REACH GIS & Data Specialist for Iraq

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: Iraq
Organization: IMPACT Initiatives
Closing date: 19 Feb 2021


REACH was born in 2010 as a joint initiative of two INGOs (IMPACT Initiatives and ACTED) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). REACH’s purpose 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. REACH facilitates information management for aid actors through three complementary services: (a) need and situation assessments facilitated by REACH teams; (b) situation analysis using satellite imagery; (c) provision of related database and (web)-mapping facilities and expertise.

IMPACT Initiatives is a humanitarian think tank, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization manages several initiatives, including the REACH Initiative. The IMPACT team comprises specialists in data collection, management and analysis, GIS and remote-sensing.

We are currently looking for a REACH GIS and Data Specialist to support our team in Iraq.

Title: REACH GIS and Data Specialist

Supervisor: REACH Country Coordinator

Location: Erbil, Iraq

Contract duration: 12 months (renewable)

Start date: ASAP


REACH Initiative has been present in Iraq since 2012, supporting humanitarian decision-making with assessments and information management activities focusing on the needs of displaced, returnees, and conflict-affected populations. Today, data collected and disseminated by REACH aims to provide a baseline for ongoing response planning efforts across Iraq.

REACH assessment activities in Iraq are currently focused along the three major themes:

  • Support for decision-makers in the humanitarian planning cycle;
  • Information support and advocacy for durable solutions for internally displaced persons and returnees;
  • Third-party quality monitoring of humanitarian programs.

REACH has its main assessment office in Erbil, with data collection teams working across Iraq.


Under the supervision of the REACH Iraq Country Coordinator and of IMPACT’s HQ in Geneva, the REACH GIS and Data Specialist will be responsible for supporting all processes and outputs related to GIS in country. The specialist will provide dotted line management for all GIS staff and contribute to the development and implementation of REACH strategy in Iraq.

During his/her mission, the REACH GIS and Data Specialist will be hosted by ACTED and will fall under the direct responsibility and management of ACTED’s Country Director and his/her delegates for all Administrative, Security, Logistics and Finance issues. S/he will therefore fully abide to ACTED’s Security, HR, Administration and Logistics rules and regulations.


In coordination with the REACH Iraq Country Coordinator, the Iraq GIS and Data Specialist will provide strategic direction and technical oversight for GIS activities within the Iraq mission. The GIS and Data Specialist is responsible for (1) the management of GIS and data functions within REACH research cycles, (2) support and oversight of GIS Officers, and (3) technical support, as well as supporting on (4) external relations and (5) the development and implementation of REACH strategy in Iraq.

1. Management of GIS and Data functions within Research Cycles

1.1 Assessment Preparation and Planning:

  • In coordination with the assessment manager/focal point(s), ensure assessments are planned in line with project and program objectives and with REACH’s research cycle and other relevant guidelines;
  • For each assessment, ensure contribution to and review of draft ToRs with a specific focus on the analysis plan, and related mapping, as well as data management plan;
  • Support team members with designing and implementing assessment strategies and methodologies, including sampling frameworks, data analysis plans, data collection tools, and data quality checks;
  • In coordination with the assessment team, co-construct qualitative and quantitative data collection tools, ensuring GIS requirements of research cycle/assessment are met;
  • Develop geo-spatial analysis of assessment areas to be used, as relevant, in developing daily assessment plans, field movement plans and accompanying operational maps for field teams;
  • In coordination with relevant assessment officer(s), support construction of quantitative sample

1.2 Data Collection

  • When relevant, ensure that support is provided by GIS teams in overseeing data collection, in line with agreed TORs (including their Annexes), including spatial verification and validation as part of daily assessment checks;
  • Ensure that collected data is geo-referenced, enabling the production of maps and related products;
  • In coordination with the assessment team, ensure that all changes in data collection that lead to a modification in the agreed TORs are documented; and that the REACH Country Coordinator and IMPACT HQ are informed and agree on the modifications.

1.3 Management and Analysis of GIS Data

  • Monitor the accuracy of data collected;
  • Ensure that all collected data is stored in line with IMPACT’s Data Management Guidelines, and with the ToRs (data management plan Annex);
  • Facilitate data cleaning and analysis automation processes for long term projects/assessments, and provide technical guidelines and capacity building on these systems;
  • Manage the analysis of data in line with IMPACT’s guidelines;
  • Ensure that data is revised and cleaned, and that all revisions are recorded;
  • Ensure accurate linkages between spatial databases, remotely sensed imagery and assessment data;
  • Ensure data management and server efficiency with Database Officers;
  • Ensure that data and its spatial analysis are validated by IMPACT HQ before product drafting stage.

