Polaris is leading a data-driven social justice movement to fight sex and labor trafficking at the massive scale of the problem – 25 million people worldwide deprived of the freedom to choose how they live and work.
For more than a decade, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, helped ensure countless traffickers were held accountable and built the largest known U.S. data set on actual trafficking experiences. With the guidance of survivors, we use that data to improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how communities, businesses and governments can prevent human trafficking by transforming the underlying inequities and oppressions that make it possible.
About the Opportunity
We are seeking consultant(s) with data science expertise to contribute to to Polaris’s efforts to collect and share data about human trafficking. The Data Science Consultant(s) will serve as a subject matter expert on data science, statistics, artificial intelligence and/or textual analytics and will work closely with internal partners to create systems and tools to process and analyze data efficiently and effectively.
The Data Science Consultant(s) will contribute to a number of projects that utilize a wide set of statistical, programming and/or engineering disciplines for planning, design, analysis, and specification development for systems and databases to support Polaris’s efforts to collect and share data about human trafficking. Some of the potential projects that the consultant(s) will participate in are:
- Improve the speed, quality, and depth of our data creation such as by creating models for categorization of Trafficking Hotline textual data by applying data science/AI approaches.
- Develop data analysis tools and dashboards to generate new insights from existing quantitative and qualitative data sets
This position does not authorize/require the consultant to have decision making authority on the final work product.
The Data Science Consultant(s) must have background and experience in statistical and data analysis disciplines and have a proven aptitude at using natural language processing, machine learning, and other data related technologies. Consultant(s) with expertise in the manipulation of unstructured data in a data analytics environment, the use of open-source tools, cloud computing, and AI governance are preferred. Consultants will be expected to have the ability to use/code in a language applicable to the project, including Python and R, and advanced knowledge of machine learning and textual analytics.
Data Collection, Processing and Analysis Systems
- Under the guidance of the Data Systems Manager and in collaboration with Polaris’s Technology team, leverage best practices in data science and data engineering to improve efficiency and quality of data collection and processing workflows by integrating data science tools and AI;
- In collaboration with social science researchers on the LIDS team, use statistical and predictive modeling approaches, computational text analytics, and machine learning to analyze a variety of data including those from the National Human Trafficking Hotline;
- Provide consultation and support in thinking about data use, storage, interpretation, etc. from the perspective of victim centeredness and promoting justice.
Project Management and Leadership
- Participate in the implementation of LIDS vision and strategy;
- Apply best practices in project management to projects;
- Contribute to building internal data science expertise to understand Polaris’s needs and undertake more complex data science-enabled projects;
- Commitment to the National Human Trafficking Hotline mission and Polaris values;
- Other duties as assigned by the project manager.
- Bachelor’s degree in a quantitative or analytical field such as Data Science, Statistics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Economics, Engineering, Physics, or Computational Social Science;
- Minimum four (4) years of relevant work experience in data science field, including experience performing research in Data Analytics with demonstrated ability to synthesize large volumes of material;
- Experience working with tools such as R, Python, SPSS or SAS.
- Experience or knowledge creating data visualizations for external audiences;
- Highly developed written and verbal communication skills with a strong focus on being able to explain complex technical information to a non-technical audience;
- Strong project management skills with the ability to juggle competing priorities;
- Emotional maturity and demonstrated discretion in handling sensitive and confidential information and;
- Ability to meet tight deadlines and deliver results quickly.
- Knowledge of data ethics, confidentiality, and privacy matters related to collection, analysis, and sharing of data pertaining to vulnerable populations’;
- Experience working with a hybrid team of analyst, engineers, and developers to conduct research, and build and deploy complex, but easy-to-use analytical platforms;
- Familiarity with statistical de-identification techniques for sensitive datasets;
- Extensive knowledge of human trafficking data collection methodology, standards, and sharing considerations;
- Candidates having lived experience with human trafficking strongly preferred.
This opportunity/ies requires approximately 40 – 200 days Level of Effort (LOE), from May 2022 through April 2023; the exact level of effort will be determined in consultation with the potential consultant(s) and their availability to take on specific projects. The period of performance may be extended, depending on the need. The consultant(s) can work remotely from his/her location. If conditions allow, occasional short-term travel may be required to Polaris’s office Washington DC.
All offers of employment are contingent upon clear results of a thorough background check. Background checks will be conducted on all final candidates.
This opportunity pays a rate of $80 – 100/hour based on experience and expertise.
Please submit a resume, cover letter that includes an hourly rate, and an example analytical written product including data analysis to LIDS@polarisproject.org.
The work of Polaris is grounded in a set of values and organizational beliefs that provide a common starting point for all of our activities. At Polaris, we look for talented individuals who are passionate about combating all forms of human trafficking and who will strive to embody and model these values within the Polaris community and in the anti-trafficking field. Please take a moment to make yourself familiar with these values and our mission statement before submitting your application. You can find a full description of our values here.
Polaris designs and implements data-driven strategies to prevent and disrupt human trafficking, and restore freedom to survivors. Achieving this ambitious goal requires both trafficking-specific systemic interventions and broader cultural and structural shifts that reduce the inequities that lead to human trafficking. While Polaris alone cannot build a more diverse, just, equitable, and inclusive society, both the success of our work and our organizational values require modeling in the workplace the change we want to see in the world.
This means cultivating a workforce, organizational culture, and priorities that respect and celebrate a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team made up of individuals with different identities, lived experiences, and backgrounds. Within both our team and across every part of our work, we strive to integrate and elevate the full range of survivor voices.
This is a living commitment. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are values to be manifested daily, in the work we do, the decisions we make, and the way that we treat each other and the people we seek to serve. This means creating space where staff can be included, heard, valued, and set up for success, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, best selves to work. We will not check boxes and consider it done. We will push new innovations and different ways of thinking, and treasure the community built and strengthened by each of our contributions.