UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. As the UN’s development agency, UNDP plays a critical role in helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD) is the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) global organization mandated to leverage the role of the private sector in development. The IICPSD was established in Istanbul, Turkey based on the Partnership Framework Agreement signed between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the United Nations Development Program in March 2011. The center is one of the six global thematic policy centers of UNDP, supports the private sector and foundations to become transformative partners in development through research, advocacy, facilitation of public-private dialogue and brokering partnerships. IICPSD leads UNDP’s global work on private sector and foundations and supports UNDP’s offices all around the world.  


The SDG AI Lab is a joint initiative of UNDP BPPS (Bureau for Policy and Programme Support) team, and it is hosted under UNDP IICPSD. The SDG AI Lab provides research, development, and advisory support through cutting-edge digital solutions in harnessing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for sustainable development. The Lab aims to strengthen the UNDP’s internal and its partners’ capacities for the increasing demand for digital transformation. In addition, SDG AI Lab mobilizes volunteer data scientists under the Supporting Digital Transformation through Volunteerism partnership between UNDP IICPSD and United Nations Volunteers (UNV). Volunteer Data Scientist Initiative connects UNDP teams and data scientists to address development challenges such as Covid-19, disaster response, poverty, climate change and others.

The objective of the Data Science Fellowship is to provide the opportunity to work on how to deploy frontier technologies such as Data Science on development issues. In particular, the Fellow will contribute to data acquisition, data analysis, modelling, deployment, and visualizations efforts.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Fellow will assist in the following duties and responsibilities:


Duties and responsibilities

% of time


Research and knowledge products development

  • Conduct research on application of big data and machine learning approaches to development issues
  •  Draft analytical briefs summarizing the project findings and methodologies accessible to the general public audience
  • Conduct the data maintenance and data acquisition activities of the SDG AI Lab

30 %


Development and implementation of digital solutions for SDGs utilizing Data Science/Data Visualization

  • Develop and implement digital solutions to tackle issues in the field of economic and international development.
  • Assist the organization of large datasets to get actionable insights from them.
  • Contribute to data acquisition, preparation and analysis
  • Develop Data Visualization Dashboards to present analysis results and data insights


60 %



  • Provide as needed support to the Technical Specialist as required for, amongst others, participating in meetings, conferences, providing administrative support, drafting meeting minutes and performing other functions and duties 
  • Contribute to the SDG AI Lab’s Volunteer Data Scientists Initiative through advancing the volunteer engagement in SDGs related projects

10 %


IT skills:

  • Proficiency in programming languages, preferably Python, or R, SQL, Java
  • Hands-on experience on developing dashboard using Power BI, Tableau andD3.js
  • Experience with common data science toolkits would be an asset.

Language skills:

  • Fluent in English with excellent reading and writing skills is required.
  • Proficiency in Turkish is an asset

Other competencies and attitudes:

  • Interest and motivation in working in an international organization
  • Good analytical skills in gathering and consolidating data and research for practical implementation
  • Outgoing and initiative-taking person with a goal-oriented mind-set
  • Communicates effectively when working in teams and independently
  • Good in organizing and structuring various tasks and responsibilities
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Responds positively to feedback and differing points of view
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.

Required Skills and Experience


Candidates must meet one of the following educational requirements:

  • currently enrolled in a postgraduate programme (such as a master's programme or higher)
  • have graduated no longer than 2 years ago from a university degree or equivalent studies.

Field of study: Computer Science, Statistics, Econometrics, Mathematics, Economics or equivalent.