Consultant-Geospatial Data Scientist


Location : Remote, INDIA
Application Deadline :30-Sep-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :5 months

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

Agriculture plays a pivotal role in India’s economy as over 58% of rural households depend on it as the principal means of livelihood, 80% of whom are smallholder farmers with less than two hectares of farmland. More than a fifth of the smallholder farm households are below poverty. Climate change continues to be a real and potent threat to the agriculture sector, which will impact everything from productivity to livelihoods across food and farm systems. Productivity loss will not only impact food security but also impact livelihoods and real income of farmers. It is estimated that climate change causes loss of annual farm income by 15%-18% on an average in India. This calls for adoption of innovative technologies that can help bolster countries against food supply shocks and challenges in the era of climate crisis. 
UNDP has partnered with the Government of Telangana to jointly initiate the ‘Data for Policy’ initiative on Food Systems. The aim is to incorporate anticipatory governance models for future-fit food systems in the state using data-driven policymaking tools and ecosystem-driven approaches to strengthen climate resilience in food systems. UNDP is keen on augmenting learning capabilities, increasing the predictive or anticipatory capacity to feed-in to evidence-driven policies for future-fit food systems in the state.  
In this context, the government of Telangana, UNDP, JADS (Netherlands), Zero Hunger Lab (Netherlands), Tilburg University, and partner organizations have come together to form a data collaborative and developed DiCRA platform. 
Data in Climate Resilient Agriculture (DiCRA) is a collaborative digital public good that applies openAI to provide key geospatial datasets to demystify climate resilience in agriculture and mainstream data-driven decision making on climate adaptation in agriculture. DiCRA provides high--resolution intelligence on 20+ agriculture parameters, and insights from pattern detection algorithms on decadal time trends. Data insights on 'what is where, how much is there, how are things changing with space and time' zoomed till farm level promoted evidence- based decision making across the agriculture ecosystem. DiCRA data collaborative facilitates customization of use cases such as interaction between parameters, spatial analytics, composite indices etc., based on the requirement of stakeholders. By providing output and outcome level insights in agriculture, DiCRA strives to bring sustainability and longtermism into agriculture programming. DiCRA platform has shown good results during 2022 and expected to scale to other states of India/countries in a short span of time. 
Given the above context, UNDP is seeking to engage the services of an individual consultant to provide regular technical support in data science, research coordination, facilitation of DiCRA collaborative and scaleup under the Data for policy initiative in India.
UNDP is seeking to hire the services of an Individual Consultant for the above assignment.

 


Duties and Responsibilities

The Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Head of Experimentation, Accelerator Lab, UNDP to undertake the following tasks:

Coordinate with Technology Partners 

• Coordinate with Technology Partners for development of digital public good and work in close coordination with all stakeholders, translate the high-level requirements into use-cases and technical requirements.

• Coordinate and manage data partnerships through data sharing agreements and data collaborative strategy as required by the digital public good.

• Provide timely inputs for developing systems architecture, data pipeline, infrastructure requirements, and aspects of data quality

• Ensure adherence to UN Principles on Personal data protection and privacy, data security, data confidentiality and access.

• Ensure robust prediction model considering aspects model accuracy, bias-variance tradeoff, fairness, accountability, transparency, ethics. 

• Provide inputs to customize reports and analytics for different user-categories as per the requirement of the project. 

 

Peer Review Algorithms 

• Facilitate peer review process of DiCRA analytics and openAI algorithms. Establish multilevel peer review process, document the guidelines and publish them transparently on Github

• Identify and onboard atleast 10 qualified peer reviewers with specialization in Geospatial data science for reviewing DiCRA algorithms

• Ensure publication of peer-review documents for each analytics layer under DiCRA on Github; and incorporation of feedback on DiCRA platform

DiCRA collaborative

• Facilitate, foster and expand the DiCRA collaborative through structured processes, data coordination and data pipeline mechanisms.

• Facilitate atleast 20 meetings of DiCRA data collaborative and ensure continuous publication of new data layers and use cases.

• Establish mechanisms for sharing cloud computing credits with contributing data scientists.

• Develop and publish openAI algorithms for complex use cases such as crop diversity, farm boundaries, oil palm, polyhouse detection etc.

User-Feedback and Functionality improvement

• DiCRA is developed for the agriculture ecosystem with diverse stakeholders who have diverse requirements. 

• Conduct user feedback sessions and collect feedback from diverse users and improve overall functionality of DiCRA 

• Improve the Use-case section under DiCRA through automated processes 

 

AI strategy

• Provide inputs on proposals and concept notes for other innovative applications of AI in domains such as climate, air pollution, energy, natural resource management, skills etc., as and when required by the country office.

