NLP and Text Mining Expert Consultant


Location : Home Based
Application Deadline :15-Jul-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
01-Sep-2022
Duration of Initial Contract :6 months up to 100 working days (with possibility of extension for additional 11 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :possibility of extension for additional 11 months subject to availability of funds and satisfactory

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

The UNDP Accelerator Labs Network is the largest learning network in the world. It includes 91 public innovation labs and a global curation team, all embedded within UNDP’s global architecture and country platforms. Lab methodologies build on the latest thinking from the fields of complex systems, lead user innovation, and collective intelligence to accelerate development impact.

The network of UNDP Accelerator Labs surfaces and reinforces locally sourced solutions at scale, while mobilizing a wide and dynamic range of partners who contribute knowledge, resources, and experience. The idea is to transform traditional development approaches by introducing new protocols, backed by evidence and practice, to accelerate the testing and dissemination of solutions within, and across countries, while at the same time enabling the global community to collectively learn from local knowledge and ingenuity at a speed and scale that our societies and planet require.

To support these learning outcomes, the UNDP Accelerator Labs global team is building a Network Learning Strategy and Prototype for knowledge management. The strategy has a strong digital component, that builds on the idea of “going where the information is”. The goal is to facilitate the detection of “where” knowledge is held in the network, and “why” it can be assumed to be held there, rather than trying to capture, infer, or extrapolate precisely “what” that knowledge is. This requires “listening” to the activities of the network, by centralizing and making sense of the content the labs put out, as well as the digital traces they leave behind as they conduct their work.

The Network Learning Prototype pulls together these unstructured data—mainly text—from various sources, including conversations on WhatsApp and Teams, blogs published on UNDP Country Office websites and Medium, and internal reporting feeds. The volume of these data is reaching a point where automation is becoming necessary to detect latent topics and trends that emerge across the network, and to structure and map open-ended taxonomies. The individual contractor will work on this directly with the Lead Data Scientist of the UNDP Accelerator Labs global team. 


Duties and Responsibilities

SCOPE OF WORK, RESPONSIBILITIES AND DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ANALYTICAL WORK

  • Design, build, and evaluate topic models and classifiers in Python for the Network Learning Prototype—primarily in English, but ideally also in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic.
  • Improve an early prototype (built in Python) of an automated method for structuring and mapping open-ended taxonomies.
  • Take useful models and prototypes developed to production and integrate them into a suite of UNDP Accelerator Labs online tools and platforms.
  • Collaborate with different teams across UNDP to build a corpus of sustainable development-related documents, presumably in multiple languages, and fine-tune language models using this corpus.
  • Conduct operationally relevant text analyses.
  • Document the work produced.

Expected outputs and deliverables:

Description

Projected completion date

Projected No. of working days

Review and Approvals Required

Deliverable 1:

Topic modelling with documents from different sources and of different lengths to feed into a Network Learning Prototype, a novel knowledge management strategy and platform for the UNDP Accelerator Labs Network.

1 Jan 2023

40

Different models are tested and documented on a variety of UNDP Accelerator Labs Network corpora, and a technique is identified for building into the Network Learning Prototype.

Deliverable 2:

Evaluate and improve a “conversation” clustering algorithm that structures raw WhatsApp group conversations into distinct threads of related messages.

1 Jan 2023

40

A “ground truth” set of conversation threads is created and used to evaluate and improve the algorithm.

Deliverable 3:

Improve a python module that clusters and structures open ended tag taxonomies for the Accelerator Labs documentation platforms.

1 Dec 2022

20

Different computational techniques are tested and documented to improve the module.


Competencies

A.Professionalism

  • Comfortable working with diverse programming languages, and open-source frameworks and libraries—including Python and PostgreSQL; SpaCy, scikit-learn, TensorFlow, PyTorch, or fast.ai; Pandas and NumPY; and Matplotlib.
  • Passionate about data science and its integration.
  • Passionate about open source/ free software movements.
  • Passionate about the use of data for human and social development.
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team, but also independently with little supervision.
  • Ability and confidence to work directly with partners or clients to define requirements.
  • Ability to work with people from around the world, with different backgrounds, motivations, and competencies.

