GIS Specialist_ Hargeisa


REACH was born in 2010 as a joint initiative of two INGOs (IMPACT Initiatives and ACTED). The purpose of the initiative is to promote and facilitate the development of information products that enhance the humanitarian community’s decision making and planning capacity for emergency, reconstruction and development contexts, supporting and working within the framework of the humanitarian reform process. The initiative facilitates information management for aid actors through three complementary services: (a) need and situation assessments facilitated by ACTED REACH Department teams; (b) situation analysis using satellite imagery; (c) provision of related database and (web)-mapping facilities and expertise.

Context / Country

ACTED through REACH initiative has been operational in Somaliland since 2012, providing information management support to humanitarian actors in a complex environment through assessment capacity, Geographic Information System (GIS) services and support to partners’ IM practices.

ACTED is looking to expand information support to the humanitarian response in several key areas, including IDP settlement profiling and monitoring, multi-sectoral needs assessments, durable solutions and improved remote data collection. Key strategic aims are to increase geographic and sectoral coverage and to enhance advocacy capacity through strengthened data collection and information targeting.


Under the line management of the GIS Specialist and the supervision of the Intersectoral Research Manager, the Data/GIS Specialist will be responsible for the design of data processes (including GIS data), the management of large sets of data, and primarily supporting of the team with data-related tasks, including cleaning, analysis, reporting, and automating recurring tasks. He/she will also be asked to support on designing data collection tools that include a GIS component, ensuring (spatial) data quality, geo-spatial analysis, drafting of maps, and (as relevant) production of web maps and information management systems. Detailed requirements below.

He/she will also be asked to provide technical inputs in all stages of the research cycle. He/she ensures an efficient and transparent use of resources required for project implementation.


GIS ACTIVITIES · Preparation, conception and production of maps

o Identify map information needs;

o Identify and access map information sources;

o Ensure accurate linkages between spatial databases and assessment data,

o Ensures that the produced maps meet the requirements of REACH/ACTED and concerned partners.

· Supervision and monitoring of mapping related data collection

o Conceptualize methodologies for collecting data in the field, as according to need;

o Organize and supervise GIS field missions;

o Monitor accuracy of data collected.

o Cross check data collected in the field, ensure regular updates and solve eventual discrepancies;

· GIS product conceptualizing

o Implementation GIS components in approved projects and developing map templates;

o Contribute to the strategic and programmatic development of the country team

· GIS Staff Management

o Supervising the activities of subordinate GIS/DB staff, including GIS officers, assistants and interns;

o Development of capacity building and training plans for subordinate staff

o Conducting appraisals and HR activities for GIS/DB staff

o Integrating workplans of the GIS/DB team with the overall mission workplans; ensuring follow up for completion of tasks by the whole GIS/DB team

· GIS capacity training

o Develop internal training for assessment, and where relevant ACTED staff on data management, GIS and mapping

DATABASE/DATA MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES The REACH/ACTED GIS Specialist will manage the maintenance of database(s) for the consolidation of all assessment-related and GIS data in country. He/she will ensure the capitalization of tools and procedures related to mapping and databases. Furthermore, he/she will support the assessment team in the collection and management of spatial datasets, verification and update of the collected data. He/she will monitor the accuracy of collected data.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT The GIS Specialist for reach initiatives will contribute towards the identification and implementation of effective and adapted technical solutions and partnerships. The GIS Specialist will provide technical backstopping of database to GIS/DB team and provide capacity-building to GIS/DB team related to database maintenance and advanced GIS techniques. He/she will also support the collection of spatial datasets and integration with the activities of ACTED REACH initiatives. The GIS/Data specialist will also contribute to drafting and implementation of a high level GIS and Data management strategy.

RESEARCH DESIGN In collaboration with the in-country assessment team, and under the supervision of the GIS Specialist, the Data/GIS Specialist will be responsible for providing support to the design of ACTED REACH initiatives. This includes:

Mapping and analysing secondary data in coordination with the assessment officer(s); Contributing to the drafting of the assessment ToRs with a specific focus on the analysis plan, and related mapping, as well as data management plan; Supporting the development of qualitative and quantitative data collection tools, ensuring GIS requirements of the assessment are met; In coordination with relevant assessment officer(s), support construction of quantitative sample and qualitative checks.


Under the supervision of the Senior GIS Specialist, in collaboration with the assessment and field teams, the Data/GIS Specialist will be asked, to support the implementation of data collection, regarding:

Tool design and testing; Training of enumerators for primary data collection and technical support during data collection if needed; Oversight of data collection, in line with agreed TORs, including data quality checks, cleaning, spatial verification and validation as part of daily assessment checks; Ensure that collected data is properly geo-referenced, enabling the production of maps and related products.


Promote an active use of datasets and research findings by partners and the broader humanitarian community for their decision making.

After validation by line manager, present research findings to relevant third parties in order to enhance their use and impact;

Ensure that all partner engagement and all external relations are clearly documented and communicated with the line manager and relevant colleagues.

More generally, contribute to the creation of a positive image and overall credibility of the organization, notably through the application of IMPACT’s mandate, ethics, values and standpoint with regard to other actors.


In collaboration with the in-country assessment team and the Report unit at IMPACT HQ (Geneva), the Data/GIS specialist will be responsible for producing and/or overseeing the production of Data/GIS products (datasets, dashboards, maps), which comply with IMPACT’s guidelines. This includes:

Ensure that all Data/GIS products are validated by IMPACT HQ before external release;

When relevant, in close coordination with IMPACT HQ, support the regular maintenance and update of web GIS products;

Liaise with IMPACT HQ on the procurement of UNOSAT services and satellite imagery.


The GIS Specialist will maintain the strictest confidentiality on all data collected and related processes, ensuring full compliance with IMPACT’s data protection policy and SOPs. He/she will actively take measures to prevent the unauthorized sharing of any information and data belonging to IMPACT and its partners, or collected during his/her assignment with IMPACT.


Master degree in a relevant discipline (Geography, Geomatics, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Management Systems, Statistics, Mathematics, etc.). Or, Bachelor’s degree in GIS or related discipline with additional relevant work experience; 1 year of experience in GIS/Database/Remote sensing, preferably in humanitarian context; Excellent analytical skills; Proficient knowledge of QGIS/ArcGIS; Experience with cleaning and analysing large datasets required; Strong skills in Excel required; Good understanding of various sampling frameworks; Experience with or willingness to learn on R software; Ability to operate in a cross-cultural environment requiring flexibility; Ability to work independently; Written and spoken fluency in English required; Experience with or willingness to learn: ArcGIS Online environment, FME, Google Earth Engine, Open Street Map, R, and/or Tableau; Experience with or willingness to learn: Kobo, ODK or similar mobile data collection tools.


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