Data Manager

The Humanitarian Data Exchange, Dakar Data Lab

Position Title: Consultant

Duration: Initial 2 months with extension

Location: Dakar, Senegal

Start Date: As soon as possible

Closing Date: 12 October 2016


The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) manages an open data platform – the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX). The goal of HDX is to make humanitarian data easy to find and use for analysis.

The platform includes three technical components: a dataset repository for sharing data from across the community; visualization functionality to compare data across countries and crises; and standards for the exchange of humanitarian operational data using the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL).

The HDX team is establishing a Data Lab in Dakar. The Data Lab will serve as an in-person service to the HDX platform and create a neutral, physical and virtual space for partners, government officials, technologists, universities, and international stakeholders to collaborate on humanitarian data. Lab services will include data processing, systems integration, capacity building and community engagement. The Lab will focus specifically on issues related to health information management, data security and mobile integration in the context  of West Africa.

The HDX Data Lab requires an experienced Data Manager to work with new and existing partners on data activities. The consultant will be part of the HDX Data Lab team which will include a Lab Manager and a Data Scientist. The Data Manager team will work closely with staff from the OCHA regional office, based in Dakar, and with a geographically distributed HDX team.

Reporting Relationships

The consultant will report to the Lab Manager with oversight from the HDX Product Manager. He or she will be expected to work closely with the Head of the HDX Data Team.


The consultant will be responsible for the following:

  • Work with partner organizations to support their data management efforts.
  • Advise partners on the use of data extraction processes for their data systems; develop scripts for data transferring when appropriate.
  • Monitor the use of HDX by partners in the region and undertake outreach to bring new organizations into the HDX community.
  • Ensure that West Africa-specific data on HDX is maintained by partner organizations.
  • Promote the use of the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL) data standard to increase interoperability of data from partner spreadsheets and systems.
  • Support the distribution of standard reference data, including taxonomies, code lists, and geospatial data for countries across West Africa.
  • Train partners on the use of the HDX platform, data cleaning and data visualization tools.
  • Take part in HDX team meetings as required.


– Logical processes for sharing data with HDX.

– Agreements with data providers for sharing data with the HDX platform.

– Increased use of HDX and HXL by partners in West Africa.

– More connected data systems across West Africa.


Education: First level university degree in computer science, information management, information technology, or related field is desired.

Candidate should have one of the following experience profiles:

  • Master’s degree and 0 years,
  • Bachelor’s degree and 2 years, or
  • High school diploma and 6 years of relevant professional work experience managing data systems.

The Data Manager position is equivalent to United Nations National Officer A (NOA – P1).

Candidate should have proven experience in database programming. Demonstrated experience in technical communication.  Experience with the following a plus: the Java and Python programming languages, the CKAN open-data portal. Demonstrated proficiency with Excel and/or Google Suite, knowledge of Tableau, R, qGIS, ODK, and relational databases.  Knowledge of health systems data, databases and processes is a plus.

Fluency or Professional Proficiency French and English is required (both oral and written). French proficiency is favored over English given the team location. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

To apply, provide the information requested at this link. Do not send CVs and cover letters unless requested during the selection process.