REACH Information Management / GIS Officer in Syria based in Erbil. 88 views


REACH was born in 2010 as a joint initiative of two International NGOs (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 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, GIS and remote-sensing. 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, which allows particularly IMPACT to benefit from ACTED’s operational support on its fields of intervention.

ACTED is a French humanitarian NGO, founded in 1993, which supports vulnerable populations, affected by humanitarian crises worldwide. ACTED provides continued support to vulnerable communities by ensuring the sustainability of post-crisis interventions and engaging long-term challenges facing our target populations, in order to break the poverty cycle, foster development and reduce vulnerability to disasters. Their interventions seek to cover the multiple aspects of humanitarian and development crises through a multidisciplinary approach which is both global and local, and adapted to each context. Their 3,300 staff is committed in to responding to emergencies worldwide, to supporting recovery and rehabilitation, towards sustainable development.

We are currently looking for aREACH Information Management Officer to provide information management support to the Northeast Syria (NES) Sites and Settlements Working Group, under the REACH Syria mission. The position is based in Erbil, Iraq with frequent travel in the area.**

Supervisor: NES Sites and Settlements Working Group Coordinator

TitleInformation Management / GIS Officer

Location: Erbil, Iraq

Contract duration: 6 months

Start date: ASAP


Into its ninth year of conflict, conditions in Syria remain highly volatile and marked by intense violence and limited humanitarian access. The scale, complexity, and severity of humanitarian needs in Syria extends the necessity for up to date, timely, and accurate information. Evidence-based planning and programming remains paramount to ensure that the response adequately meets the needs of the most vulnerable people and is tailored to different realities across communities and over time. However, informing operational and strategic planning remains highly challenging, as accessibility and security issues impede systematic data collection. A lack of predictable and consistent data undermines the ability of humanitarian actors to review their approach in light of the dynamic context. REACH has been conducting assessments on the humanitarian situation in Syria since 2013 and has over the years grown significantly both in size and in influence as an actor in the Syria response. REACH works in opposition controlled parts of Syria and coordinates closely with OCHA, nearly all clusters, key working groups (IM and technical) within the Syria coordination system, and various NGO fora in order to identify, address, and raise awareness of key information gaps, as well as to uphold the quality of data used to inform the response.

Through these engagements, REACH has identified that the following key challenges remain: (1) the lack of a needs tracking system that brings together and shares timely and regular information on changes in needs from a variety of sources; (2) the ability to conduct coordinated large scale data collection on a more regular basis – particularly critical in the highly volatile context, and during key humanitarian milestones such as the HNO; (3) the lack information from harder to reach areas with some of the most acute needs, such as Menbij and Afrin in northwest Syria and Deir-ez-Zor governorate (4) lack of ability to quickly mobilise data collection in areas experiencing sudden escalations in conflict, due to accessibility, operational and security constraints; (5) the lack of more granular and detailed information on needs and response capacity on specific newly accessible geographic areas, such as Menbij.

Broadly speaking, REACH Syria implements assessments within four key streams:

  • Monitoring of the humanitarian situation in Syria, through monthly assessments covering over 1,600 communities in Syria, market monitoring to track prices of goods as per the survival minimum expenditure basket (SMEB), and ad hoc rapid assessments in times of sudden escalations in conflict or natural disasters.
  • Displacement tracking, through tracking the movement of IDPs and Returnees down to a 24-48 hour-basis, as well as monitoring the humanitarian situation inside IDP camps and informal settlements.
  • Area-Based Assessments to support humanitarian actors in the coordination to identify key response gaps by comparing humanitarian needs data with response data, in a set locality – often one that has recently become accessible and/or that is recovering for instance from besiegement.
  • Technical support to clusters, for example in the form of coordination and implementation of sector and multisector assessments to inform the HNO, production of thematic assessments, presentations of findings, and capacity building.

For an example of REACH Syria information products, please see below:


REACH is currently recruiting for an Information Management / GIS Officer to, under the supervision of the NES Sites and Settlements Working Group (SSWG) Coordinator, support the SSWG in improving and strengthening information management and coordination by enhancing the SSWG’s information management capacity.

In order to support the humanitarian response in NES, an inter-agency SSWG has been established in 2019.The role of the REACH IM/GISO aims at improving both the overall coordination and prioritization of needs as well as the involvement of NGOs in this process. The IM/GISO is a key member of the SSWG coordination team. In this regard, s/he is in charge of handling the implementation and management of an adequate strategy for the collection and analysis of data and information sharing, needed to ensure that the SSWG and its members are in a capacity to take well informed and data-based strategic decisions.


