Lab 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 (the Humanitarian Exchange Language or 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 Lab Manager to work with new and existing partners on data activities. The consultant will lead the Dakar Data Lab team which will include a Data Manager and a Data Scientist. The Data Lab 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 HDX Data Team Manager with a dotted line to the HDX Programme Manager and Operations Manager. He or she will work closely with the communications, data and developer teams to deliver projects for partners.


The consultant will be responsible for the following:

  1. Develop and implement a data acquisition strategy to identify the key regional partners and activities required to onboard these partners onto HDX. A successful outreach strategy and program will also include a community engagement plan to create awareness of the Dakar Data Lab, and identify and prioritize both short and long term engagements for the Lab in line with HDX’s overall vision.
  1. Oversee the work of the Dakar Data Lab including staffing, office space, community building, partner relationships, data services, and user experience research.
  1. Research and recommend a physical office space(s) for the Data Lab and oversee the setup of that space.
  1. Develop written material in French and English about the work of the Data Lab, including blogs and case studies; Contribute to donor reporting for the Data Lab grant as needed.
  1. Define the prioritized services that will be offered by the Data Lab based on an understanding of the needs of humanitarian partners. Manage user groups to test country, regional, and crisis specific features of HDX and HXL.
  1. Identify user groups and organize trainings and events aimed at increasing the data capacity, literacy and connectedness of the humanitarian community.
  1. Represent HDX in meetings, trainings, workshops, hackathons and conferences; communicate the goals of the Data Lab and the HDX platform to a variety of audiences.
  1. Take part in HDX team meetings as required.


– A data acquisition strategy and community engagement plan.

– Identified quarterly objectives and key results for the Lab as per HDX priorities.

– Well-functioning HDX Data Lab in Dakar.

– Clear understanding by partners of the work of the Data Lab and the services it provides.

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

– More connected data systems across West Africa.


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

Candidate should have one of the following experience profiles:

  • Master’s degree and 2 years experience,
  • Bachelor’s degree and 4 years experience, or
  • High school and 8 years of relevant management and/or technical experience.

The position is classified as ICSC 9, LICA 9 equivalent to United Nations National Officer B (NOB – P2).

Experience should include business development, project management and innovation projects. Demonstrated experience in staff management and communication are an asset. Experience in the humanitarian sector an advantage. Knowledge of health systems data, databases and processes is a plus.

Language: Professional Proficiency French and English is required (both oral and written). 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.