 

Expected Deliverables:

 

S.No

Deliverables

Amount

1

Establish peer review guidelines for DiCRA algorithms and upload them on Github

Identify and onboard atleast 10 qualified peer reviewers for review of DiCRA algorithms

15%

2

Publish peer-review documents for each analytics layer under DiCRA on Github

Report on incorporation of feedback in DiCRA from peer-review

20%

3

Collect feedback from diverse users and improve overall functionality of DiCRA

Improve the Use-case section under DiCRA through automated processes

15%

4

Establish mechanisms for sharing cloud computing credits with contributing data scientists

Facilitate atleast 20 meetings of DiCRA data collaborative and ensure continuous publication of new data layers

20%

5

Develop and publish complex Use cases on crop diversity, farm boundaries, oil palm, and polyhouses

30%


Competencies

  • Analytical skills: Able to synthesize large sets of inputs and data to form coherent outputs
  • Ability to effectively and efficiently interact with senior members and stakeholders
  • Must be detail-oriented
  • Communication skills: Able to communicate clear ideas across a variety of mediums
  • Writing and presentation skills: Able to produce high quality reports and presentations
  • Team skills: Able to work independently as well as in teams
  • Great organizational and time-management skills


Required Skills and Experience

Duration of Assignment:

The duration of assignment will be from November 2022 till March 2023 (with expectation of renewal for a further duration of 5 months subject to availability of funds) 

Qualification Requirements:

Required Experiences, Competencies and Skills

  • Master of Science or Master of Technology or related post graduate degree with a specialization in Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial intelligence or closely related field;
  • Minimum of five years work experience in data-driven research projects involving application of Geospatial analytics, Remote Sensing, Data mining, and Machine learning is essential. Experience in data engineering is desirable;
    • At least three years of experience working with government departments and multilaterals is essential. Prior work experience in United Nations is desirable;
    • Previous work experience in open innovation, managing data collaboratives, and research partnerships, design and development of open data platforms will be a critical asset; 
    • Previous working relation with the government (national/state level) will be a critical asset;
    • Proficiency in programming languages and open-source application softwares like Python, QGIS or SAGA, PostGIS/PostGRESQL etc., for Earth Observation analytics as demonstrated by publications on personal GitHub account is essential; 
    • Previous experience in developing and implementing full stack applications using Python frameworks like Flask and Django is essential;
    • Substantive knowledge on digital transformation and emerging technologies is desirable.
    • Strong analytical skills and ability to analyze and visualize data in easy to grasp ways  
    • Strongly detail oriented, with demonstrated organizational skills and ability to work under stringent deadlines; 
    • Ability to work directly or remotely with the varied teams;
    • Excellent communication and networking skills; 
    • Fluency in English which is the working language of the duty station is essential.

 

Technical Evaluation:

The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as Responsive to the requirement. Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation;

•     Technical Criteria weight - 70%;

•     Financial Criteria weight – 30 %

 

 Technical Criteria (70% of total evaluation)

 

  1. Minimum of five years work experience in data-driven research projects involving application of Geospatial analytics, Remote Sensing, Data mining, and Machine learning – 15%
  2. Min 3 years of experience in International Non-Profit Organisations, handling or coordinating Government Projects departments -10%
  3. Proficiency in programming languages and open-source application software like Python, QGIS or SAGA, PostGIS/PostGRESQL etc., for Earth Observation analytics, as demonstrated by blogs or publications on personal GitHub account – 20%
  4. Previous experience in developing full stack applications using Python frameworks like Flask and Django – 10%
  5. Previous work experience in open innovation, managing data collaboratives, and research partnerships, design and development of open data platforms -  15%

 

Financial Criteria: (30% of the total evaluation) based on the total all-inclusive lump sum amount for professional fee for tasks specified in this announcement

Submission of Proposal 

Financial Proposal: Technically qualified consultants will be requested to submit their lump sum rate i.e. consultants who score more than 70% i.e. 49 marks with respect to the above-mentioned evaluation criteria (which includes both the technical and the interview). Consultant should not specify their consultancy fee on their CV or with the submission. The CV will not be evaluated further in case the consultant submits the sameWhen submitting CVs, candidates are requested to submit a document that is clearly responsive to the technical evaluation criteria.

 

Documents to be submitted by Consultants

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Document on relevant Work Experience including the URLs of the projects undertaken in data science and related disciplines and, Github Account showcasing coding proficiency.
  3. Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability for the Individual Contractor Assignment

Note:

  1. Any kind of miscellaneous charges i.e. internet, phone, relocation charges etc. will not be reimbursed;
  2. Travel, lodging and boarding as per UNDP rules subject to prior approval
  3. Individuals working with institutions may also apply, contract would be issued in the name of institution for the specific services of individual
  4. Please note proposals without financial proposal will not be considered.



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