Junior Consultant Data Scientist

Job Type

Full Time


Details: ND



Start Date


Application Deadline



Europe, Western 100580 Italy


Company Description:

The World Food Programme is the world's largest humanitarian agency, fighting hunger worldwide.In emergencies, we get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, we use food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives.WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded. To learn more about WFP's operations, please visit our website at: http://www.wfp.org

Job Description:

WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance


JOB TITLE: Junior Data Scientist

TYPE OF CONTRACT: Junior Consultant


DUTY STATION: (City, Country): Rome, Italy

DURATION: 4 months




WFP’s Vulnerability Assessment and Mapping (VAM) is a global network of over 150 food security analysts that are present in 70 Country Offices and 6 Regional Bureaus. It aims to provide the best possible analyses on food security to effectively reach the people in need. The unit collects and analyses household food security, economic and geospatial data to determine the impact of shocks and to monitor food security as part of early warning and preparedness.

Since 2013, WFP has been implementing the mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) initiative, which involves testing and scaling up remote mobile data collection for food security monitoring in humanitarian crises. The use of mVAM approaches (SMS, live phone calls and interactive voice response) has allowed WFP to greatly increase the frequency of data collection and the approach is now being used in over 30 countries including Level 3 emergencies such as Syria, Yemen and DRC.

The focus of mVAM has evolved further, moving towards the automation and refining of traditional mVAM approaches as well as the expansion to new technologies and Big Data streams including remote sensing data, call detail records (CDR), chatbots, high-resolution mapping and machine learning. This requires mVAM to explore new approaches to data management, analysis and visualization with the overall aim to integrate these tools and techniques into a cohesive food security monitoring strategy. To support this effort, WFP is recruiting a junior analyst with experience in advanced analytics, particularly in CDR analysis and high-resolution mapping techniques.




The junior consultant will join mVAM’s data science team in Rome and under the direct supervision of the senior data scientist be responsible for the following activities: 

Assist with data integration initiatives: in particular, support the automation of mVAM activities, including near real-time dashboards and bulletins and advise colleagues and partners on data visualizations.

Support the operationalization of high-resolution mapping techniques and approaches, laying the foundation for the creation of a global food security anomaly monitoring system.

Conduct CDR and other big data analysis in collaboration with partners.

Support the research and development of enhanced mVAM approaches (big data, machine-learning and high-resolution mapping, etc).

Contribute to developing guidance and training materials on mVAM methodology.

Undertake field missions for country support and facilitate trainings targeting WFP staff and partners.

Perform any other tasks as required.




Automation of mVAM systems in 2018

Conduct CDR analysis as required

Produce high resolution maps for five or more countries

Facilitate trainings on data science and mVAM analytics when needed.







Master’s degree in statistics, engineering, or computer science


At least 2 years’ experience in a data science-related field

Knowledge & Skills:

Good knowledge of machine learning and applied statistics. Knowledge of R is desirable.

Understanding of databases (SQL and/or noSQL) and developer tools (git, aws, docker, etc.)

Python programming skills and experience with data science libraries (pandas, numpy, scikit-learn, keras/tensorflow/pytorch, etc.)

Experience with Remote Sensing data and GIS skills (QGIS) are an asset

Data Visualization coding skills (JavaScript libraries) and Business Intelligence software (Tableau) is an asset.

Experience working with the humanitarian sector or in a social science field is an asset


Excellent spoken and written English skills.

Spoken and written French skills highly desirable.

Terms and Conditions

WFP offers a competitive compensation package which will be determined by the contract type and selected candidate’s qualifications and experience. 

Please visit the following websites for detailed information on working with WFP.

http://www.wfp.org Click on: “Our work” and “Countries” to learn more about WFP’s operations.

Deadline for applications: 4 November 2018

Ref.: VA No. 100580

Qualified female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply

WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status

Level of Language Proficiency

Excellent spoken and written English skills.

Spoken and written French skills highly desirable.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree