Consultant: Small Area Estimation (SAE) Modeling Tool Development

Contract Type: Consultancy
Closing date: 17 April 2021 - 5:00pm(New York time)
Duty station: New York, USA - Remote work

The Position:

To achieve sustainable development, policies and investments need to be based on reliable and geographically disaggregated data. However, for many important indicators, such data are not available at high resolution. Small area estimation (SAE) methods offer a means of estimating indicators when critical data are not available at district or municipality level. Over the past decades, various SAE methods have increasingly been developed to address the issue of data desegregation at local level. The diversity of methods depends both on the mix of data used (e.g. Survey Data alone, Survey Data and Census Data, Survey Data and Geospatial Covariates) and on the type of statistical models used (e.g. frequentist approach, Bayesian approach, GLM, GLMM).

Over the past years, UNFPA, as the UN agency leader on the Census Data on one side, and as championing on the agenda of “Leaving No One Behind (LNOB) which requests the desegregation of Data at local level on another side, has developed a SAE method combining census and survey Data. Starting from the family planning related indicators and based on logistic regression models, the approach can potentially be applied to other indicators and models specification.

Otherwise, it should be acknowledged that up to now, SAE is still a method that can be implemented only by experts. To overcome this limitation, the objective of this consultancy is to develop an automated SAE modelling tool related to a non-commercial statistical software. A strong requirement of this tool is that it should be user friendly (e.g. ready to click tool box). Another key feature is that the tool should be based on combining survey and census data, and give the possibility to use various statistical model specifications, going beyond the initial UNFPA SAE modelling. In summary, the tool is expected be developed to facilitate an automatic analysis process for users to build SAE models, and also to select and compare different SAE models. To develop the tool, datasets from UNFPA’s existing SAE case studies, will be provided and applied, however, it will allow users to upload their own data in the tool.

How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.  UNFPA’s new strategic plan (2018-2021), focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction. UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Job Purpose:

The Consultant will report to the Chief, PDB and work under the guidance of the UNFPA SAE team. The Consultant shall have the following responsibilities:

  • Develop an overall work plan for the project;
  • Explore existing SAE tools, their strengths and weaknesses;
  • Review and take notice of UNFPA SAE method and related documents;
  • Propose a conceptual framework for the tool including the tool design;
  • Develop the beta version of the tool;
  • Share the beta version among the UNFPA network and academics to collect feedback;
  • Take into account the feedbacks and develop the final version of the automatic SAE tool;
  • Support the UNFPA SAE team on the development of a SAE webpage.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • Master degree level in statistics, applied mathematics, computer science or related disciplines.
  • At least 5  years’ experience in statistical modelling apps/tools developing, including:
  • Statistical modelling: Expertise in statistical approaches, e.g. general linear mixed model, regression model, hierarchical linear model, Bayesian model, etc.;
  • Statistical analysis
  • Master statistical software, e.g. R, SPSS, STATA, SAS, Python, etc.;
  • Development of tools/apps/macro within statistical software
  • Experience of working with population and health data, e.g. census, DHS, MICS, and other survey data;
  • Experience of developing SAE methodology is preferable;
  • Skills of web designing and development is desirable;
  • Fluency in English, working knowledge of other official UN languages, preferably French or Spanish, is desirable.



Compensation and Duration   
  This position offers attractive remuneration package.  Note that the consultant will work remotely for 100 days (May-December)"



UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Fraudulent notices, letters or offers may be submitted to the UNFPA fraud hotline

UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, Embracing diversity in all its forms, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life. We are committed to maintaining our balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply. UNFPA promotes equal opportunities for all including persons with disabilities.

How to Apply

Please send a motivational cover letter and CV/Resume to with “Consultant:  SAE Modeling Tool Development” in the subject by 17 April 2021.  Due to the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


UNFPA Headquarters New York

We use cookies and other identifiers to help improve your online experience. By using our website you agree to this. To learn more, including how to change your settings, see our cookies policy.