Project Consultant

OVERVIEW

Parent Sector : Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS)

Duty Station: The Project Consultant may work remotely, travelling to UNESCO and agreed locations when their presence is required by the project.

Job Family: Social and Human Sciences

Type of contract : Non Staff

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 16-APR-2024

 

 

 

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism

 

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

This Project aims for UNESCO to provide support to the Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure, and to the members of the Dutch and European Working Groups of Competent Authorities on AI, to enhance their competencies and capacity to supervise AI in compliance with the forthcoming AI Act and other relevant legislation and international standards, such as UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of AI.

While there is a general agreement on the need to govern artificial intelligence (AI), the global governance landscape for AI technologies is highly complex and rapidly transforming, with new developments and releases of AI systems giving rise to challenges on a regular basis. The fast proliferation of generative AI models such as ChatGPT, Midjourney and DALL·E 2 has underscored the urgency for European Union (EU) Member States to ensure effective supervision of the AI industry in compliance with the forthcoming AI Act, existing sectorial legislation (e.g. Medical Devices Regulation – MDR, the Radio Equipment Directive – RED, and Machinery Products Regulation - MPR, etc) and other international instruments, most notably the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Recommendation on the Ethics of AI.
 
Regulators globally are working to acquire the necessary capabilities to confront these challenges, and EU Competent Authorities seek to enhance their capacities to govern AI technologies through the EU’s forthcoming AI Act. When entering into force, the AI Act will put specific frameworks and mechanisms in place to ensure that AI systems are safe and respect existing laws, fundamental rights, and European values. Among those mechanisms are requirements pertaining to accountability, transparency, human oversight, and data quality. The array of mechanisms involved, and the multiple cross-checking points, will require competent authorities to build up a unique set of skills and capacities, to utilize different assessment tools and develop frameworks for ensuring that the requirements of the forthcoming AI Act will be implemented in a cohesive manner. 

As part of its commitment to enhancing the capabilities to govern the rapidly evolving AI domain, the Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure has initiated and currently chairs both the national and European working group of Competent Authorities on AI. Both these collectives seek to address the complex and varied challenges associated with overseeing AI technologies.

The primary goal of this project is to enhance the capacity of the Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure and the larger collective of Competent Authorities on AI to define and implement strategies that effectively regulate and enforce AI in alignment with the forthcoming AI Act, and other relevant legislations and international standards. Key to this endeavour are two primary areas of focus: (i) the development of requisite skills, and (ii) the optimization of collaborative efforts to leverage resources and knowledge. 

The Project Consultant will work under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences Sector (ADG/SHS), and the Chief of Bioethics and Ethics of Science and Technology Section in the headquarters of UNESCO and the direct supervision of the Project Coordinator.
 

 

SCOPE OF WORK

 

The aim of this Project Consultant role is to lead the development of training outputs and knowledge transfer activities of the project. More specifically, the Project Consultant will be responsible for contributing to the delivery of the following outputs:

 

a. Design and develop training modules for public authorities within the scope of the project that are in line with the material provided by the Project Coordinator and the stakeholders' feedback.

Activities include: 

  1. Benchmarking different training programs on AI for public authorities to identify key trends gaps, and gather best practices for the dissemination of training material, compile results in written report.
  2. Based on these results, and in consultation with the Project Coordinator, design and execute a strategy for disseminating training material and best practices report and documentation to the members of the Dutch and EU Working Groups of Competent Authorities on AI.
  3. Conduct training sessions in person and online in an interactive and effective manner.
  4. Design and carry out a pre and post-assessment survey following the training sessions.
  5. Assisting the Project Coordinator in developing an initial workshop for public administrations to be held in May 2024. 

b. Develop relevant material to train public authorities in the context of the project. 

Activities include: 

  1. Developing documentation and learning material such as guidelines, presentations, case study, scenarios as determined in consultation with the Project Coordinator and other stakeholders. Some of the material needs to be written in the Dutch language.  
  2. Documenting learnings and knowledge from the project to enable knowledge transfer to any public authorities.

 

c. Assist the Project Coordinator and the secretariat on AI ethics with other related tasks.

Activities include: 

  1. Participating in project meetings and participating in consultation with stakeholders (such as interviews and focus groups).
  2. Assisting in writing and reviewing documents for the project.
  3. Writing blogs and other media content to enhance the visibility of the project in English and Dutch.
  4. Supporting the Secretariat with preparing different materials such as speeches.

The duration of the contract is 16 months with a break of 1 month in month 12.

Deliverables and timeframe:

  • A monthly report updating the activities conducted during that month and the progress of the different aspects of the mandate.
  • May 2024: Delivering activity (a.5). 
  • July 2024: Delivering the report for activity (a.1). 
  • August 2024: Delivering a strategy for activity (a.2).
  • The frequency, modalities, and timeline of training sessions, in accordance with activity (a.3), will be determined jointly by the secretariat and the broader project team.
  • October 2024: Delivering the surveys indicated in activity (a.4).
  • Presentations and training materials to support the ongoing work of the Dutch and European working groups of Competent Authorities (b.1 and b.2), exact deadlines to be determined together with the secretariat and the broader project team.
  • At least 5 blogposts (1000 words) on the topics covered by the different training modules and material, exact deadlines, and topics to be determined together with the Project Coordinator.
  • A final comprehensive report on the consultant's training activities, the development of the training material, and its dissemination 15 days before the end of the contract.


 


 

 

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

 

Education

  • Advanced university degree (PhD preferred, Master’s or equivalent required) in governance of artificial intelligence, ethical and social implications of artificial intelligence or digital technologies, law and technology, computer science, data science, computational social science, or other related fields. 

 

Work experience

  • A minimum of five years of professional experience on the ethical, legal, social, and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies at the national and/or international levels.
  • Proven experience in producing research and policy-oriented reports, preferably on topics related to AI.
  • Proven experience conducting training, ideally for public authorities or non-governmental organizations, on topics related to AI or technology.

Skills/Competencies

  • Very good understanding of the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies.
  • Strong public speaking skills.
  • Excellent knowledge about the dynamics of governance of AI, including policies, legislative and regulatory frameworks, institutional mechanisms, organizational structures and processes.
  • Very good understanding on supervision and enforcement mechanisms at national/international level.
  • Familiarity with the AI Act and/or UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of AI.
  • Familiarity with The Netherlands AI landscape governance dynamics.
  • Proven ability to work on multiple interrelated outputs.
  • Proven ability to draft clearly and concisely and to produce high-quality policy-oriented analysis and synthesis documents.
  • Proven ability to design and conduct trainings for policy professionals, preferably on topics related to AI.

 

Languages

  • Excellent knowledge of English and Dutch.

APPLICATION

Interested candidates should click on “Apply Now”, then download and complete the Employment History form (Word file). At the end of the Word file, insert extra pages with the following required information:

  • A one-page statement laying out how their qualifications and experience make them suitable for the assignment, and explaining how they would approach the work;
  • The salary expectations for the assignment, which should be quoted in US dollars on a monthly basis for a 16-month period (full-time working).

Upon completing the Word file with all the requested information above, upload the file at the “My Employment History Form / My Documents” section of the online application form. Only applications with the above requested information will be considered.

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UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.