Consultant on Data Journalism, Home based,

Organization: United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Country: Home-based

Closing date: Tuesday, 2 March 2021

The Centre for Humanitarian Data is focused on increasing the use and impact of data in the humanitarian sector. It is managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and is based in The Hague, the Netherlands. The Centre’s services are available to humanitarian partners and OCHA staff in the field and at Headquarters free of charge.

The Centre focuses on four areas: data services, data responsibility, data literacy, and predictive analytics. The data services workstream focuses the management of the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) platform, the development and use of the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL) data standard, and support to the International Aid Transparency Initiative. The data responsibility worksteam focuses on the development and adoption of data responsibility guidelines and different techniques for the secure management of data, both within OCHA and the broader humanitarian system. The data literacy workstream focuses on improving the data skills of technical and non-technical humanitarians through the delivery of training programmes and development of capacity-building material. The predictive analytics workstream focuses on model development, including threshold and trigger design, and quality assurance of partner models through validation and a peer review process.

The Centre’s Data Fellows programme began in 2018 and supports all four workstreams. This high-profile initiative is designed to expose the Centre team and partners to new areas of data-related expertise that can impact humanitarian response and advance the goals of the Centre. The structure of the programme provides Fellows/Consultants with exposure to different parts of the humanitarian system while allowing them to focus time and energy on an individual project that addresses a challenge related to the use and impact of data in the sector.

The Centre will host its fourth class of Data Fellows in June and July 2021. The 2021 Fellows will focus on three areas: Data Journalism, Predictive Analytics, and Strategic Communications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 programme will be conducted remotely, with Fellows working from home under the direction of the Coordinator for the Data Fellows Programme.

Data Journalism

As the volume and use of data increases within the humanitarian sector, the focus has shifted to how data-driven insights translate into action at a global, regional, and local level. One creative approach to addressing this challenge is through data journalism: bringing narrative and data together to tell a more complex and compelling story. Through the work of previous Fellows, the Centre has produced engaging stories that put affected people at the center of the experience, such as with the data stories on displacement in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Yemen. The Centre requires a Data Journalism Fellow to build on this experience and produce a new data story that brings to life the experience of one family living in a country with a humanitarian crisis.

We are looking for a candidate who is self-motivated and can thrive in an international, multidisciplinary team. The right candidate has a mix of research, analysis and design skills to conceptualize an experience and the coordination and collaboration abilities to bring all of the different pieces together to create a compelling, human-centered story.

The Consultant/Fellow will report to the Coordinator for the Data Fellows Programme under the overall direction of the Lead for the Centre for Humanitarian Data. She or he will be expected to work closely with the rest of the Centre team.

Accountabilities The Fellow will be responsible for the following:

Design and execute a project related to data journalism, including the development of a data story utilizing data available via HDX to help translate insight into action for humanitarian responders.

Design and deliver a learning session for the Centre team on an aspect of their area of technical expertise.

Communicate publicly about the project focus and key outcomes (in the form of a blog and other related channels).

Produce a final report outlining the key insights from the project and, as relevant, providing recommendations for further work in the area of focus.

Utilize available project management and office communication tools to effectively track and deliver expected outputs.

Maintain active and clear communications with relevant members of the Centre and the Fellowship partner organization(s) throughout the course of the programme.


The Fellow will complete the following deliverables

- A short presentation on the initial desk and user research outlining the concept for a data story.

A data story using data available via HDX (and other sources as needed) to generate actionable insight for humanitarian responders and the broader community.

Detailed technical documentation (method, requirements, development roadmap) for the data journalism approach and related output(s) as needed.

A blog post on the experience and outcomes of the project.

A final report outlining the key achievements of the project and, as relevant, providing recommendations for further work in the area of focus.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in journalism, data journalism, graphic design, human-computer interaction or a related design discipline.

Bachelor’s degree with 4 years of experience or Master’s degree with 2 years of experience is required.

Work Experience


Two to four years (depending on Degree qualification) experience with communications, including designing visual language systems for digital products and services in a design consultancy or an in-house environment

Demonstrate experience in generating ideas for data-driven stories and for how they might be developed and visualized, and analysing data in a way that contributes to telling compelling stories on an array of communication platforms.

Tags agile development central africa covid graphic design humanitarian response javascript journalism project management strategic communication training programmes transparency user interface visual design

Demonstrated experience creating visual designs that effectively communicate product function and brand identity, including the design and production of screen layouts, color palettes, typography, user interface elements, and icons.


Knowledge of statistics and statistical analysis and a strong grasp of how to clean, parse and query data.

Knowledge of capabilities and limitations of Web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

Understanding of user behavior and experience as it relates to design.

Familiarity with responsive design and proficiency with relevant design software packages such as AdobeCC, Sketch and InVision.

A strong understanding of how comps translate to code.

Familiarity with agile development and prototyping.

In addition, the following would be desirable but are optional:

Motion graphics and animation skills (optional but a plus)

Experience with designing for social impact a plus.


Fluency in English is required (both oral and written).

Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type: Individual Contractor Agreement holders (ICAs)

Contract level: IICA-1/LICA-9/ICSC-9 Contract duration: 2 months starting from 1 June 2021 (lumpsum contract modality) For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

This is not a position in UNOPS. UNOPS is solely providing operational support to its partner UNOCHA for this recruitment process. The selected candidate will be a personnel member of UNOCA under its full responsibility and salaries and benefits will be decided by UNOCHA.

Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time

Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.

Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System.