United Nations Foundation

  • Director, Head of Technology, Data for Development (D4D)- Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)

    Job Location Other-See job description
    Regular Full-Time
  • Overview

    The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) is a global alliance to enable the digital ecosystem to deliver greater scale, efficiency, and social impact as it creates more inclusive digital economies in emerging markets. Working with partners, DIAL generates evidence of what works through a series of demonstration projects, distils insights and tools to promote scale-up and replication, and provides mechanisms to encourage knowledge sharing, collaboration, and co-investment throughout the ecosystem.


    DIAL is funded through a collaboration among the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and hosted within the UN Foundation in Washington, D.C.


    DIAL is seeking a Director, Head of Technology to join the Data for Development (D4D) team and set the vision and the strategic technical roadmap for the D4D portfolio of investments.


    The Director, Head of Technology will support the build out of the Technology and Analytics functions for DIAL and its partners. They will be responsible for steering our technical and implementation partners and driving our research partners’ agenda and associated investigations. Working with our technology partners, including leading system integrators and analytics firms, they will develop the required approach (organizational, technical and operational) that will match data supply (e.g., MNOs, digital and geospatial datasets, along with routine systems) with data demand (e.g., program partners in public health, agriculture, humanitarian response, Country Ministries, multilateral organizations, etc.). They will lead the in-country delivery of these solutions, and enable compliance with regulatory and data protection regimes. They will also drive the development of reference specification and reference implementations in select markets, with a goal to providing a robust set of common data architecture approaches for utilizing telco and digital data for social good. Finally, they will work with DIAL partners and D4D ecosystem participants to develop a shared value approach delivering targeted insights and big data indicators that can provide accelerated support for decision-making in the public sector.


    • Lead cross-functional teams across our data ecosystem (DIAL teams, technology implementation partners, program partners, data holders) to determine the most important questions in public health, economic development, public service delivery, financial inclusion, disaster and relief services, etc.
    • Work with programmatic partners on a range of humanitarian and development sector focus areas to determine the best approach to delivering insights that can be used in their initiatives, and deliver prototype in-country solutions.
    • Lead the design, market testing, and delivery of offerings across the data lifecycle for a range of DIAL investments. Lead technology partners to synthesize intellectual property (IP) (e.g., algorithms, scripts, learnings, methods) and learnings, and co-design and deliver a set of open source, open-access approaches to enabling D4D at scale
    • Establish a central technology program management function, recruit team members, and manage a range of technology vendors. Develop partner KPIs, monitor ongoing program implementations, and provide recommendations as necessary to meet DIAL’s objectives
    • Establish data convergence use cases with all stakeholders that meet the market, operational and governance needs, while equipping non-profit and public sector decision-makers with powerful digital technology tools. 
    • Provide consultative guidance to steer our technical and implementation partners (e.g., system integrators, analytics companies) in the design, development, delivery, and maintenance of their big data for social good platforms
    • Lead DIAL’s partnerships with key D4D actors and multilateral organizations (e.g., GSMA, World Bank, UN Global Pulse, ITU, UNICEF, WEF, etc.) and drive sector alignment around common implementation approaches and learning frameworks
    • Determine the technical architecture roadmap and Proof of Concept (POC) for data convergence solutions using advanced analytics and machine learning techniques
    • Determine common technical architecture, standard indicators and data management approaches to reduce friction for global telecommunications partners and other data holders to contribute their data. This will include a range of technical (algorithmic access, raw data sharing, curated data sharing, Telco-Data-as-a-Service, etc.) and commercial (data philanthropy to insights monetization) approaches.
    • Work with partners in the private sector to re-imagine their critical role in social impact and data for good initiatives, while balancing the needs of a profitable business
    • Develop risk identification and mitigation processes and issue recommendations to maintain the integrity of private data being used for social good. 
    • Provide thought leadership to DIAL, its donors, and broader D4D community around using data for social good

    Selection Criteria

    • 10+ years of experience in Software Engineering, Software Development, Database Engineering, and/or Programming role with experience architecting large-scale digital platforms and data solutions. Previous technical architecture experience using open source technologies preferred.
    • Expertise in providing consultative guidance in business solution design, development, implementation, and support among external partners including the management of multiple technology vendors in onshore-offshore models.
    • Demonstrated expertise in delivering strategic technical architecture roadmaps for enterprise-level data lifecycle solutions at scale.
    • Experience with telecommunications, digital and geospatial analytics systems preferred.
    • Ability to work collaboratively to develop common architecture, standards, and scalable data governance frameworks that adhere to regulatory guidelines across multiple stakeholders.
    • Experience architecting enterprise/commercial solutions across infrastructure, platform, and application projects. Experience both modifying and enhancing legacy systems, and developing greenfield platforms.
    • Strong understanding of multiple technology platforms, data convergence solutions, Big Data, and Data Science and Machine Learning toolkits.
    • Demonstrated experience with the following: approaches for analyzing structured and unstructured datasets, data integration and ETL/ELT processes, data science toolkits, Advanced Analytic, Machine Learning, statistical packages, data visualization tools and cloud solutions.
    • Demonstrated leadership, strong interpersonal communications, relationship development, and conflict management skills.
    • Passionate technical leader with ingenuity and resourcefulness with a track record of experiences in multiple global geographies.
    • Balanced experience across people management, program management, and product management that includes advisory responsibilities to technical teams.
    • Fluent in English.
    • Bachelor’s degree in related subjects.
    • Strong interest in traveling to the Least Developed.
    • Countries (LDC) with the team up to 25% of the time.
    • Ability to meet regular attendance/tardiness policy.
    • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress.


    Other Information

    The team will consider applicants living outside of the DC area who are interested in relocating to join the team, as well as individuals interested in working remotely from high tech hubs such as Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, or Portland. Non-US based candidates will be considered for long-term consulting roles.


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