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ReliefWeb - Jobs

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    Organization: Overseas Development Institute
    Country: Belgium, France, Spain, United States of America
    Closing date: 09 Jul 2017

    Summary: The Open Algorithms (OPAL) is looking for a Technical Project Lead to begin as soon as possible for 12 months (with the first 1-month being a trial period).

    About the project: The Open Algorithms (OPAL) project is a socio-technological innovation to leverage private sector data for public good purposes by “sending the code to the data” in a privacy preserving, participatory, scalable and sustainable manner. It has two main objectives: providing a far better picture of human reality to official statisticians, policymakers, planners, businesses, and citizens, while enabling greater inclusion and inputs of all members of societies on the kinds and uses of analyses performed on data about themselves. OPAL, developed by a consortium composed of Data-Pop Alliance, Imperial College London, the MIT Media Lab, Orange, and the World Economic Forum, builds on years of work of this group and others, and is a key milestone towards realizing a vision where data is at the heart of societal development around the globe, in support of the UN Sustainable Developments Goals and democracy.

    OPAL will start with pilots in Senegal and Colombia with funding from the Agence française de développement (AFD), provided to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in partnership with their National Statistical Offices—ANSD and DANE—and leading local telecom operators—Orange- Sonatel and Telefónica Colombia. In its initial phase of OPAL’s deployment, requests for predetermined indicators—e.g. population densities—will be sent via the platform through predeveloped algorithms running on the companies’ data servers, behind their firewalls, in a privacy preserving manner, and results will be made available via an interface. Local engagement and empowerment will be central to the development of OPAL: needs, feedback and priorities will be collected and identified through local workshops and discussions, and their results feed into the design of future algorithms. These algorithms will be open, therefore subject to public scrutiny and redress. A local advisory committee on ethics and development—*CODE* in French and Spanish—will provide guidance and oversight to the project, to ensure it abides by key ethical principles. In addition, training will be delivered around the project to foster its use and diffusion as well as capacities and connections more broadly.

    About the position:

    The technical project lead will be responsible for coordinating the development of the platform, supporting the users of the platform, and the installation in local countries with key partners. They will be critical in coordinating between the platform development team in London (Imperial College), the MIT team in Cambridge, and telecommunications operators in Senegal and Colombia.

    Key activities include:

    • Leadership role in the platform installation, support to telecommunication operators, algorithm development, and support of the platform users.

    • Support technical efforts of and liaise with the telecommunication operators in-country especially at the time of installation and launch of the platform. Senegal will be deployed first and then Colombia. Support the local teams working with the platform (e.g. explain to partners how to use the API and algorithms, provide user support) and refer unresolved questions to the development team.

    • Liaise with all partners and stakeholders regarding technical aspects of using the OPAL platform, including: algorithms and use cases.

    • Support the definition and planning of the general OPAL workstream including definition of timeline and resource requirements with key technical partners.

    o Coordinate daily with the rest of the global OPAL team as well as frequently with local OPAL teams in English, French, and potentially Spanish.

    • Monitoring of platform usages and performance and follow-up in countries and assistance as needed

    o Contribute to design of testing protocols.

    • Clarification of Technical Requirements, and ensuring compliance of requirements.

    • Participate in the meetings of the OPAL Global project.

    3. About you

    • Experienced professional with 3-5 years of work experience in a technical lead position and proof of successful past experience in a similar position including experience interacting with end-users and manage project launches

    • Academic background in computer science, engineering, or a similar field with ability to code in python and use APIs, work and manage a Linux environment.

    • Interest in development issues and developing countries contexts, including Africa and/or Latin America. Time spent in developing countries is a plus

    • Excellent writing, facilitation and organizational skills

    • Fluency in English. Working proficiency in French or Spanish is a plus

    • Good fit with the OPAL EC and team globally and locally

    • Located in Europe (preference) or US and willingness to travel internationally. If located in the US consider travelling extensively in Europe.

    4. Salary

    The OPAL Technical Lead will be hired as an ODI contractor (on behalf of Opal Consortium) for 12 months. The salary range is 40000/50000 euro per year.

    How to apply:

    Please send your application to by 09/07/2017 including:

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