The IMO will perform the following tasks:

1. Lead the setup of IM systems

  • Conduct IM diagnoses to help identify areas and means of improvement to support the core coordination functions of the WG.
  • Ensure that the coordination team has access to robust systems for file storage and e-mail. Set up online file repositories for WG documents to facilitate file management and internal information sharing across the coordination team and the partners, accounting for the level of sensitivity of information.
  • Expand and maintain the WG’s current internal and external communication systems.
  • Develop a WG style guide, and ensure all products and outputs produced are in line with this style guide.
  • Produce regular ongoing SSWG information products, and assess the need for the development of new information products, including reports, dashboards, maps and additional ad hoc products.
  • Represent the WG at inter-sectoral meetings, prepare and deliver presentations on behalf of SSWG when required.
  • Develop and/or operationalise and enhance NES-specific common data standards together with relevant WG or sectors and promote the standards with partners.

2. Facilitate strategic planning

  • Develop information management and sharing strategy and subsequent implementation work plan and inform and update relevant actors on the status of the work plan.
  • Assist in the implementation and operationalisation of the strategy for NES through lateral relations as well as team work.
  • Support the coordinator in defining response strategic objectives/indicators and priority activities based upon needs and challenges of the CCCM sector in NES, and track progress towards reaching these objectives.
  • Ensure linkages between sites and settlements needs assessment and response analysis to facilitate humanitarian response prioritisation (activities / geographical location / groups).

3. Support assessment activities

  • Identify and gather relevant secondary data on a regular basis, conduct ongoing analysis and identify information gaps.
  • Lead the development of appropriate methodologies, indicators, tools and analytical frameworks to gather primary data.
  • Plan and coordinate data collection, define coverage, rationalise partners’ contributions to avoid overlapping, and make sure that data is collected within agreed deadlines.
  • Lead data analysis and output production, including drafting of assessment factsheets, reports and other relevant information products.
  • Support effective dissemination of assessment findings, by producing media content, delivering presentations, promoting ad hoc events.

4. Implement monitoring and gap analysis

  • Support the development of the SSWG’s response monitoring plan, including a series of indicators aimed at measuring progress of the response.
  • Define a detailed analysis plan covering each indicator of the monitoring plan, clarifying the type, frequency and outputs of the analysis that should be made.
  • Compile, aggregate and analyse data and information elements required to produce standardised information products and implement or support data/information collection plans for baseline and context-specific data.
  • Support and leverage geographic data for map production and use in geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Share data with partner agencies and maintain information management products (contact list, activity reporting, operational presence, gap analysis and factsheets) at agreed frequencies and in relevant languages.
  • Facilitate the analysis of information between WG and sectors when relevant.
  • Regularly engage and represent the WG, feeding back to the coordination team as relevant.
  • Establish contact with appropriate partner agencies when basic or special needs are identified.
  • Liaise with humanitarian stakeholders and relevant government counterparts as required
  • Excellent academic qualifications, including a Master’s degree in information technology, demography, statistics, social sciences or relevant discipline, or an equivalent combination of relevant training and experience in shelter and information management related activities in disaster or conflict situations.
  • At least 2 years of relevant work experience.
  • Knowledge of the humanitarian community, specifically with regards to inter-agency coordination.
  • Data management: Ability to compile, triangulate and holistically analyse diverse and large datasets.
  • Understanding of different data collection methodologies and their strengths and weaknesses, to be able to assess quality/reliability of secondary sources and to advise on potential areas of improvement.
  • Strong experience of developing and implementing IM tools and systems.
  • Proven ability to conceptualise, develop, plan monitor and evaluate IM in relation to programming, as well as to teach skills and build team capacity
  • Excellent writing, communication and negotiation skills; ability to prepare clear and concise reports.
  • Fluently spoken and written English is mandatory. Arabic or Kurdish an asset.
  • Experience with handling confidential and sensitive data and demonstrated knowledge of the humanitarian community, specifically with regards to inter-agency coordination.
  • Experience in the context of partnership building and consensual decision-making
  • Ability to work effectively and harmoniously in a team and in the inter-agency context with colleagues from a variety of cultures and professional backgrounds.
  • Willingness to travel up to 50% of the time at short notice within Northeast Syria.
  • Resilience, stress tolerance and ability to work under difficult conditions

Data capture and analysis:

  • MS Excel (Essential): Understanding of macros; Strong knowledge of statistical, conditional, and text-based functions;
  • GIS (Essential): Basic understanding of geospatial data management, analysis, and map making processess. Understanding of ArcGIS online desirable.
  • Adobe InDesign/Illustrator (Desirable): Understanding of the basic functions and ability to create and update existing information products
  • Programming (Desirable): R, Python, SPSS, etc.
  • Web Design (Desirable): HTML, PHP, ASP; Basic understanding of web-based applications
  • Salary defined by the IMPACT salary grid; educational level, expertise, hardship, security, and performance are considered for pay bonus
  • Additional monthly living allowance
  • Food allowance 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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IMPACT Initiatives is a leading Geneva-based think-and-do tank which aims to improve the impact of humanitarian, stabilisation and development action through data, partnerships and capacity building programmes. The work of IMPACT is done through its three initiatives: REACH, AGORA and PANDA.

With over 400 staff members, including assessment, data analysis, GIS experts and field professionals, IMPACT teams are present in over 20 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. IMPACT is a sister organisation of ACTED, a non-governmental organisation with headquarters in Paris.

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