Team Lead – Information Systems Associate

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    Helsinki, Finland
    UTC +3

    Organisational Unit: UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

    About the United Nations University (UNU)

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

    UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

    UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. The Institute began operations in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services from policy advice to governments, as well as original research that is “open access”. More information on UNU-WIDER’s current work programme is available at

    UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to take the lead of the Information Services Team of the Institute and has backstopping and quality assurance skills on all IT-related activities.


    Under the overall supervision of UNU-WIDER´s Chief, Administrative & Programme Services and in close coordination with the United Nations University Campus Computing Centre (C3), the Team Lead – Information Systems Associate will provide essential backstopping and quality assurance on all IT-related activities at UNU-WIDER including the following:

    1. Information Systems Management (60%)
    • Coordinate with C3 at UNU Headquarters to ensure smooth operation of UNU-WIDER computing infrastructures; ensure new IT initiatives will not result in duplication of effort
    • In collaboration with C3, promote local initiatives relevant to the global UNU community
    • Proactively alert management to issues related to IT systems security including LAMP and Windows server maintenance, data integrity, and recovery; take action where necessary
    • Act as IT focal point for projects dealing with the planning, specification, design, development, implementation, and maintenance of simple computer application systems
    • Take the lead in the development, programming, testing, debugging, and implementation of new computer application systems releases, modules, and functionalities; conduct version management; perform complex troubleshooting for various applications; ensure appropriate data security and access controls, considering both local and wide area networks.
    • Develop, implement, and maintain, in consultation with C3, a modern disaster recovery plan that allows for the timely recovery of critical data and applications in the event of data loss; provide expert support on security and data backup and recovery.
    • Install and provide oversight in computer application systems software and hardware according to specifications; establish applications systems using appropriate monitoring tools and produce monitoring reports; perform research into new versions of centrally supported software; improve data efficiency through reduction of manual data input in local systems as well as global systems that are relevant to the UNU-WIDER.
    • Identify user computer application system needs; work closely with Knowledge Management to carry out business process and document workflow analysis, organisation and maintenance of document repositories.
    • Provide technical input in the development, maintenance, and updating of internal databases and repositories; identify classification schema, retention, and archival procedures.
    • Maintain technical and user documentation for relevant computer application systems, products, and operations; manage and administer changes to technical documentation in accordance with prevailing change management and operation procedures.
    • Participate in planning and preparation of the budget, work programme, and spending plan.
    • Manage and review communications systems: e.g., video conferencing, telephony, etc.; where necessary, act as local focal point for these services.
    • Coordinate budgeting and planning with C3.
    • Where necessary, assist C3 in troubleshooting or addressing interoperability issues.
    • Monitor and apply security patches on web servers
    • Perform other duties as required.
    1. Service Coordination (40%)
    • Distribute Help Desk work assignments to IT team members through the UNU automated tracking system; monitor steps taken to resolve problems, problems encountered, current status, task completion, etc.; perform quality assurance reviews.
    • Develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identify priorities and adjust these as necessary; foresee risks and allow for contingencies when planning; proactively keep stakeholders informed of progress or setbacks in delivery.
    • Oversee Help Desk administration of Windows user accounts and mailboxes.
    • Act as problem escalation point for technical staff at lower levels.
    • Provide guidance and training to new/junior and contract staff.
    • Provide advice to clients regarding IT standards and workflow processes.
    • Initiate client satisfaction surveys; formulate and guide IT team in the implementation of IT best practices and standard procedures.
    • Oversee the release of equipment in accordance with procurement asset management workflows; recommend acquisition of hardware, software, devices, tools, etc. to facilitate work.
    • Keep abreast of developments in technology in the UN and in the industry in general; recommend training opportunities for IT team members.
    • Perform other duties as required.

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • bachelor’s degree in computer science or egineering, or equivalent, with at least five (5) years relevant professional experience; master’s degree in computer science or engineering, or equivalent, is an advantage
    • knowledge of organisational information infrastructure, including hardware, software, and application systems (Office 365, Windows servers, web servers and VMware virtualisation tools); familiarity with scripting and/or programming languages (bash/powershell/php/python, etc.)
    • knowledge of systems development particularly in systems analysis, database design, workflow, and document flow processes; strong problem-solving, conceptual, and strategic analytical capacity to understand information systems as relates to business operational issues; experience developing CiviCRM a distinct advantage
    • understanding of and familiarity with networking basics
    • proven project management and team lead skills in the timely delivery of a range of IT products or services; ability to effectively manage multiple tasks and priorities without compromising quality, team spirit, and positive working relationships with all colleagues; quick to understand team dynamics and how to establish and maintain high performance levels
    • strong client-services orientation and effective two-way communicator to IT and non-IT specialist audiences; a proactive listener with an ability to identify IT needs of the institution and different operational units and match them to appropriate solutions
    • knowledge of the UN system is an advantage; previous experience of working in international organisation would be an asset
    • ability to work under pressure and against with minimal supervision and with a high level of resilience
    • fluency in both oral and written English; knowledge of other official UN languages would be an asset
    • excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


    We offer a competitive net salary (tax-exempted in Finland) at GS-7 level on the UN Finland salary scale, plus the standard United Nations entitlements/benefits for General Service category position in the United Nations common system (

    The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

    Duration of contract

    This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for a period of one (1) year, with the possibility of renewal on a fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance. The mandatory age of retirement for newly recruited United Nations staff is 65 years.

    This is a locally recruited post and is limited to persons residing in Finland; no relocation expenses or allowances apply.

    Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.




  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by email to, and must attach the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • an up-to-date CV.
    • a copy of highest educational degree obtained

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    The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs (Charter of the United Nations: Chapter 3, Article 8).

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