B.Planning and organization

  • Ability to meet deadlines, work under pressure, manage workflows, and operate as part of a distributed team with members across almost every time-zone on the planet.
  • Ability to prioritize activities and assignments.
  • Possesses good organizational skills.

C.Knowledge management and learnings

  • Motivation to continuously learn new things, and ability to put them to use.
  • Motivation to share personal knowledge and experience with others.

D.Communication

  • Speaks and writes clearly and effectively, with a particular attention for the audience.
  • Demonstrates openness in sharing information.
  • Listens to others.


Required Skills and Experience

Academic qualifications:

  • Master's degree or higher in Computational Linguistics, Data Science, Computer Science, Information Retrieval, Statistics, Engineering, or any related field with strong computational and text analysis elements is required.

Experience:

  • A minimum of three years of experience in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and text analytics, most importantly in topic modeling and text classification is required.
  • A minimum of two years of experience with Python is required.
  • A minimum of two years of experience with NLP/ text analytics Python libraries, such as SpaCy, scikit-learn, TensorFlow, PyTorch, or fast.ai is required.
  • Familiarity with MS Azure cloud services is highly desirable.
  • Experience working with leading language models, such as BERT or GPT-3 is highly desirable.
  • Ability to write clean code and documentation is highly desirable.
  • Ability to make clear recommendations and to advise non-technical partners is desirable.
  • Experience working with nonprofit organizations is desirable.

Language:

  • Fluency in English (written and oral) is required.
  • Working knowledge of French is desirable.
  • Working knowledge of Spanish, Arabic, or any other UN language is a plus.

Application Procedure

The application package containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):

  • A cover letter with a brief description of why the Offer considers her/himself the most suitable for the assignment;
  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references; and
  • A link to an online portfolio of similar work completed within the last three years (for example, a personal website or github page). Applications without this link will not be accepted.

Note: The above documents need to be scanned in one file and uploaded to the online application as one document.

Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.

  • The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around the specific and measurable deliverables of the TOR. Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR, and deliverables accepted and certified by the technical manager. 
  • The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; (excluding mission travel); living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
  • This consultancy is a home-based assignment, therefore, there is no envisaged travel cost to join duty station/repatriation travel. 
  • In the case of unforeseeable travel requested by UNDP, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed. In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
  • If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP.

The Financial Proposal is to be emailed as per the instruction in the separate email that will be sent to shortlisted candidates.

Evaluation process

Applicants are reviewed based on Required Skills and Experience stated above and based on the technical evaluation criteria outlined below.  Applicants will be evaluated based on cumulative scoring.  When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Being responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation where technical criteria weighs 70% and Financial criteria/ Proposal weighs 30%.

Technical evaluation - Total 70% (70 points):

  • Criteria 1. Relevant experience in NLP/ text analytics  Weight = 25%; Maximum Points: 25;
  • Criteria 2. Relevant experience with Python Weight = 10 %; Maximum Points: 10;
  • Criteria 3. Relevant experience with NLP/ text analytics Python libraries, such as SpaCy, scikit-learn, TensorFlow, PyTorch, or fast.ai Weight = 20 %; Maximum Points: 20; and

Having reviewed applications received, UNDP will invite the top three/four shortlisted candidates for interview. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

  • Interview: Weight = 15 %; Maximum Points: 15.

Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.

Financial evaluation - Total 30% (30 points)

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

  • p = y (µ/z), where
  • p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
  • y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal
  • µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated

Contract Award

Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered technically qualified and will be offered to enter into contract with UNDP.

Institutional arrangement

The consultant will work under the guidance and direct supervision of Accelerator Labs Network Lead Data Scientist and will be responsible for the fulfilment of the deliverables as specified above.

The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own laptop.

Payment modality

  • Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified above and deliverables accepted and upon certification of satisfactory completion by the manager. 
  • The work week will be based on 35 hours, i.e. on a 7 hour working day, with core hours being between 9h00 and 18h00 daily.

Annexes (click on the hyperlink to access the documents):

Any request for clarification must be sent by email to cpu.bids@undp.org 

The UNDP Central Procurement Unit will respond by email and will send written copies of the response, including an explanation of the query without identifying the source of inquiry, to all applicants.

 



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