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Research Team Leader, “Monitoring Hate Speech in the Arab Region” Regional Initiative
|Location :||Home Based|
|Application Deadline :||28-Sep-19 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||International Consultant|
|Languages Required :||Arabic English French|
|Starting Date :|
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||80 days over a period of 9 months|
Social and cultural diversity in the Arab region is facing increasing threats due to various internal and external factors, be it socio-political, economic, environmental or geopolitical. The erosion of state structures in some Arab countries and structurally weak institutions that lack the mandate to enforce inclusive citizenship are among the driving forces behind identitarian (or identity-based) polarization and propaganda, and this has contributed to the rise of hate speech in many Arab countries. At the same time, freedom of speech and expression has been witnessing a setback in recent years, despite resistance from citizens who are becoming more vocal in voicing their demands given the expansion of the informal public space made possible by advancement in information and communication technology (ICT).
In the Arab region, mobile-cellular subscriptions have increased by around 40% between 2010 and 2018 and estimated to have reached a penetration rate of 103% by the end of 2018. The percentage of individuals (% of total population) using the internet in the Arab region is also expected to have more than doubled by the end of 2018, levelling at 54.7% up from 24% in 2010. Social media has also grown into a powerful tool of political and social interaction and opened the door for not only self-expression but also for collective expression of various groups. The total number of monthly active Twitter users in the Arab region is estimated to have reached 11.1 million in March 2017, up from 5.8 million in 2014, of which 29% are in Saudi Arabia and 18% in Egypt. Out of the 166 million internet users in 13 Arab countries, 66% (or 110 million) have opened Facebook accounts by December 2017.
With the aim to capitalize on the potential of big data and AI technologies, the “Monitoring Hate Speech in the Arab Region” regional initiative will explore the use of these under-utilized and promising technologies - without compromising impartiality, privacy rights, and methodological/conceptual soundness – to monitor and understand the rise of hate speech in a world that is being shaped by new developments in ICT and rapidly increasing mobile phone and internet penetration. Online platforms are viewed as having indirectly triggered the rise of violent content by offering a relatively inexpensive space to disseminate and build up a community of followers, and studies have argued that social media platforms tend to offer more visibility to negative. It has been argued that an open space of freedom of expression has indirectly led to the spread of hate speech and discriminatory language, especially against groups that are considered an easy target outside virtual space. In one way, the virtual space has mimicked the power relations that exist in the non-virtual world, giving power to specific groups to attach more marginalized groups, and this unbalanced power dynamics is being maintained by the de facto legal and institutional framework that does not treat all citizens equally in some Arab countries
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the Project Manager and Technical Specialist, the “Monitoring Hate Speech in the Arab Region” regional initiative is looking to recruit a Research Team Leader to lead a multidisciplinary research team to develop a taxonomy and machine learning model for identifying, classifying and analyzing hate speech in online news and a social media platform. The Team Leader will mentor a team of country researchers, data scientists and computer scientists on the use of big data techniques for the purpose of producing hate speech taxonomy, coding textual data, monitoring trends and patterns, identifying drivers, analyzing causal relationships and inter-group dynamics, and attempting to predict hate speech occurrences. The Research Team Leader will develop a research methodology that will meet the multi-layered objectives of this initiative, including the preparation of the coding manuals and data to instruct computer algorithms in processing big data and ensure output data quality to allow complex analyses of hate speech in the selected countries. S/He will ensure that the work adheres to a solid conceptual framework and that the data model is theoretically grounded.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Contribute to defining the role and supervising the work of a multidisciplinary core team and country research teams for 2 Arab countries:
The Research Team Leader will:
Develop a hate speech conceptual framework and leading background qualitative research on monitoring and drivers of hate speech:
Lead the process of developing a taxonomy and machine learning model for identifying, classifying and analyzing hate speech in 2 Arab countries:
Here, it is important to note that rolling-out will start in one country before moving to another country. The outcome of this process is the production of a Glossary of Hate Speech and a Hate Speech Codebook in 2 countries.
Supervise the production of 2 country reports on hate speech and draft a consolidated executive report titled “Using big data modeling to monitor hate speech in the Arab Region: Findings, Opportunities and Limitations”:
Knowledge Management and Learning
Required Skills and Experience
DURATION OF THE WORK
The duration of the work is expected to be 80 working days from contract signature date, over a period of 9 months.
RECOMMENDED PRESENTATION OF OFFER
Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Candidates that fail to submit the required information will not be considered.
Interested candidates shall submit above documents to the Job Advertisement Website: https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_jobs.cfm as one document not later than 28th September 2019.
Interested candidates can find Procurement notice, letter of confirmation of interest and availability and P11 http://procurement-notices.undp.org/
Please do not submit financial proposal in this stage. Financial proposal shall be requested from Candidates who are considered technically responsive
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:
Step I: Screening and desk review:
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology.
Applications will be first screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum requirements will progress to the pool for shortlisting:
Technical evaluation Criteria max 100 points (Weighted 70):
Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation
For those offers considered in the financial evaluation, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points.
Step II: Final evaluation
The final evaluation will combine the scores of the desk review and the financial proposal with the following weights assigned to each:
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
Technical Criteria weight: [70%]
Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.
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.