Open Source Technical Advisor (Venture Fund), UNICEF Office of Innovation, 11.5 months full-time remote consultancy (closes 5 May 2022)

Hi all, I am sharing a remote consultancy (not a staff position) that opened in UNICEF recently. The application deadline is 5 May 2022. The position is fully remote, based anywhere in the world, and the contract is renewable. A university degree plus two years of experience are required for the post. Full details are below.


UNICEF’s Office of Innovation is looking for a full-time technical adviser with experience working with Open Source intellectual property to focus on supporting and advising portfolio companies and providing support in the assessment of new companies; aligning both the support and selection assessment with the alliance around digital public goods (DPGs). DPGs are defined as Open Source digital products can be freely used, distributed and adapted by anyone, and conform to minimum standards, for instance related to privacy and security.

Your main responsibilities will be:

  • Technical Assistance: Provide ongoing technical assistance and mentorship to Venture Fund portfolio companies; assist the teams in working through challenges, refer them to additional resources, ensure compliance and track progress with Venture Fund requirements on software and Open Source. Provide technical input into criteria and assessment processes for the Digital Public Goods Alliance.
  • Open Source Training: Develop, document, and implement a replicable programme to build, manage and leverage Open Source communities and networks for portfolio companies, upstream communities, and other Communities of Practice (CoPs)
  • Community Collaboration: Guide technical integration and establishment of Open Source platforms based on individual solutions developed by portfolio companies
  • Assessment Support: Provide support in the assessment of new companies the UNICEF Venture Fund is considering investing in
  • Metrics and Data Assessment: Execute Open Source strategy using real-time data from companies the UNICEF Venture Fund has invested in



  • University degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering or in other relevant areas.
  • Two years of experience in developing and piloting Open Source technology products, ideally software, hardware, data, and content
  • Experience with Open Source community development and track record of engagement with relevant networks
  • Demonstrated expertise in required technical areas, including software quality assurance, Open Source license strategies (copyleft vs. permissive), documentation and community management
  • Experience in delivering guidance, technical support and mentorship to individuals, teams, start-ups or other groups on complex challenges
  • Experience in product management including relevant systems and tools and development of product roadmaps
  • Experience with professional software engineering practices and best practices for the full software development life cycle
  • Exposure to a variety of languages, frameworks, toolchains (e.g. JavaScript, Node JS, React JS, Jest, Python, Django, Pytest, Go, Rust, Ruby on Rails, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Azure, Ansible, etc.)
  • Experience with agile software development methodologies like scrum, rapid prototyping and evaluation of user feedback
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, excellent technical communication with peers and non-technical stakeholders
  • Understanding of different contexts and experience working in developing countries desired
  • Ability to synthesise technical information and translate it into accessible products and systems
  • Knowledge of international development and key challenges affecting children in developing countries is desired
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset. Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.


About UNICEF Venture Fund

The UNICEF Venture Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, Open Source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Venture Fund is to identify “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology - so that UNICEF can both shape markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We invest in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. We find these solutions clustered around $100 billion industries in frontier technology spaces, such as: UAVs, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, nano-satellites, and human dynamics.

The Venture Fund is scaling its investment portfolio with the aim of investing in 20 start-ups every year. The current portfolio of companies consists of several cohorts of companies developing and piloting solutions in virtual and augmented reality, data science and artificial intelligence, blockchain, UAVs, IoT, and in assistive technology.


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