Job Opening: Data Scientist

Humanitarian Data Exchange, Data Lab Nairobi

Position Title: Consultant

Duration: 3-6 months

Date of Entry: as soon as possible

Location: Nairobi, Kenya



The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has created a new humanitarian data platform – the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX). The goal of HDX is to make humanitarian data easy to find and use for analysis.

The HDX platform includes three technical components: a dataset repository for sharing data amongst a globally distributed community; data visualization and analysis functionality to compare data across countries and within crises; and standards for the exchange of operational data known as the Humanitarian Exchange Language or HXL.

As part of its roll out in Kenya, the HDX team recently established a Data Lab in Nairobi with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. The mission of the HDX Data Lab is to create space for local data collaboration and innovation that is connected to humanitarian decision making and a global data network. The Data Lab also serves as a front line, in-person service to the HDX platform. Data services include data extraction, cleaning, storage, integration, analysis and visualization.

The Data Lab requires an experienced Data Scientist with the technical skills to work with HDX and local partners in the East Africa region on a number of exciting projects. The consultant will be part of the HDX Data Lab Team in Nairobi and he/she will be also engaged with the global HDX team.


Reporting Relationship

The consultant will report to the HDX Data Lab Manager based in Nairobi with technical oversight from the Head of the HDX Data Team in New York. The consultant will also liaise closely with the entire HDX team to deliver the necessary services to partners in the region.



Within the limits of delegated authority, the consultant will be responsible for the following:


  1. Work with partners to understand their data systems with a view to automating data flows to external systems, including the HDX platform.
  2. Check the accuracy, consistency and comparability of the data ingested into HDX.
  3. Ensure the metadata and the quality of the data meets the minimum requirements as defined in HDX Quality Assurance Framework.
  4. Apply data mining techniques to the available data and convert data into actionable insights and tangible recommendations. Develop interactive charts and visualizations as needed.
  5. Liaise with local partners to identify new projects and areas of opportunities for data integration and analysis.
  6. Participate in team meetings as required.




  • Automated data sharing between systems across East Africa with the HDX platform.
  • Contribute to defining problem statements and developing realistic solutions based on advanced data practices.
  • Satisfied clients; growth in demand for data services.




Education:  BSc. or Msc in mathematics, physics or statistics. 

Experience: Three years programming experience in either python or ruby, and an understanding of statistical analysis. Skills in visualizing data using D3, Highcharts, or Google charts. Database experience (MySQL, MongoDB). Experience writing APIs an asset.

Language:  Fluency in English is required (both oral and written). Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


How to apply


We are looking for Kenyan nationals, but international applicants are welcome to apply.


  1. Send your CV and cover letter explaining your interest to Mark Slezak ( and Javier Teran ( with a copy to Please include ‘Application for Data Scientist’ in the subject line.
  2. Include examples of code you have written from previous work (GitHub, Bitbucket).
  3. If you are considered for this position, we will administer a short technical assessment.
  4. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. We expect to fill this position as soon as possible.