externally, they report to a Steering Committee that will approve their proposed JDC Work Plan and Budget and oversee its delivery. Internally, they will report to respective line managers within UNHCR HQ, Geneva, and the World Bank, Washington D.C.

The Head and Deputy Head will lead a team of approximately 12 professionals composed of economists, statisticians, data scientists and information technology specialists. The team will be recruited and appointed following the respective administrative procedures of UNHCR and World Bank. The Head and Deputy Head will be responsible for managing the performance of the UNHCR and WB recruited staff under their supervision.

The JDC team will be allocated tasks under the Work Plan and be accountable for their delivery. The individual team members will manage the resources (human, technical and financial) required for the successful completion of their assigned tasks. They will also be responsible for ensuring regular and constructive cooperation with the Practice Groups, Divisions, Services, and Country Offices of UNHCR and the World Bank with which they will have regular contact.

The UNHCR Senior Data Scientist (P4) will report to the UNHCR Deputy Head on the tasks assigned to her/him within the JDC Work Plan. The JDC Data Scientist (P4) will work in close coordination with the Identity Management and Registration Section (IMRS) and PRIMES team that fall under the overall responsibility of the Deputy Director, Division of Programme Management and Support (DPSM) in Copenhagen, and report to the JDC Deputy Head .

The Senior Data Scientist will serve as the liaison to the UNHCR WB JDC and support the existing UNHCR Registration and Population Registration and Identity Management Ecosystem (PRIMES) teams to achieve their core objective to furnish refugees with a recognized legal and/or digital identity that is recognized by States and businesses. This includes the accelerated roll-out and maintenance of a single, centralized registration and case management database (proGres v4), UNHCR¿s Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS), the Rapid Application (RApp) that allows for offline registration of both refugees and other displaced populations, such as IDPs, and the Data Port, a centralized repository for curated registration and case management data. The Senior Data Scientist will support the UNHCR PRIMES teams to collect, clean, process, analyse, and visualise all associated data.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Support the UNHCR¿s Registration and Identity Management and Population Registration and Identity Management Ecosystem (PRIMES) teams to implement related activities and to ensure effective collaboration with the World Bank (WB) relevant departments.
  • Strengthen the existing efforts by the UNHCR Registration team, together with the World Bank, to support government operated registration systems for the purpose of operational planning and policy;
  • Develop effective relationships with relevant departments in WB and UNHCR, governments, academia, private sector and other partners, including in relation to advocacy and negotiations related to inclusion of refugees in national development planning and in national population registries and overall enhance technical partnerships.
  • Together with the relevant technical teams at UNHCR contribute to a strategy for utilization of the UNHCR Data Port for UNHCR registration and case management data and support the definition and enhancement of key indicators for reporting and planning purposes¿.
  • Facilitate open access to anonymized forced displacement data while addressing protection and privacy concerns over microdata managed by the JDC.
  • Design the R&D strategy for the PRIMES team including exploring and leading new work on big data analytics and set the direction for the use of analysing new digital data sources for integration into UNHCR research and development.
  • Promote cross-unit teamwork.
  • Promote a knowledge sharing and learning culture.
  • Support the development and enhancement of UNHCR data systems interoperability and systematic adoption.
  • Lead the dialogue across UNHCR in collaboration with the appropriate colleagues for improvement of inter-operability and responsible access to corporate systems (e.g. MSRP, proGres).
  • Provide capacity building support to UNHCR related to strengthening data collection procedures and quality assurance and clean-up of registration and case management data. 
  • Work with the UNHCR Registration and Economics teams to ensure socio-economic data is effectively captured in existing registration and data systems. Contribute to, and/or lead the delivery of high-profile analytical products, in consultation with the relevant operational teams, including field operations.
  • Represent the JDC in technical meetings as required i.e.: workshops, conferences, etc.
  • Job Descriptions for all UNHCR jobs will also include the following as part of the 'Duties':
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level

For P4/NOD - 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education

Applied Math, Statistics, Economics, Computer Science or other relevant field with a focus on data science.

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses

N / A

Relevant Job Experience


  • Strategic sense, and demonstrated experience in ensuring the operational relevance of analytical and/or research work.
  • Solid understanding of forced displacement-related issues.
  • Drive, proven sense of initiative, results orientation, flexibility, leadership qualities, as well as effective teamwork skills.
  • Experience in a branch of computational informatics (development, health, bio-, geo-, etc..) using machine learning.
  • Experience working with Big Data, social network data, and geospatial data/satellite imagery.
  • Experience writing research proposals, scientific articles and technical reports.
  • Demonstrated experience presenting work to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Willingness to experiment in data innovation and big data and push the boundaries in applying technical skills for development and humanitarian action.
  • Ability to work flexibly, creatively and to multitask as the need arises.
  • A high degree of self-motivation, positive attitude and drive.


  • Knowledge of Microsoft CRM, Power BI and related software.
  • Knowledge of UNHCR corporate systems MSRP, Focus, Microdata library, proGres.

Functional Skills

  • * Excellent skills with data system software (e.g. Java script, R, SQL);
  • * Ability to develop partnerships and effective working relationships across institutional boundaries;
  • * PG-Results-Based Management;
  • * Familiarity with analytical techniques such as text mining, sentiment analysis, predictive analysis and modeling of complex systems;
  • * Familiarity working with quantitative and qualitative data;
  • IT-Microsoft Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software;
  • Knowledge of UNHCR corporate systems MSRP, Focus, Microdata library, proGres;
  • MG-Leadership;
  • PR-Experience in Forced Displacement situations;

(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.


  • Knowledge of additional UN languages.

For more information and to apply please visit UNHCR JOB SEARCHand select 'Flash Vacancy Notice' (top left)


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