Job Description

  The UNDP Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme equips outstanding young leaders with the skills and experience required to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and make a positive difference in the world. As a pathway into the world of development, the programme offers young professionals excellent exposure to multilateral cooperation and sustainable development while providing a valuable entry point into the UN system.

During their assignments, JPOs benefit from the guidance of experienced UNDP staff members and are actively involved in supporting the Design and implementation of UNDP’s programs within UNDP’s headquarters, regional or country offices.

Job Purpose:

Global Pulse is a flagship innovation initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for development, Humanitarian Action and peace. Its vision is a future in which big data and artificial intelligence are harnessed safely and responsibly for the public good. Its mission is to accelerate discovery, development and scaled adoption of big data innovation for sustainable development and humanitarian action.

UN Global Pulse was established based on a recognition that digital data offer opportunities to gain a better understanding of changes in human well-being, and to get real-time feedback on how well policy responses are working. The initiative works through a network of innovation labs, called Pulse Labs, which operate in Jakarta, Indonesia, in Kampala, Uganda, and in New York at the UN Headquarters. Over the last decade, UN Global Pulse has been expanding the boundaries of research and technology policy work in close alignment with the transformative innovation efforts of the Executive Office in which it operates.

Global Pulse implements an innovation agenda through its Pulse Labs to provide UN and development partners with access to the data, tools and expertise required to discover, adopt and scale new uses of big data and AI for sustainable development, humanitarian action and peace. Global Pulse develops policies, toolkits, applications and platforms to improve data-driven decision-making and support the evaluation of promising solutions.

Pulse Lab Kampala ( serves as a regional hub that engages with partners to advance new and exciting digital data innovations. These innovations leverage big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in support of the implementation of the Global Goals.

The expected outputs for this assignment are to support the implementation of Pulse Lab Kampala programme in the following three interconnected areas: -Discovery – Pulse Lab Kampala explores new applications of big data and artificial intelligence for sustainable development, humanitarian action, and peace. The Lab collaborates with leading research institutions to create high impact Data Science methodologies for public good.

-Policy – Pulse Lab Kampala contributes to global efforts to establish trusted frameworks for ethical and privacy-protective data practices and for digital cooperation. The Lab provides guidance on policies for the responsible use of data and artificial intelligence.

-Scale - Pulse Lab Kampala provides the UN System and public sector organisations with tools and technical assistance needed for mainstream adoption of data and AI practices. The Lab works to lower barriers to scale, strengthen the innovation ecosystem, and enable institutional adoption.

Reporting structure and partners

The Programme Officer will report to the Manager of Pulse Lab Kampala. The Manager of Pulse Lab Kampala reports to the Director of UN Global Pulse. The Programme Officer will also have a technical reporting line to the Innovations Advisor at UN Global Pulse that will provide on-the-job guidance on an ongoing basis.

The Lab works with Partners in Academia, UN Agencies, Development partners, Government of Uganda and other Governments in the Region. Find more details in UN Global Pulse report: Content and methodology of supervision

Title of Supervisor:Manager of Pulse Lab Kampala As part of the UNDP JPO programme overall framework, the JPO will benefit from the following supervision modalities:
  • Structured guidance provided by the supervisor, especially in the beginning of the assignment, with the purpose of gradually increasing the responsibilities of the JPO
  • Establishment of a work plan, with clear key results
  • Effective supervision through knowledge sharing and performance/development feedback throughout the assignment
  • Easy access to the supervisor
  • Participation in Unit/Team/Office meetings to ensure integration and operational effectiveness
  • Guidance and advice in relation to learning and training opportunities within the field of expertise
  • Completion of the yearly UNDP Performance Management Document (PMD)
  • If more than one supervisor; clear agreement of the roles and responsibilities between the relevant parties
Training and Learning

As part of the UNDP JPO programme overall framework, the JPO will benefit from the following training and learning opportunities:
  • Participation in a two-week long Programme Policy and Operations Induction Course within the first 3 to 6 months of assignment
  • Use of yearly JPO duty-related travel and training allocation (DTTA), as per the online DTTA guide
  • Other training and learning opportunities, as presented in the UNDP JPO Orientation Programme
In addition, the JPO will benefit from the following specific training and learning modalities/opportunities in the receiving office:
  • A culture of knowledge-sharing in the UN Global Pulse network;
  • A monthly virtual meeting of all technical staff in the Lab network in which members exchange information on the technical projects that are implemented by each Lab;
  • Regular bilateral exchanges among team members that are developing similar technical components of projects;
  • Project implementation in collaboration with academic groups around the world that exchange knowledge with the technical team. Additionally, the network exchanges views and relevant information via a Skype group on a daily basis
Information on the receiving office:

20 staff, 5 international and 15 nationals, currently compose the team at Pulse Lab Kampala. The JPO will be working primarily with the technological team at the Lab composed by data scientists, data engineers and Data Analytics experts. The technological team works in close collaboration with the technological team in UN Global Pulse New York and research partners at Universities. Research projects are conducted regularly in close collaborations with Universities, including Makerere University in Uganda, Stellenbosch University in South Africa, Sheffield University and University of Edinburg in the United Kingdom and the Politécnica University of Madrid. The JPO will also participate in the regular exchanges and collaborations with the technical teams in the Global Pulse Lab in Jakarta.

Living conditions at the Duty Station:

The JPO will be based in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, which is a family duty station that presents relatively good living conditions with most of the economic and social amenities available at affordable cost and with quality accommodation available. Most commodities are available in supermarkets and restaurants for every preference and budget are abundant. However, as a developing country, Uganda has developing infrastructure with common challenges like power cuts and water rationing. The city has a pleasant climate all year round and security is good but under UN Security Zone classification of phase 0.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. 90 % of time: Provides support for the implementation of Pulse Lab Kampala’s Programme, including the following:
  • Contribute to the implementation of digital data innovation programmes to provide UN and development partners with access to the data, tools and expertise required to discover new uses of big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for sustainable development, humanitarian action and peace.
  • Support the dialogue with partners for the definition of toolkits, applications and platforms to improve data-driven decision making and support evaluation of promising solutions.
  • Engage key stakeholders on a priority innovation agenda; Provide public sector organizations with policy guidance and technical assistance to strengthen their capacity for integrating real-time insights into operations.
  • Assist in the conceptualization and implementation of Pulse Lab Kampala events to provide public sector organizations with policy guidance and technical assistance to strengthen their capacity for integrating real-time insights into operations.
2. 10 % of time: Participate in meetings, workshops and brainstorming sessions with development partners in-country and with team members at Pulse Lab Kampala to promote big data and artificial intelligence for development, humanitarian action, and peace.


Core Competencies

  • Innovation - Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Leadership - Ability to persuade others to follow
  • People Management - Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Communication - Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Delivery - Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
Technical/Functional Competencies

  • Teamwork- Ability to contributes to and follows team objectives
  • Planning and Organizing - Ability to plan work, anticipate risks, and set goals within area of responsibility
  • Accountability - Ability to take responsibility for action and manage constructive criticisms

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree or equivalent Advanced Degree in a related field of expertise

  • A minimum of two years of paid working experience in a relevant field
Language Requirements:

  • Working knowledge of English
  • Working knowledge of French desirable
Other desirable education, languages and work experience:

  • Knowledge of Microsoft package

This JPO position is funded by the Government of Finland and open only to nationals of Finland.


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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