Position: REACH GIS Officer

Department: REACH

Contract duration: 6 months

Location: Hargeisa, Somaliland; regular travel to Nairobi (Kenya) and other bases in Somalia

Starting Date: ASAP


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.

Context / country

REACH has been operational in Somalia since 2012, providing information management support to humanitarian actors in a complex environment through assessment capacity, GIS services and support to Cluster IM practices. Projects have included tri-cluster assessments in support of the WASH, Shelter and Education Clusters, support to Food Security response analysis, and development of a Shelter Cluster M&E Framework.

In 2017 and beyond REACH Somalia is looking to expand information support to the humanitarian response in several key areas, including IDP settlement profiling and monitoring, multi-cluster needs assessment 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 supervision of and IMPACT HQ in Geneva, the REACH Country Coordinator and the ACTED Country Director, the REACH GIS/DB Officer will be responsible for the processes and outputs related to database management and mapping in country. He/she will be responsible for supporting the development and maintenance of a country/region database for the consolidation of all assessment-related and GIS data in country/region. He/she will manage the rapid production of static maps on targeted crisis and issues as well as providing required inputs for the development of mapping solutions.

The GIS/DB Officer will also support project-level database creation and information management mechanisms. He/she will also ensure regular communication with the REACH Assessment Officer in country and with IMPACT HQ, backstopping, technical support and interactions for reporting and data management with key partners.


The GIS/DB Officer will report to the REACH Country Coordinator and Global GIS Manager. Line management rests with IMPACT HQ. In country, they will operate under the authority of the ACTED Country Director.

The GIS/DB Officer may be responsible for other members of the GIS and DB team including GIS/DB interns and assistants.

Working relations

Internally, the GIS/DB Officer will work closely with REACH Assessment staff and IMPACT HQ. These relations will also extend to ACTED country staff including Program Development, AMEU and Area Coordinators.

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


The REACH GIS/DB Officer will fulfill the following functions:

1. GIS Activities

a. Preparation, conception and production of maps

Identify map information needs;
Identify and access map information sources;
Ensure accurate linkages between spatial databases and assessment data;
Ensures that the produced maps meet the requirements of REACH and concerned partners.

b. Supervision and monitoring of mapping related data collection

Conceptualize methodologies for collecting data in the field, as according to need;
Organize and supervise GIS field missions;
Monitor accuracy of data collected;
Cross check data collected in the field, ensure regular updates and solve eventual discrepancies.

c. Project development support

Co-developing GIS components in proposals and supervising the implementation of these GIS components in approved projects.

d. GIS Staff Management

Supervising the activities of subordinate GIS staff, including GIS assistants and interns.

2. Database/Data Management Activities

The REACH GIS/DB Officer 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.

3. Technical Support

The REACH GIS/DB Officer will contribute towards the identification and implementation of effective and adapted technical solutions and partnerships. The REACH GIS/DB Officer 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 REACH activities.

4. External Relations

The REACH GIS/DB Officer will respond to information requests from REACH and its partners. In order to support the development of joint database tools and processes with REACH partners in country, the REACH GIS/DB Officer will maintain regular interactions and reporting with key IM partners including cluster lead agencies, UN agencies, NGOs and technical partners. He/she will respond to information requests from REACH partners in country related to MIS data and mapping as well as solicit information from partner organizations to be incorporated into database. Furthermore, he/she will liaise with these partners to ensure the data is shared with REACH MIS team when required.

5. Internal Communication Processes

The REACH GIS/DB 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 MIS activities in the field.

6. Confidentiality and Data Protection

The REACH GIS/DB Officer will maintain the strictest confidentiality of data and processes. He/she will actively take measures to prevent the unauthorized sharing of information and data.

Accountability to Communities and Beneficiaries

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 Geography/GIS or a related discipline;
2 years of experience in GIS / Database management, preferably in humanitarian context;
Good command of GIS software (especially ArcGIS Desktop), general computer software (Excel, Word) and conventional database applications (Access/SQL).
Flexibility and adaptability are essential, as well as the ability to plan, take initiative and organize work independently. In addition impartiality, objectivity and confidentiality are imperative as is the ability to operate in a cross-cultural environment;
Understanding the nature of the work carried out by programs is necessary for ensuring the relevancy and usability of the maps produced. Therefore a proactive and self-motivated attitude towards gaining a good understanding of ACTED programs, innovating GIS activities and developing new GIS components for proposals is essential;
Willingness to learn and capacity to innovate: The GIS Officer must be inventive and eager to improve his or her own skills, and be capable to adapt, shape and develop tools best suited for REACH activities;
Ability to travel to the field for data collection, cross-checking the data and provide training to field staff;
Good organizational and communication skills with international and national staff and rural communities;
Fluency in English required.


Previous experience with mobile data collection (ODK, ONA, KOBO);
Knowledge of analytical software packages (R, SPSS, Stata, Tableau, etc.);
Knowledge of Adobe Illustrator and InDesign;
Knowledge of JavaScript and related libraries (D3, Leaflet) for development of interactive webmaps and dashboards;
Good team management skills;
Familiarity with the aid system, and understanding of donor and governmental requirements an asset;
Prior knowledge of the region 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 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

How to apply:
Please send, in English, your cover letter, CV, and three references to

Ref: 18/SOM/GISO01

Please indicate the reference in the subject line of your email.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.