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Programme Specialist, Censuses and Surveys; Data & Analytics Branch, P-4, Nairobi (54589)

United Nations Population Fund

Software & Data

KES Confidential
2 weeks ago

Job Summary


Job Description/Requirements

The Position:

Programme Specialist, Censuses and Surveys, is located in the Data and Analytics Branch of the Programme Division, reporting to the Programme Adviser, Data Systems. His/Her primary responsibilities will be to provide technical support to all aspects of the census programme, including supporting the implementation of the census in UNFPA programme countries and the integration of geospatial dimensions in census data collection, analysis and dissemination. S/he will also support population and household surveys by advising and strengthening capacity on survey methodologies, including survey sampling, analysis and dissemination of findings. S/he will support the key areas of UNFPA’s mandate by providing technical input in areas such as geospatial mapping, population modeling, data collection, and analysis and use of population data for policies and programmes that address inequalities and serve those furthest behind. The Programme Specialist will work in an integrated, coordinated, and systems strengthening fashion, which is fundamental for the overall strategy and working ethos of the Programme Division and UNFPA. 

How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s strategic plan (2022-2025), reaffirms the relevance of the current strategic direction of UNFPA and focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices. These results capture our strategic commitments on accelerating progress towards realizing the ICPD and SDGs in the Decade of Action leading up to 2030. Our strategic plan calls upon UN Member States, organizations and individuals to “build forward better”, while addressing the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, recover lost gains and realize our goals.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Job Purpose:

The incumbent supports in all aspects of fulfilling UNFPA’s mission to support implementation of the population and housing census programme and implementation of population and housing surveys. This includes ongoing communication with programme countries to track planning and emerging needs, and assuring timely technical and guidance on: overall census and survey planning and budgeting; effective management of procurement and operational planning; guidance on cartography and household listing; field operations for census enumeration or survey sampling and data collection; promoting the generation and use of geospatial data; and identifying potential synergies and opportunities with regard to geospatial censuses or surveys, the UNFPA Population Data Portal, and other forms of population data in countries. 

S/he works under the leadership of the Programme Adviser, Data Systems to assure the design and deployment of up-to-date capacity strengthening programmes, guidelines, webinars, and related materials and support programmes. S/he supports close communication with other global leaders in population and housing census and survey implementation, including within the UN, donors and NGOs. 


Role Description:

In all activities s/he fosters collaboration within the Programme Division, and with the Humanitarian Response Division, and with Regional and Country Offices, ensuring the timeliness, adequacy, relevance and quality of substantive outputs. The primary roles of the incumbent are:

Technical support Capacity development Evidence and knowledge development and dissemination Technical representation

You would be responsible for:

A. Technical support

Works directly under the Programme Adviser, Data Systems, to assure timely and state-of-the-art technical support to the field. Provides substantive inputs to UNFPA support for the implementation of the population and housing census programme and surveys, including drafting of technical briefs and guidelines for various aspects of census technical operations. Facilitate integration of GIS solutions in censuses and surveys by identifying opportunities for synergy between UNFPA global census and survey support and the geospatial data and GIS teams and exploring the geospatial data needs of select governments and including application of GIS in all census and survey phases, and where needed, the coordinated support for generation of modeled population estimates.  Supports the successful use of census and survey data, including geospatial data, to generate new research and analyses on development needs, in domains relevant to the UNFPA mandate (i.e. sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and women’s rights, and demographic dividend). Provides technical assistance on census and survey planning, enumeration, analysis and dissemination to UNFPA Country Offices Assures editorial excellence in all written outputs (in English), including relevant guidelines, peer-review publications, internal briefs, and online documentation. 

B. Capacity development

Under the overall guidance of the Programme Adviser, s/he organizes technical meetings and learning events for UNFPA and NSO staff including virtual eLearning sessions, in-person seminars and workshops on modern census and survey design and implementation, and the use of census, survey and geospatial data for development planning and SDG tracking. Under the overall supervision of the Programme Adviser, serves as a focal point for UNFPA census and survey -related GIS capacity strengthening activities, in coordination with the GIS team, and Regional and Country Offices.  Maintains the UNFPA global database of consultants and experts in modern census and surveys who can provide technical assistance to National Statistical Offices. Provides editorial support to relevant census and survey products. 

C. Evidence and knowledge development and dissemination

Ensures regular updating of the UNFPA Census Tracker and dashboard on the Population Data Portal, the Community of Practice and related online documentation.  Tracks scientific developments in census, survey, geospatial research, remote sensing, facility mapping, and population estimates and projections, and provides advice on their relevance to UNFPA programming. Scans the substantive statistical environment and maintains relevant partnerships on technical issues with regional and national technical staff in order to identify substantive gaps and needs; Supports monitoring and updating of relevant Strategic Plan indicators.  Supports ICPD related initiatives, events and knowledge products

D. Strategic partnerships and technical representation

Supports interdivisional and interagency mechanisms related to strengthening of data systems and promotes coordinated technical assistance to governments with partners such as ESRI, WorldPop, the US Census Bureau, World Bank, and UN Statistics Division. Advocates for UNFPA’s work on data systems, and the integration of population and development issues in international, inter-governmental, UN and other policy and technical meetings and fora.  Liaises with UN agencies, academia, research and training institutions; may act as focal point for inter-agency working groups in the areas of census, survey and and geospatial data. Under the overall guidance of the Branch Chief, substantively contributes to the mobilization of resources. 

Qualifications and Experience: 


An Advanced Degree in quantitative social sciences, e.g. demography, statistics, population studies, sociology, geography, information sciences or related field. PhD desirable. 

Knowledge and Experience: 

At minimum of 7 years of experience in the areas related to strengthening data systems is required, ideally 4 at international level, and with progressive levels of technical and managerial responsibility; Demonstrated experience in the implementation of modern population and housing census and or surveys; Demonstrated experience in managing or coordinating a global programme or initiatives, with deliverables across various countries and regions;  Demonstrated technical expertise in the use of census and survey data for development;  Knowledge of GIS and geospatial analysis of population data is an advantage; In addition to censuses and surveys, complementary expertise in related areas of population and development research, including area of UNFPA mandate and the ICPD, is desirable; Proven excellence in writing, editing, and oral communication in English


Fluency in English; knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

Required Competencies: 


Exemplifying integrity,  Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system,  Embracing cultural diversity,  Embracing change

Core Competencies: 

Achieving results, Being accountable, Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen, Thinking analytically and strategically, Working in teams/managing ourselves and our relationships, Communicating for impact

Functional Competencies:

Conceptual analysis in the provision of technical expertise – developing innovative and creative approaches. Leveraging the resources of national governments and partners and building strategic alliances and partnerships – identifying and building partnerships. Job knowledge and expertise – in-depth knowledge of their discipline.

Compensation and Benefits:

This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus health insurance and other benefits as applicable.

UNFPA Work Environment:

UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, diversity, integrity and healthy work-life balance. We are committed to ensuring gender parity in the organization and therefore encourage women to apply. Individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community, minority ethnic groups, indigenous populations, persons with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups are highly encouraged to apply. UNFPA promotes equal opportunities in terms of appointment, training, compensation and selection for all regardless of personal characteristics and dimensions of diversity. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is at the heart of UNFPA's workforce - click to learn more.


Selection and appointment may be subject to background and reference checks, medical clearance, visa issuance and other administrative requirements. 

UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process and does not concern itself with information on applicants' bank accounts. 

Applicants for positions in the international Professional and higher categories, who hold permanent resident status in a country other than their country of nationality, may be required to renounce such status upon their appointment.

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