1.4 GIS Products (including maps and web-products)

  • Design and produce engaging information products, including dashboards, reports, and maps;
  • Check that produced maps meet the requirements of IMPACT and concerned partners and ensure the drafting of timely and accurate GIS products, which comply with IMPACT’s guidelines;
  • Maintain regular communication with IMPACT HQ on progress and deadlines for GIS products;
  • Review all products before they are sent to IMPACT HQ for validation;
  • When relevant and in close coordination with IMPACT HQ, ensure regular maintenance and update of web GIS products;
  • Manage the identification of satellite imagery and analysis needs in Iraq, and liaise with IMPACT HQ on the procurement of UNOSAT services and satellite imagery.

1.5 Product Dissemination and Evaluation

  • In coordination with the REACH Country Coordinator, promote the dissemination of GIS products in line with IMPACT Guidelines and Research ToRs;
  • Ensure the strictest confidentiality of data and data processes, and actively take measures to prevent the unauthorized sharing of information and data;
  • In coordination with IMPACT HQ, ensure that GIS products are uploaded in relevant data portals, as specified in Research ToRs;
  • In coordination with the REACH Country Coordinator and with the assessment team, ensure that lessons learned are gathered and documented at the end of each research cycle

2. Support and oversight of GIS Officers (GISOs)

  • Provide dotted line management of GISO across all units in Iraq;
  • Advise the relevant Research Manager on issues related to GIS work load (e.g. staff availability, need for support, etc.);
  • Provide GIS capacity support (e.g. UNOSAT partnership, Remote Sensing analysis, surge, partner GIS/mapping requests etc.)

3. Data Management Technical Support

  • Advise staff on IMPACT Initiative’s R based analysis packages, developed by IMPACT headquarters in Geneva;
  • Work with staff to troubleshoot issues with existing data processes;
  • Train staff on relevant statistical analysis and programming;
  • Proactively identify data support needs across the mission and address them.

4. External Engagement

  • In coordination with the REACH Country Coordinator, ensure that relevant partners are consulted and involved in the preparation of GIS products;
  • Represent the Iraq team in relevant Information Management (IM) flora, ex. WoS IMWG, or other external engagement as needed for presentations or technical workshop;
  • Liaise with other organizations engaged with the maintenance of spatial data in Iraq, ensuring IMPACT Geodatabases are up-to-date and in line with Common Operational Datasets (CODs) and Fundamental Operational Datasets (FODs).

5. Strategy Development and Implementation.

As a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT), the GIS and Data Specialist will participate and actively contribute to the development of the REACH strategy in Iraq. In particular s/he will:

  • Identify information gaps that could be filled by GIS;
  • Identify synergies with other GIS and IM actors;
  • Create dissemination strategies to strengthen the impact of GIS and IM work;
  • Support in the preparation and follow up of country level internal strategic workshops and plans;
  • Engage with IMPACT HQ in global level GIS priorities

6. Confidentiality and Data Protection

The REACH GIS and Data Specialist will maintain the strictest confidentiality of data and processes. He/she will actively take measures to prevent the unauthorized sharing of information and data belonging to IMPACT and its partners, or collected during his/her assignment with IMPACT.


The staff member is responsible for ensuring that all relations with the communities REACH and partners work are conducted in a respectful and consultative manner. Due attention must be paid to ensuring that communities are adequately consulted and informed about REACH program objectives, activities, beneficiary selection criteria, and methodologies. This is the responsibility of every REACH staff member


  • Excellent academic qualifications, including a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (Computer Science, Information Management Systems, Statistics, Mathematics, Geo-informatics etc.);
  • At least 3 years of relevant work experience in GIS;
  • Good knowledge of GIS data management and processing;
  • Excellent analytical skills, including the ability to identify outliers and key trends, and to situate findings in a winder context;
  • Strong skills in Excel;
  • Experience with cleaning large datasets;
  • Experience conducting temporal or spatial trends analysis;
  • Excellent team management skills;
  • Ability to operate in a cross-cultural environment requiring flexibility;
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Good attention to detail, and commitment to producing high quality work;
  • Flexibility and adaptability to ever-changing needs and responsibilities;


  • Operational knowledge of R and/or other statistical programming languages and packages;
  • Operational knowledge of Python;
  • Knowledge of basic remote sensing (passive sensors), satellite image processing and thematic analysis of satellite imagery;
  • Good understanding of various sampling frameworks;
  • Experience with JavaScript;
  • Ability to design and operate Kobo, ODK or similar mobile data collection tools;
  • Familiarity with the aid system, and understanding of donor and governmental requirements;
  • Prior knowledge of the region an asset
  • Fluency in English required, Arabic is an asset.


  • Salary defined by the IMPACT salary grid; educational level, expertise, hardship, security, and performance are considered for pay bonus
  • Additional monthly living allowance
  • Free food and lodging provided at the organization’s guesthouse/or housing allowance (depending on contract length and country of assignment)
  • Transportation costs covered, including additional return ticket + luggage allowance
  • Provision of medical, life, and repatriation insurance + retirement package

How to apply:

Kindly submit to the following link: REACH GIS & Data Specialist | Impact (

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