Consultancy: Demographer/Statistician for mortality estimation (UNICEF)

UNICEF Published: January 29, 2018
Job Type


Consultancy: Demographer/Statistician - Supporting UNICEF activities for mortality estimation - D&A, DRP - NYHQ, Requisition# 510537

Job Number: 510537 | Vacancy Link

Locations: Headquarters Locations: United States
Work Type : Consultancy
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.

Background & Rationale

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. Delivering and sustaining results for children requires action by both governments and the public at large. Child survival monitoring is one of the main activities for UNICEF as a response to the commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other international agreements. UNICEF monitors and assesses child mortality indicators at the global, regional and country level and to these efforts, the organization is engaging governments, civil society, international organizations, academic organizations and individuals working in this area. UNICEF and other members of the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) including WHO, the UN Population Division and The World Bank Group generate child mortality estimates every year for monitoring progress on child survival. The UN IGME and its Technical Advisory Group aim to work on improving the methodology to assess data quality and to estimate child mortality.  

In the context of the SDGs, more in-depth analyses of how different types of historic and contemporary crises (e.g., conflicts, famines, natural disasters and major types of epidemics) affect child mortality at national and subnational levels are required, especially in terms of the age and sex breakdown among newborns, infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Preparation and analyses to inform UN IGME’s work for countries having experienced or still experiencing mortality crises require additional staff time and resources. The compilation and synthesis of these reference materials will contribute to inform further analytical work on several additional SDG indicators related to disasters (13.1.1, tier II), and conflicts (16.1.2, tier III), with an emphasis on the burden of excess mortality affecting children and adolescents.


The main objective of this consultancy is to conduct a desk review of existing data sources, case studies and peer-review literature on major mortality crises, to compile a public use reference dataset on mortality by age and sex for each major types of mortality crisis, and to generate model patterns of age and sex distributions of excess deaths by type of mortality crises to be used in future revisions of UN IGME work on child and adolescent mortality. The consultancy will be conducted under the supervision of the Statistics and Monitoring specialist in the Data and Analytics Section, Division of Data, Research and Policy in consultation with other UN IGME partners working on such information (e.g., UN Population Division and WHO).

Expected results: (measurable results)

For each type of mortality crisis such as (1) conflicts (battle-deaths, insurgency and civil wars, mass killings and genocide, direct vs. indirect deaths), (2) famines, (3) natural disasters: earthquake, flood/tsunami/hurricane/cyclone/landslides, droughts, (4) major types of epidemics – excluding HIV/AIDS): 

  1. Expand and update (by type of mortality crisis and country/periods) existing collection of articles, case studies, grey literature, book chapters, etc. already accumulated by IGME partners, and complement/update literature review based on Google Scholar and reversed search of relevant citations;
  2. For each relevant data source, review and extract information about mortality by age and sex upon its availability (counts, rates, excess);
  3. In coordination with relevant IGME partner(s), analyze supplementary relevant public use datasets (HMD, and possibly LAMD, natural disasters, and additional data on epidemics from WHO mortality database and relevant retrospective mortality surveys for excess mortality during crisis period);
  4. Update and expand structured dataset with its associated metadata to produce a public use reference dataset for further research;
  5. Perform a meta-analysis of this information with the aim to generate model patterns of age and sex distributions of excess mortality by type of mortality crises.
  6. Explore different statistical modelling approaches to estimate patterns of age and sex distributions of excess mortality by type of mortality crises including uncertainty.
  7. Prepare a synthesis paper providing an overview of the key concepts, main relevant data sources, key findings of the meta-analysis about mortality by age and sex for each major types of mortality crisis, computation of model patterns of age and sex distributions of excess mortality by type of mortality crises, and a discussion of the strengths and limitations of this analysis, data and modelling.

Duty Station

The consultant(s) will be based in New York Headquarters.


Start date:  March 12, 2018                

End date: August 31, 2018




(Estimated # of Days)


Update and revise a comprehensive list of country/periods by type of mortality crisis, consolidated and updated organized repository of reference materials by type of mortality crisis and country/periods (task 1) with associated basic extracts of mortality information by age and sex for each relevant source of information (task 2)


March 30, 2018

Consolidated structured dataset of mortality by age and sex (counts, rates, excess) and associated metadata by type of mortality crisis and country/periods (tasks 3 and 4)


May 31, 2018

Complete a meta-analysis of mortality by age and sex for each major types of mortality crisis (task 5), estimate model patterns of age and sex distributions of excess mortality by type of mortality crises (task 6)


July 30, 2018

Prepare a synthesis paper summarizing the work accomplished and complete a draft report (task 7)


August 31, 2018




Key competences, technical background, and experience required Deadline

  • Advanced Degree in demography or equivalent in relevant sociology or public health related field.
  • Minimum 5 years of professional experience in the area of demographic and statistical analysis.
  • Professional experience in methods of demographic analysis and child mortality estimation.
  • Solid data analytical and research skills.
  • Advanced experience in statistical programming with R.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Ability to take initiatives and work independently.
  • Creativity and enthusiasm.
  • Ability to work well in a team environment.
  • Fluent in English.


Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable). Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.   

At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

Opening Date Mon Jan 29 2018 12:00:00 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time) Pacific Standard Time
Closing Date Tue Feb 13 2018 02:55:00 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time)

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