The positions are now open to applicants. Read about the 2019 Data Fellows Programme below and apply today. You can also learn more about the 2018 Class of Fellows.


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has a Centre for Humanitarian Data in The Hague, the Netherlands to help increase the use and impact of data in the humanitarian sector. The vision is to create a future where all people involved in a humanitarian emergency have access to the data they need, when and how they need it, to make responsible and informed decisions.

The Centre focuses on four areas: data services, data policy, data literacy, and network engagement. The Centre’s data services work includes direct management of the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) platform and the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL) data standard. The data literacy work focuses on improving the data skills of technical and non-technical humanitarians. For data policy, the Centre creates guidelines for the responsible use of data by OCHA staff and partners. Finally, the Centre works to further build and engage an active community in support of its mission and objectives through a number of events and communication activities.

Data Fellows Programme

The Centre will soon host its second class of Fellows in The Hague in June and July 2019. Through this programme, Fellows will come together to design and deliver targeted projects that contribute to the overall goals of the Centre. The 2019 Fellows will focus on four areas where the Centre is seeking new perspectives, insights and partnerships including: Business Strategy, Data Science (education data), Predictive Analytics, and Statistics (disability data). The Fellowship programme is residential, with Fellows living and working in The Hague under the direction of the Coordinator for the Data Fellows Programme.

Support for the second class of Fellows is being provided as part of the OCHA partnership with, inter alia, Education Above All Foundation that works to improve access to quality education for vulnerable and marginalized people in the developing world.


Business Strategy: The Centre receives support from a variety of partnerships through direct funding, partner secondments, and in-kind contributions. We would like to explore the feasibility of a variety of sustainable business models for how the Centre operates. In order to adopt a new model, the Centre would need to understand the potential market for the solution and clarify the value proposition to partners. The right candidate for this role has the skills and abilities that together comprise the appropriate level of expertise to develop new business models and to think strategically about the challenges the humanitarian sector faces in using data and whether and how the Centre can address those challenges.


Data Science (education): There are a number of initiatives in the humanitarian sector focused on improving access to and the quality of education in conflict environments. The Centre has partnered with the Education Above All Foundation to improve access to data on education in emergencies. This data will help to highlight how attacks against education during times of conflict and insecurity deprive children of their right to education. The Centre requires a Data Science Fellow to work with the HDX team and its with partners on data about education in emergencies, both in terms of the data being utilized and the potential application of analytical models.


Predictive Analytics: One area of emerging interest in the humanitarian sector is predictive analytics: asking “what will happen” in a particular humanitarian context and using machine learning and the application of statistical modeling to arrive at an answerThe Centre initiated its work in Predictive Analytics through the 2018 Data Fellows Programme, and has continued to invest in this area through sustained research into the development of models related to different aspects of humanitarian response. The right candidate has the skills and abilities that together comprise the right levels of expertise to develop and assess predictive models and think strategically about how to use data to create value and insight for humanitarian response.


Statistics (disability): Globally, an estimated one billion people have a disability, of which 800 million live in developing countries. In any crisis-affected community, persons with disabilities continue to be among the most marginalized: an estimated 9.7 million are forcibly displaced because of persecution, conflict, and human rights violations. Data that accurately describes the demographics of persons with disabilities is currently very scarce, especially in humanitarian contexts. The right candidate has the skills and abilities that together comprise the necessary levels of statistical expertise to develop methodologies and analytical frameworks to turn data into action and to think strategically about how to use data to create value for humanitarian response.



The Fellows will begin their work by designing a project based on a problem statement provided by the Centre. The Fellows will conduct desk and user research before developing at least one working prototype related to their focus area. The Fellows will be expected to communicate publicly about their work and produce a final report outlining the key insights and recommendations for taking the work forward. The Fellows will need to maintain active and clear communications with relevant members of the Centre and the Fellowship partner organization(s) throughout the programme.


We are seeking Fellows who are self-motivated and can thrive in an international, multidisciplinary environment. The right candidate has the specific skills required for the focus area and has an overriding passion for data and humanitarian response. He or she should be able to work to short deadlines and enjoy collaborating and working as part of a team. We welcome candidates that challenge assumptions and bring in new perspectives.

The Business Strategy Fellow requires an advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in social sciences, business, economics, international relations, social policy, development studies, or other relevant disciplines. Bachelor’s degree with 5 years of experience or Master’s degree with 3 years of experience is required.

The Data Science (education) Fellow should have an undergraduate degree in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, statistics or related field. At least one year of programming experience in Python, R and/or Javascript, and an understanding of statistical analysis are required.

The Predictive Analytics Fellow requires an advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, statistics or a related field. Bachelor’s degree with 5 years of experience or Master’s degree with 3 years of experience is required.

The Statistics (disability) Fellow requires an advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in statistics, mathematics, economics, sociology or related field. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


The fellowship will be for June and July 2019. Fellows will need to be available for the full term. Workspace and meeting rooms will be made available to the Fellows during this period at the Centre’s location in The Hague Humanity Hub. Fellows may also use the workspace before or after the fellowship period as needed and as agreed with a supervisor.



Fellows will receive a lump sum amount to cover travel and living expenses during the two-month term.


How to Apply

Applications for the fellowship are being processed through UNOPS, the Centre’s implementing partner. Please follow the instructions in the job posting links below. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a written test and interviews. Final selection for the Fellows will be made by the end of March 2019. 

Business Strategy 

Data Science (education) 

Predictive Analytics 

Statistics (disability) 

*Please note that the job posting refers to these role as consultants but the working title will be Fellows.



If you have questions about the Data Fellows Programme or the application process, send an email to