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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Strategy and Portfolio Project Manager

. WFP celebrates and embraces diversity. It is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irresp

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WFP celebrates and embraces diversity. It is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, HIV status or disability.

ABOUT WFP

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. We are currently seeking to fill an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Strategy and Portfolio Project Manager position in the INKA division, based in Munich, Germany.

Brief description of WFP Innovation Accelerator, INKA:

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the United Nations frontline agency fighting hunger. WFP reaches more than 100 million people every day – delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with smallholder farmers, communities, and governments to improve nutrition and build resilience.

The WFP Innovation Accelerator was named by Fast Company as Most Innovative Non-Profit Organization 2021 for its work in identifying, nurturing, and scaling disruptive start-ups and innovations to end global hunger. Based in Munich, Germany, the Innovation Accelerator provides WFP employees and start-ups with funding, hands-on support, and access to WFP’s global operations. Through the Accelerator, WFP is leveraging unprecedented advances in digital innovation – such as mobile technology, artificial intelligence, and blockchain – and new business models to transform the way it serves vulnerable communities across the world. In 2021, Accelerator supported innovations that positively impacted the lives of 9 million people globally. Most recently, the Accelerator runs programs for external partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

More information here: http://innovation.wfp.org and https://youtu.be/OnKkQlRdh2c

General Information:

  • Job title: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Strategy and Portfolio Project Manager
  • Unit: Innovation Accelerator, Innovation and Knowledge Management Division (INKA)
  • Country: Germany
  • Duty Station: Munich
  • Initial contract duration: 5 months (extendable)
  • Expected Start Date: 01.03.2023

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

The incumbent, reporting to the Head of Innovative Finance, Frontier Innovations and Venture Launchpad, is expected to:

1. Drive the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) Strategy Development and Project Portfolio Management: Design the development and implementation of an AI/ML strategy at the WFP Innovation Accelerator and oversee the corresponding project portfolio management, addressing both internal WFP processes, as well as in the context of program delivery in emerging and developing countries:

  • Develop an AI/ML strategy and set focus areas and priorities to explore where AI can have an impact on humanitarian response and the food systems transformation;
  • Identify and drive the development of promising AI/ML-based solutions from idea to scaling through the core Accelerator program;
  • Define key performance indicators and milestones for AI projects and overall portfolio, and assure their implementation, impact measurement, and reporting;
  • Build collaborations around AI technology, create the methods for accessing potential partnerships, and work with AI Technical Solutions Consultants to ensure that new AI /ML solutions are developed, prototyped and iterated upon quickly.
  • Act as a project manager to champion specific AI/ML initiatives led by WFP:
    • This includes supporting Country Office AI/ML pilots related to emergency response, small-holder farmer support, supply chain management, and other areas;
    • Identifying and supporting opportunities to use AI/ML for internal efficiency and effectiveness;
    • Champion AI/ML piloting with and/or integration within WFP operations or within other organizations (as applicable), while liaising with internal units such as country offices, procurement and legal, as required.

2. Provide Technical Advisory & Thought Leadership Services: Advise WFP Country Offices on AI /ML initiatives, AI/ML project advisory and ecosystem trends:

  • Serve as a AI/ML expert & thought leader with deep insight into the AI/ML industry;
  • Provide sophisticated research and analysis on market and competitive trends to create deeply researched observations about the direction of AI/ML landscape;
  • Help WFP staff in HQ and in Country Offices understand the technology, determine how AI/ML can be used to create impact in the field, and develop an approach that delivers impact early on, in order to build the evidence base for further development;
  • Design and execute AI/ML knowledge sharing events, bringing together senior leaders and industry experts where WFP staff can learn what AI/ML technology is and—through relevant case studies—where it is useful. Work with workshop participants to identify opportunities and considerations relevant to their technical area (e.g. supply chain, cash-based transfers, small-holder farmers, etc.);
  • Help WFP staff evaluate different approaches to execution (e.g. building in-house, leveraging third-party solutions, or joining existing consortia), and identify and evaluate the most suitable implementation platform and architecture best suited to the chosen use case;
  • Work with key staff in HQ (e.g. Finance, Legal, Procurement) to help advise on policy and regulatory changes necessary to enable WFP to readily adopt AI/ML applications at scale;
  • Execute any other task as required.


3. Support the overall Innovation Accelerator operations:

  • Provide analysis & content preparation (data on projects, PowerPoint presentations, briefs, etc.) for corporate priority topics and management meetings;
  • Participate and carry out discussions with colleagues in other divisions or external stakeholders on topics related to innovation;
  • Support other core processes of the Innovation Accelerator (e.g. innovation sourcing; innovation bootcamps; sprint programme; thought leadership; scale-up enablement; innovation services; knowledge management) as required;
  • Support the Head of the Innovation Accelerator and the Director of Innovation and Knowledge Management with any other activities as required.

STANDARD MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Business, Economics, Marketing, Analytics, or other related quantitative discipline preferred. Master’s degree is a plus.

Experience: At least 5 years of progressively responsible international experience in technology strategy and portfolio management, product development, project, and partnership management. Experience with current AI/ML technologies and landscape required.

Languages: Fluency in oral and written English is mandatory. Intermediate knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) or Portuguese (one of WFP’s working languages) is considered advantageous.

REQUIRED SKILLS | WFP COMPETENCIES

  • Technical understanding of AI/ML applications and methodologies including computer vision, natural-language processing, chatbots, neural networks, etc.
  • Experience in innovation project life cycle – from ideation, minimum viable product, testing, prototyping and implementation.
  • Piloting and scaling of AI/ML solutions in WFP presence countries desired.
  • Demonstrated ability to translate clearly complex issues for a non- technical audience.
  • Demonstrated outstanding analytical and quantitative skills, and the ability to conduct independent research.
  • Experience working cross-functionally and getting things done in an agile and hands-on way.
  • Worked in a large-scale organization or with a client/in partnership with a large-scale organization.
  • Proven track record of driving and implementing projects – effectively delivering impactful elements of projects in a fast-moving environment, ideally for new businesses, new business models, start-ups etc.
  • Able to generate new and original solutions to complex problems and to design new product ideas.
  • Strong conceptual thinking to develop new strategies & innovative projects.
  • Able to interact with a broad range of stakeholders and external audience with maturity and tact.
  • Excellent communication/presentation skills, with the ability to write strategy documents, to develop business plans and to write and deliver presentations.
  • Collaborative spirit, able to partner with a wide range of people at all levels and across different cultures and to act with credibility and diplomacy.
  • Self-motivated and able to work with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Sets a high-level of ambition for the project and own work to achieve impact for the hungry people we serve.
  • Fully committed and motivated to achieve the aims of the UN World Food Programme.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

WFP offers a competitive compensation package which will be determined by the contract type and selected candidate’s qualifications and experience.

Please visit the following website for detailed information on working with WFP: http://www.wfp.org

Click on: “Our work” and “Countries” to learn more about WFP’s operations.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS

Closing Date: 16 January 2023

VA Reference number: 187593

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Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply. WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

WFP has a zero-tolerance approach to conduct such as fraud, sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to WFP’s standards of conduct and will therefore undergo rigorous background verification internally or through third parties. Selected candidates will also be required to provide additional information as part of the verification exercise. Misrepresentation of information provided during the recruitment process may lead to disqualification or termination of employment

WFP will not request payment at any stage of the recruitment process including at the offer stage. Any requests for payment should be refused and reported to local law enforcement authorities for appropriate action.

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