Lab Manager

Humanitarian Data Exchange – Nairobi Data Lab

Position Title: Consultant

Duration: 6 months (with extension)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Date: as soon as possible


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. HDX currently holds 4,400 datasets from over 200 organizations working in humanitarian crises around the world.

Established in 2014, the Nairobi Data Lab serves as a frontline, in-person service to the HDX platform. The Data Lab provides partners in the East African region with data services such as data extraction, cleaning, storage, and visualization. The Data Lab has undertaken a number of successful projects with partners since its establishment. Read this case study on our work with Twaweza on visualizing education levels. The goal of the Lab is to find new ways of working together in an effort to increase the insight from data collected and shared in the region.

The Data Lab requires an experienced Lab Manager to work with new and existing partners on data activities. The consultant will oversee the Lab team which will currently includes a Data Manager but may also include other roles as needed. The Data Lab team will be expected to work closely with staff from the OCHA Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa and the OCHA Somalia office, both of which are based in Nairobi.

Reporting lines

The consultant will report to the head of the HDX data team, based in Geneva, with oversight from the HDX Product Manager. He or she will work closely with the communications, design and developer teams to deliver projects for partners.


-Update 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 Nairobi Data Lab, and identify and prioritize both short and long term engagements for the Lab in line with HDX’s overall vision.

-Oversee the work of the Nairobi Data Lab including staffing, office space, community building, partner relationships, data services, and user experience research.

-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.

-Identify user groups and organize trainings and events aimed at increasing the data capacity, literacy and connectedness of the humanitarian community.

-Develop written material about the work of the Data Lab, including blogs and case studies; contribute to donor reporting for the Data Lab grant as needed.

-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.

-Take part in HDX team meetings as required.


  • An updated data acquisition strategy and community engagement plan.
  • Identified quarterly objectives and key results for the Lab as per HDX priorities.
  • Effective and efficiently managed HDX Data Lab in Nairobi.
  • Strong positioning of Data Lab services.
  • Increase the use of HDX/HXL in the region and support current users.
  • Promote open data initiatives across East Africa.


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

Experience: Three years of professional work experience with business development, project management and innovation projects. Demonstrated experience in staff management and communication. Humanitarian or tech experience a plus.

Language:   Fluency in English is required (both oral and written). Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

How to Apply

Please apply for this position using this link. We will request additional information from shortlisted candidates. Please do not send CVs directly.