The Chief Information Officer (CIO) job of the week goes to UNICEF — which has advertised a rare and exciting opportunity to guide “the overall application of digital solutions to development and humanitarian response programmes” and set technology strategy across the UN’s 190 countries and territories.
Advertised April 12, with a deadline of May 4, the UNICEF CIO vacancy is a fixed term one under the agency’s D-2 bracket, so expect a salary of between $140,000 and $170,000: not a huge sum for private sector candidates, but one that will come with not just the UN’s many benefits, but much job satisfaction.
The agency works in some of the world’s toughest places to support child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality education and skill building, HIV prevention and treatment for mothers and babies, and the protection of children and adolescents from violence and exploitation.
UNICEF, which has a budget of ~$6 billion annually, has been deploying a growing range of digital tools in recent years: as its most recent annual report reveals. i.e. UNICEF’s Office of Innovation has been working with 15 companies, universities and research centres to test drones in a corridor established for humanitarian work; other innovations include a “social messaging app” dubbed U-Report with nine million users.
UNICEF CIO vacancy: Humanitarian experience not critical
The job appears likely to involve a mix of “traditional” and fairly hands-on IT estate modernisation leadership, along with some more forward-looking work to coordinate innovation and lead on change management. The UNICEF CIO will also be responsible for cybersecurity strategy, although the agency has a long-standing chief of IT security as well: adherence to ISO 7001 and ISO 20000 are required.
The job will involve “pro-actively [identifying] technology enabled solutions to current and potential future needs of UNICEF programmes at all levels, [improving] how UNICEF accomplishes its mission through leveraging technology for communication and information management, and [acting] as as a facilitator for a flexible and value based approach to the governance of ICT demand with HQs, regional and country offices.”
The incoming UNICEF CIO will be expected to “facilitate innovation… researching and pioneering the application of leading-edge digital tools in new ways to UNICEF’s corporate strategic plan’s result areas, aligning ICT systems to corporate objectives… supporting strategic decision-making and designing new services [and driving] modernization, efficiencies and change in the ICT infrastructure and services including the utilization of cloud services, enhanced mobility, open source technologies, AI/ML and use of other new and transformative technologies.”
The CIO will be leading an ICT community across UNICEF at a global/corporate, regional and country office levels. Applicants will need to demonstate 15 years of experience, a “strong ability to improve systems, streamline/simplify processes and information flow” and “professional technical knowledge/expertise in ICT in a large organization”. English is mandatory, another UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) would be a help.
You can apply here.