Senior Technical Advisor, Data Science - Washington, DC
Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact - the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.
For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved - and is committed to continuing to improve - economies, societies and most importantly, people's lives.
Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.
Project Overview and Role
The Senior Technical Advisor, Data Science will lead the advancement of the Palladium DIAS Practice in data science and analytics helping to serve as a bridge between health and development sector technical specialists and M&E, research, and ICT teams to provide strategic leadership, business development, and technical project management for new initiatives and hands on engagement within the current and future portfolios of work. This position will map and develop frameworks to measure outcomes and value for money by creating and managing large data sets comprised of individual-level and aggregated data from multiple data sources. Successful candidates will have proven track record in harnessing and working with data generated through Global Goods such as DHIS2, OpenMRS, OpenLMIS, and others alongside platforms in use by government and donor supported initiatives. Experience with R, Python, Apache Hadoop and Spark, and SQL and the ability to manipulate and harness unstructured data (including satellite imagery, photos, video, etc.) in the global health and/or international development sectors required.
The Palladium DIAS practice vision is to improve health and other development investments and outcomes by strengthening information and governance systems and local capacity and ownership to use quality data in real time for positive impact. To do this, DIAS takes a systems approach that combines its expertise in M&E and research; effective data use; information and communication technology (ICT); and data governance to help governments and development partners throughout the world to design, implement, and evaluate service delivery and performance monitoring systems at all levels of the health, education, and agriculture systems.
Leadership and Strategic Growth (50%):
- Lead the integration of data science and enhanced analytical approaches to create and leverage complex data sets in all DIAS health and other development sector programs with a focus on delivery of outcomes and value for money;
- Oversee the development and implementation of robust data analytics capabilities within DIAS programs across a broad range of health and other development sector projects, including activities such as data assessments, requirement analysis, software development, data analytics, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, and strategic informatics;
- Develop and implement a strategic growth plan in data science and analytics, including real and near-real-time data capture and use, data visualization and information system improvement for projects across a wide array of programmatic and thematic areas and link- where appropriate- to financial data to measure value for money;
- Communicate and deliver data science and analytics services to the Americas business unit practices and across other Palladium business units globally- including in the Europe and Middle East Region through Palladium UK and Asia Pacific through Palladium Australia;
- Manage existing relationships and cultivate new partnerships with clients, global communities of practice and technical working groups in data science and analytics;
- Lead exploration for appropriate application of new data frameworks, integration, and approaches that can accommodate and leverage emerging innovations in blockchain and insurance, biometrics, GIS, machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, big data analytics, and gamification;
- Identify, assess and pursue new business opportunities and integrate data science and analytics into proposals and project plans in line with the DIAS practice strategic approach;
- Represent DIAS at technical conferences and events.
- Strategic Technical Support (50%):
- For assigned portfolio of projects, provide hands on analytical support, interface with external clients and internal technical, M&E, and lCT team members, local partners and software developers, and other project stakeholders to plan, implement, review and report on projects as needed and requested;
- Integrate innovative data frameworks and analytical solutions to leverage data from service delivery, data collection, management, visualization and analysis initiatives;
- Provide strategic support in the application of the Principles for Digital Development in the development, adoption, integration, and effective use of data science and analytics related to Global Goods and other open source software platforms used in Palladium projects and initiatives, including DHIS2, OpenMRS/Bahnmi, OpenIMIS, OpenLMIS, and community case management systems as they are applied to health and other sector initiatives;
- Lead the preparation of key documents and products reporting on practice workstream, successes and accomplishments;
- Work with the DIAS Practice senior and junior staff to promote and build Palladium's technical capability internally and externally in data science and analytics.
- Advise and support a diverse team of M&E and research experts, digital solution developers, project managers, business analysts, system architects, software developers and analysts.
- Support Project Directors in their role to ensure quality technical program implementation and project management.
- Relevant degree or higher in data science, data analytics, mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, software development, or relevant field;
- Relevant experience managing and implementing data science within digital solutions development and implementation, including predictive analytics, supervised and unsupervised machine learning and artificial intelligence, time series, natural language processing, outlier detection, computer vision, and business intelligence with experience across social development sectors including health, agriculture, education, and/or economic growth desirable.
- Experience with programming and other platforms used for small and big data analysis and data visualization including SPSS, SAS, and STATA; Python (along with Java, Perl or C/C++) and R; d3.js, ggplot2, Matplotlib, and Tableau; Apache Hadoop and Spark (along with cloud tools such as Amazon S3); and experience with SQL and NoSQL databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Druid and MongoDB and experience working with unstructured data, including images, videos, etc. and experience working in GitLab CI/CD environments.
- Experience working in international development projects with proven experience working with USAID and/or CDC projects. Private sector and other donor experience, including DfID and DFAT desirable.
- Demonstrated experience developing and implementing a plan for strategic growth.
- Documented experience managing a diverse portfolio or work and technical staff and ability to work in a dynamic and agile environment with changing requirements and priorities.
- Ability to travel up to 25%.
Key competencies and professional expertise required:
- Strong strategic thinking, leadership, and people skills with ability to engage a broad range of stakeholders in developing appropriate data science and analytical approaches to solve problems;
- High intellectual curiosity and ability to stay up-to-date on latest data science and analytics approaches and software;
- Strong skills in digital solutions with applied knowledge of Principles for Digital Development and Global Goods;
- Strong business development and client relationship management skills and sound problem solving and decision-making skills;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; ability to effectively write technical documents; lead meetings and deliver presentations and training.