Under the supervision of the Senior Advisor in the ITU Regional Office for Africa, and in coordination with the Giga Programme Coordinator, the consultant will provide overall project coordination support of all Giga related activities in Sierra Leone, with a focus on, but not limited to:
- Regulatory analysis, framework, and tool development to support digital inclusion objectives in selected partner countries.
- Promoting sustainable models to expand school connectivity in underserved communities.
- Promoting a more conducive environment for (private and public) investment in digital inclusion.
- Advancing digital skills as a means to decent jobs, especially for young people.
Your main responsibilities will be…
The consultant will ensure quality and timely delivery of project activities so as to achieve the expected results of the Giga project. Specific responsibilities include:
- Coordinate the implementation and deliver all project outcomes as per the Giga country workplan, within budget and of high standards and quality.
- Prepare terms of reference for short-term consultants and monitor their activities to ensure project progresses on schedule and within prescribed budget.
- Liaise with other ITU divisions and departments both at HQ and regional levels.
- Liaise with Giga ITU and Giga UNICEF colleagues to track progress of activities related to the relevant countries and related projects.
- Plan and organize country engagement activities.
- Coordinate and update ITU and Giga colleagues on activities on a daily basis using virtual project management tools
- Support the development of progress reports and detailed narrative and financial reports as well as any other document deemed as necessary including the management of donor funded activities, including compliance related activities such as required donor reporting.
- Play a key role in the development and maintenance of key Giga, UNICEF, and ILO country relationships, in close coordination with the Giga and ITU regional teams.
- Report on programme achievements and document best practices and lessons learnt in the course of the project.
- Contribute to connectivity project or activity design.
- Organize and deliver presentations on Giga to external stakeholders.
- Play a key role in the planning, coordination, and implementation of Giga partnership engagement frameworks, resulting in resource mobilization activities and partnerships with key stakeholders including donors, MDBs, other international organizations, private sector, and civil society.
- Contribute technical insights into the regulatory, digital skills, and other program areas.
- Participate in regular Giga update meetings.
The above duties may be adjusted, and additional duties assigned based on the Giga project priorities as they evolve. All of the above will also need to be done in close coordination with the ITU Giga and UNICEF Giga team counterparts.
- Activities to support the work of Giga planned, developed, and delivered on time.
- Meetings and events related to Giga planned and organized.
- Partnership engagement framework and agreements completed with key partner organizations.
- Site visit reports.
- Technical contributions to activity and project documents.
To qualify for this position, you will have…
Education: Advanced university degree in business administration, international development, social science, engineering, programme/project management, information technology, or any relevant area of study to support knowledge in programme/project management or a related field OR education from a reputed college of advanced education with a diploma of equivalent standard to that of an advanced university degree in one of the fields above.
Experience: At least five years of progressively responsible experience in managing projects/programmes in the context of international development, including at least two at the international level. A Doctorate in a related field can be considered as a substitute for two years of working experience. Experience in the implementation of training and/or capacity development projects or activities in the field of digital development.
Languages: Knowledge of English (drafting and speaking) at advanced level is essential. Knowledge of French and Spanish at intermediate level would be an advantage. Knowledge of another official language of the Union (Arabic, Chinese, Russian) would be an advantage.
About Our Team
We are a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary team of software engineers, finance specialists, data scientists, policy experts, and much more. Our team is a distributed workforce and plans to remain distributed into the foreseeable future.
We are growing fast. Our team has grown by over 400% in the last 6 months as we rapidly scale to meet our stated mission.
Launched in 2019 as a joint-initiative between UNICEF and ITU, Giga has set the ambitious goal to connect every school in the world to the internet.
Half of the world’s population has no regular access to the Internet. Millions of children leave school without any digital skills, making it much more difficult for them to thrive and contribute to local and global economies. This has created a digital divide between those who are connected and those who are not, a divide that has become even wider during the Covid-19 pandemic. UNICEF and ITU have therefore joined forces to create Giga, an initiative to connect every school in the world to the Internet and address this new form of inequality.
Giga focuses on connecting schools so that children and young people have access to information, opportunity, and choice. It also uses schools as anchor points for their surrounding communities: if you connect the school, you can also connect local businesses and services. This creates opportunities for service providers to generate revenue from paying users, making connectivity more sustainable. A recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that a 10% increase in school connectivity can increase effective years of schooling by 0.6% and increase GDP per capita by 1.1%.
You cannot fix a problem unless you can see it, so the first step is to map schools and their connectivity levels. Giga uses machine learning to scan satellite images and identify schools. These are then marked by coloured dots on an open-source map: green where there is good connectivity (over 5mb/s); amber where it is limited; and red where there is no connectivity at all. The project has already mapped over 920,000 schools in 40 countries, including several which were previously unknown to governments.
Connecting every school in the world could cost US$428 billion or more. Much of the funding already exists but it is not always well aligned. Giga therefore works with governments to unlock public funds for use in delivering connectivity and to attract private investors by reducing the risks in harder-to-reach areas. We are also proposing a $5 billion Bond to finance last-mile connectivity and catalyze large-scale investment. The bond would be backed by donor governments and private foundations, much like the one issued by Gavi / IFFiM to deliver vaccines around the world.
Once school connectivity has been mapped and financing secured, Giga works with a range of partners to bring the Internet to schools. We support governments in designing competitive procurement processes. We are also developing real-time payment mechanisms, meaning that if a dot on the connectivity map is only green for three hours a day, the provider only gets paid for three hours of access. Giga is already connecting schools in 19 countries and is prototyping several test solutions, including in refugee camps and remote, mountainous regions.
Just as building railroads allowed previously isolated towns to flourish, providing good quality Internet access will allow communities to participate in the digital economy for the first time. But Giga’s work in laying the tracks for connectivity is only one part of a wider effort to bridge the digital divide. UNICEF’s Reimagine Education initiative brings all of this work together and has set the goal of connecting every child and young person – some 3.5 billion – to world-class digital learning solutions by 2030. In addition to Giga, it includes components focusing on the affordability of data and content, access to devices, teacher certification and the engagement of young people. Along with ITU’s digital skills programme and other initiatives, Reimagine Education aims to ensure that, once connected, young people are empowered with the tools they need to shape their own futures.
Our partners are a huge part of our work, supporting us with both financial resources and in-kind support. We currently have a portfolio of a small group of major financial partners, and a larger group of others who provide technical assistance on important projects, including data sharing, cost model development, and more.
You can read more about Giga’s work at https://gigaconnect.org/ and by following us on twitter @Gigaconnect
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.
UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives.
Payment details and further considerations
- Consultants are paid monthly
- Consultants are responsible for their own health and travel insurance
- Consultant is eligible for standard budget allowances for all work-related travel