GBBC Member Careers

Lead Data Scientist, P4 - Rome, Italy

World Food Programme

World Food Programme

Data Science
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2023


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.

Are you an experienced Software Developer interested in further developing your professional experience while contributing to ending global hunger? Are you passionate about helping those in need? Would you like to join a global organisation investing in its people?

If so, an exciting & fulfilling career awaits you! Join our diverse and passionate team that works on varied and international projects directly contributing to saving & changing millions of lives around the globe.


Applications must be submitted by Sunday, 28 May 2023 (11:59 PM CET).


The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), a highly prestigious, reputable & world’s largest humanitarian organization, operating in more than 120 countries and territories, bringing life-saving assistance in emergencies, building pathways to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change and supporting sustainable and resilient livelihoods for a world with zero hunger.

At WFP, people are at the heart of everything we do and the vision of the future WFP workforce is one of diverse, committed, skilled, and high performing teams, selected on merit, operating in a healthy and inclusive work environment, living WFP's values (Integrity, Collaboration, Commitment, Humanity, and Inclusion) and working with partners to save and change the lives of those WFP serves.

To learn more about WFP, visit our website: UN World Food Programme (WFP) and follow us on social media to keep up with our latest news: YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.


  • WFP is a 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  • WFP offers a highly inclusive, diverse and multicultural working environment
  • WFP invests in the personal & professional development of its employees through a range of trainings, accreditation, coaching, mentorship and other programs as well as through internal mobility opportunities
  • A career path in WFP provides an exciting opportunity to work across various country, regional and global offices around the world, and with passionate colleagues who work tirelessly to ensure that effective humanitarian assistance reaches millions of people across the globe
  • We offer an attractive compensation package (please refer to the Terms and Conditions section)


The Hunger Monitoring Unit (HMU) in the Research Assessment and Monitoring (RAM) Division manages WFP’s global hunger monitoring activities, including HungerMapLIVE , WFP’s corporate real-time food security monitoring system. The HMU is responsible for the integration and holistic analysis of RAM’s information systems, including economic, conflict and climate related data as well as assessment information. This requires the development of automated, analytical pipelines and the continued institutionalization of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to continually improve hunger monitoring and predictive capacities.

The HMU also manages the mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) initiative which utilizes remote mobile data collection tools to monitor the food security situation of crisis affected populations. Core to this is the oversight of WFP’s near real-time or continuous food security monitoring systems which, in partnership with multi-stakeholder food security platforms, have been established in dozens of crisis-affected countries. Collecting data every day, 365 days a year, these systems require full automation, from data collected in call centres to data cleaning and analysis and finally results displayed in WFP’s HungerMapLIVE. These near real time systems provide daily estimates of the food security situation over the past 30 or 60 days. Currently, these near real-time monitoring systems are in place in more than 36 countries.

While expanding the real-time food security monitoring and the predictive analytics capacities, the focus of the Hunger Monitoring Unit has evolved towards automation and refining of the traditional analysis and visualization approaches as well as expansion to new technologies and streams including remote sensing and geospatial data, Call Detail Records (CDR), chatbots leveraging machine learning and probabilistic methods. The consolidation of these analysis pipelines requires the Hunger Monitoring Unit to invest time and resources in transitioning prototypes to production.

To support this effort and to manage the software development team, WFP seeks a Professional Staff with a proven track record of developing, managing and maintaining open-sourced technology, ready to lead software development projects in the team. This job is located in Rome- HQ and reports to the Head of the Hunger Monitoring Unit (RAMAH).

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES (not all-inclusive)

  • Lead the definition and implementation of the whole system landscape in the Hunger Monitoring Unit, by setting project priorities and defining workplans.

  • Supervise and guide the activities of all Software Engineers in the team and oversee the onboarding of new software engineers into the team.

  • Set technical direction and drive implementation for data integration initiatives and particularly support the automation of the Hunger Monitoring Unit’s activities, including near real-time data ingestion, processing, dashboards, bulletins and visualizations.

  • Deploy and maintain open-source software products.

  • Oversee the maintenance and evolution of the Hunger MapLIVE. Expand the scope of the Hunger MapLIVE to ingest and display other programmatically relevant information such as data on Nutrition, Gender and programme monitoring.

  • Lead the harmonization of tools and development patterns, including code maintenance in version control, system management through automation, and deployment strategies.
  • Undertake field missions for country support and facilitate trainings targeting WFP staff and partners.

  • Liaise with RAM’s Information Officer and WFP’s IT department to ensure compliance with WFP policies.

  • Advise and provide training on software development practices as needed.

  • Contribute to developing guidance and training materials for tools in the humanitarian open-source community.

  • Other accountabilities, as required.



You have:

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics or similar. Master’s degree preferred.


You have:

  • At least 8 years of relevant progressively responsible experience in IT related fields, more specifically software engineering and architecture.


You have:

Fluency (level C) in the English language. Intermediate knowledge (level B) of a second official UN language: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, and/or Portuguese (a WFP working language).


  • Theoretical understanding of algorithms, data structures and computational complexity and how to design systems to apply them to system design and development.

  • Technical knowledge in / high proficiency with Python and proficiency in at least one other high level programming language (Java preferred) is required.

  • Experience with the front-end stack required (HTML5, CSS / SASS, JavaScript ES6+).

  • Experience designing and maintaining databases (SQL required, noSQL a plus).

  • Experience with git version control.

  • Experience with deployment strategies, Docker, continuous integration, Unit Testing required.

  • Experience with AWS Cloud.

  • Experience making dashboards (e.g., Tableau).

  • Exposure to remote sensing data.


These are the common standards of behaviour that guide HOW we work together to accomplish our mission.

Leads by Example with Integrity Drives Results and Delivers on Commitments Fosters Inclusive and Collaborative Teamwork Applies Strategic Thinking Builds and Maintains Sustainable Partnerships

Lives the WFP values and shows humanity and integrity by role modelling care for others

Delivers on commitments and adapts readily to change

Is inclusive and collaborative, and contributes to a culture of learning and personal growth

Demonstrates commitment to gather perspectives, analyse options and risks, and propose new ways of doing things

Builds and nurtures external partnerships and collaborates with partners to deliver common objectives

Different expectations of behaviour are defined depending on your grade and role/responsibilities within WFP.


  • We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, language skills and UN Grade (if applicable)
  • Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
  • Please make sure you upload your professional CV in the English language
  • Kindly note the only documents you will need to submit at this time are your CV and Cover Letter
  • Additional documents such as passport, recommendation letters, academic certificates, etc. may potentially be requested at a future time
  • Please contact us at in case you face any challenges with submitting your application
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be notified


Mobility is and continues to be a core contractual requirement in WFP. This position is however classified as “non-rotational” which means the incumbent shall not be subject to the regular reassignment process unless the position is reclassified as rotational. The selected candidate will be employed on a fixed-term contract with a probationary period of one year. This position is open to both internal and external candidates.

WFP offers an attractive compensation and benefits package in line with ICSC standards ( including basic salary, post adjustment, relocation entitlement, visa, travel and shipment allowances, 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, a pension plan, and medical insurance.

The selected candidate will be required to relocate to Rome, Italy to take up this assignment.


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.