IMPACT Initiatives

GIS/Data Specialist

IMPACT Initiatives

Job Description


REACH was born in 2010 as a joint initiative of two International NGOs (IMPACT Initiatives and ACTED) and the United Nations 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. 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 NGO, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation manages several initiatives, including the REACH Initiative. The IMPACT team comprises specialists in data collection, management and analysis and GIS. IMPACT was launched at the initiative of ACTED, an international NGO whose headquarter is based in Paris and is present in thirty countries. The two organizations have a strong complementarity formalized in a global partnership, enabling IMPACT to benefit from ACTED’s operational support on its fields of intervention.

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

Department: REACH

Position: GIS/Data Specialist

Contract duration: 6 months

Location: Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Starting Date: June 2020


In successive waves over four decades, stateless Rohingya refugees have been fleeing to Bangladesh from Rakhine State, Myanmar, where they have suffered systematic, ongoing persecution. Since August 2017, an estimated 745,000 refugees have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, bringing the total number to more than 900,000. The displacement marks the latest stage in one of the world’s most complex ongoing human rights crises. While they have found safe haven from persecution in Bangladesh, the Rohingya have faced new constraints on building self-reliant and dignified lives. Refugees are currently confined to 34 crowded spontaneous settlements, with limited freedom of movement, heavily restricted access to livelihoods and cash, and no provision of formal education.

As a consequence, they remain in a highly precarious situation, dependent on humanitarian assistance to cover their Basic Needs, and vulnerable to natural disasters, and the activities of criminal groups. At the same time, Cox’s Bazar District is among the most deprived areas of Bangladesh. The local community have expressed concerns that the refugee influx may have exacerbated the existing burden of unemployment and difficulties accessing essential services in the region. In areas where refugees and host communities live side by side, many are now accessing the same services and depend on the same labour markets, creating potential sources of tension as well as common vulnerabilities to hazards and shocks.

Since September 2017, IMPACT’s REACH Initiative has been deployed to Bangladesh to help meet the information needs of humanitarian actors operating in Cox’s Bazar District and build a better understanding of the needs of displaced and host populations, supported by assistance from ECHO, UNICEF, and UNHCR.



In Coordination with the REACH Country Coordinator, the GIS/Data Specialist is responsible for the overall oversight and coordination of the GIS/data department, including its GIS cell, database cell, and data analysis cell functions. This includes the following functions:

1. Data Management and Analysis Activities

  • Serve as focal point for statistical analysis and quantitative reporting on REACH assessments

  • Lead on directly implementing advanced GIS analysis processes/products

  • Overseeing the life cycle of geographic information products, the conception and production of maps in the IMPACT Bangladesh mission.

  • Maintain, update and expand R systems from automated data analysis and map production for factsheets

  • Conduct advanced spatial analysis and modeling (e.g. to better understand natural hazard risk, or coverage and catchment area of existing and planned services)

  • Monitor accuracy of data collected

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

  • Maintain, update and expand R-based systems of data management and analysis for data dissemination and reporting;

  • Coordinate with GIS cell members, Assessment teams and external partners to determine strategic direction on how to best apply GIS, visualization, and other related approaches, and oversee the deployment of new approaches.

2. Technical Support

The REACH GIS/Data Specialist will contribute towards the identification and implementation of effective and adapted technical solutions for assessments and projects for REACH Bangladesh. The REACH GIS/Data Specialist will provide technical support for assessments and analysis for REACH Bangladesh information products. These responsibilities will include creation and management of data collection tools (ODK or KoBo), training on data cleaning and management techniques, support for data analysis (specifically conducted in the R environment).

3. Internal Communication Processes

The REACH GIS/Data Specialist will liaise with IMPACT in Geneva to guarantee a quality product that suits the needs of the field office. He/she will respond to information requests from IMPACT Initiatives and keep Geneva informed of the data activities in the field.
4. Confidentiality and Data Protection

The REACH GIS/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.

5. Training and capacity-building:

  • Provide direct line reports with mentoring, support, and guidance in managing their teams

  • Supported by direct line reports, work to identify capacity gaps, and prioritize the development of key staff capabilities through capacity-building plans and structured training approaches.

  • Where relevant, implement a common training framework to the three cells to allow for cross pollination of work flows between different cells (e.g. training GIS & database cell R to feed into data analysis flow).

6. Coordination and representation:

  • Manage logistics, financial, Administration and HR processes related to the GIS/data department, and liaise accordingly with relevant support departments.

  • Coordinate work across different cells within the GIS/Data department through weekly meetings.

  • Represent the GIS/Data cell at the IMPACT country mission weekly coordination meeting.

  • Represent IMPACT at external technical forums as required including (but not limited to) the Information Management and Assessment Working Group; the Emergency Preparedness Working Group; and co-chairing of the Natural Hazard Risk Analysis Task Force in collaboration with UNDP.

  • Represent the IMPACT GIS/Data unit directly in relevant discussions with external partners regarding ongoing or upcoming work cycles.

7. Reporting and Project Development

  • Support the IMPACT Country Coordinator in drafting of relevant project narrative reports

  • Take the lead on developing relevant components of upcoming IMPACT projects or the development of standalone projects in line with existing strategic priorities.

  • Contribute to the IMPACT country strategy plan and other relevant documents as required.


Internally, the GIS/ Data Specialist will work closely within the GIS/Data unit and provide analytical support to the REACH Assessment staff and Country Coordination. The Data Specialist will liaise with technical backstopping, in specific the HQ Data Unit. These relations will also extend to ACTED country staff including Program Development, AMEU and Area Coordinators.

Externally, the GIS/Data Specialist will be expected to liaise with national and international partners, notably IM focal points in NGOs, UN agencies and clusters.


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 programme objectives, activities, beneficiary selection criteria, and methodologies. This is the responsibility of every REACH staff member.


  • Master Degree in GIS, Mathematics, Statistics, Microbiology/Ecology/Genomics, Hydrology/Hydrogeology, Geophysics, Computer Science

  • Advanced experience analyzing complex data with R and or Python

  • Preference to programmers with experience writing packages

  • Masters level statistics courses in R

  • Advanced understanding of database management

  • Advanced experience inQGIS and Arcgis

  • Previous experience with Java-Script

  • Previous experience withTableau or Power BI is an asset

  • Previous experience with mobile data collection (ODK, ONA, KOBO)

  • Experience with remote sensing techniques is an asset;

  • Prior knowledge of the region is an asset;

  • Fluency in English required;

  • Ability to operate Microsoft Word, Excel and Project Management Software;

  • High level of autonomy and willingness to spend time in field locations

  • Ability to work independently to short deadlines and high research standards.


  • Salary defined by the IMPACT salary grid; educational level, expertise, hardship, security, and performance are considered for pay bonus

  • Additional monthly living allowance provided in country by IMPACT’s partner ACTED

  • Food and lodging provided at the organisation’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

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