United Nations Data Fellows Programme

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has a Centre for Humanitarian Data in The Hague, the Netherlands to help increase the use and impact of data in the humanitarian sector. The vision is to create a future where all people involved in a humanitarian emergency have access to the data they need, when and how they need it, to make responsible and informed decisions.
The Centre focuses on four areas: data services, data policy, data literacy, and network engagement. The Centre’s data services work includes direct management of the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) platform and the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL) data standard. The data literacy work focuses on improving the data skills of technical and non-technical humanitarians. For data policy, the Centre works with partners to develop institutional agreements for sharing data in crisis settings. Finally, the Centre works to further build and engage an active community in support of its mission and objectives through a number of events and communication activities.

Data Fellows Programme

The Centre will host its inaugural class of Fellows in The Hague in June and July 2018. Through this programme, Fellows will come together to design and deliver targeted projects that contribute to the overall goals of the Centre. The 2018 Fellows will focus on four areas where the Centre is seeking new perspectives, insights and partnerships including Data Science, Data Storytelling, Predictive Analytics, and User Experience Research. The Fellowship programme will be residential, with Fellows living and working in The Hague under the direction of the Data Fellows Programme Coordinator and with support from the entire Centre team.

We are seeking four Fellows for the 2018 class, one Fellow per focus area. Support for the first class of Fellows is being provided as part of the OCHA partnership with, inter alia, Education Above All Foundation that works to improve access to quality education for vulnerable and marginalized people in the developing world.

Data Science: Humanitarian partners are collecting and sharing more data than at any other time and this trend will continue as more systems, sensors and people come online in crisis settings. OCHA’s HDX platform now includes over 6,500 public datasets that have been shared by hundreds of organizations. We are seeking a Data Science Fellow who can apply data mining techniques to convert data into actionable insights. There will be a specific focus on data on education in emergencies and which are experiencing conflict, both in terms of the data being utilized and the potential applications of the analytical model(s) identified.

Data Storytelling: As the number of data-driven insights increase within the humanitarian sector, a challenge has emerged in relation to how these insights translate into concrete action at a global, regional, and local level. We are seeking a Data Storytelling Fellow who can translate insights into action through visual and narrative methods that activate priority audiences and have impact.


Predictive Analytics: The Centre is working to improve the range and depth of data services available to the humanitarian community. One area of emerging interest is predictive analytics: asking ‘what will happen’ in a particular humanitarian context and using data science to arrive at an answer. We are seeking a Predictive Analytics Fellow with the technical skills and strategic capacity to identify and assess available models and generate recommendations for the Centre on whether and, if so, how to further develop capacity in this area.

User Experience Research: Effective user experience research helps to ensure that products and services are responding to clear needs. We are seeking a User Experience Fellow who can further develop the user experience strategies for select initiatives within the Centre’s portfolio. This might include enhancing an existing data product or developing new models for sustainable funding or partner engagement.


The Fellows will begin their work by framing a clear problem statement that will form the basis of a project to be undertaken over the course of the fellowship. The Fellows will conduct desk and user research before developing at least one working prototype related to their focus area. The Fellows will be expected to communicate publicly about their work and produce a final report outlining the key insights and recommendations for taking the work forward. The Fellows will also participate in a joint project with other Fellows that advances the goals of the Centre and supports the work of humanitarian partners.

Fellows will be expected to engage with the Centre team. This engagement may include participating in or facilitating workshops or supporting ongoing activities related to HDX, HXL or related processes and tools.


We are seeking Fellows who are self-motivated and can thrive in an international, multidisciplinary environment. The right candidate has the specific skills required for the focus area and has an overriding passion for data and humanitarian response. He or she should be able to work to short deadlines and enjoy collaborating and working as part of a team. We welcome candidates that challenge assumptions and bring in new perspectives.

The Data Science Fellow should have an undergraduate degree with at least two year of relevant experience. Candidates currently enrolled in a graduate programme are encouraged to apply.

The Data Storytelling, Predictive Analytics and User Experience Research Fellows should have an undergraduate degree with at least 5 years of relevant experience or a graduate degree with 3 years of relevant experience. Candidates with more experience are encouraged to apply.


The fellowship will be for June and July 2018. Fellows will need to be available for the full term. Workspace and meeting rooms will be made available to the Fellows during this period at the Centre’s location in The Hague Humanity Hub. Fellows may also use the workspace before or after the fellowship period as needed and as agreed with a supervisor.


Fellows will receive a lump sum amount to cover travel and living expenses during the two-month term.

How to Apply

Applications for the fellowship are being processed through UNOPS, the Centre’s implementing partner. Please follow the instructions in the job posting links below. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a written test and interviews. Final selection for the Fellows will be made by the end of April.


If you have questions about the Data Fellows Programme or the application process, send an email to centrehumdata@un.org.


Visit the official link

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