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Head of Geospatial Services

Premium Job From MapAction
Recruiter: MapAction
Listed on: 14th July
Location: Remote
Salary/Rate: £38,088
Type: Permanent
Start Date: ASAP

Job Title: Head of Geospatial Services.
Job Purpose: Leading the quality and delivery of MapAction's geospatial services globally. 
Location: Remote with requirement to attend monthly in person coordination meeting and training weekends.
Salary: £38,088.
Contract: Full time, substantive position. 37.5 hours per week (FTE). 
Responsible to: Operations Director.

Who we are:

MapAction believes that applying geospatial expertise to humanitarian situations can greatly improve outcomes for the people affected.

Global humanitarian needs outstrip resources. Expert geospatial and data analysis can help stretch those resources for maximum impact. We are a non-profit organisation that collaborates with partners around the world to help anticipate, prepare for and respond to humanitarian emergencies. We strive to ensure governments, regional and local disaster management agencies and humanitarian responders have access to the information and analysis that they need to make key decisions, at the right times, to save lives and alleviate suffering. 

We are a team of around 100 people, 75% of them expert volunteers, plus a small roster of standby consultants. Combining the passion of volunteerism with the rigour and reliability of professional standards, the ‘MapAction spirit' is something we work hard to maintain and the willingness of our team to go the extra mile is often fed back to us. 

With more than 20 years of experience and learning gleaned from attending well over 100 different humanitarian emergencies and supporting countless more remotely, we have developed a unique and continually requested range of capacities. We freely share the knowledge we have acquired by teaching and training humanitarian coordinators to use maps and other geospatial products to help them make better decisions. We also help put in place the systems, resources and data required to build resilience to disasters and protect vulnerable communities. 

Always seeking improvement, we're developing new technologies and approaches to ensure the data, maps and tools that are essential in humanitarian crises are made available as quickly as possible, or even prepared ahead of time. When major emergencies happen, we can still provide surge support to our partners at just 24 hours notice, enabling them to make sense of chaotic, dangerous and rapidly evolving situations and coordinate the most effective response.

Our combination of wide-ranging expertise in geospatial information and data analysis, allied with extensive knowledge and experience from the heart of  humanitarian emergencies uniquely positions MapAction to continue improving the impact and effectiveness of humanitarian aid now and into the future. 

What will you do?

The role is far ranging and impactful. As well as ensuring the provision of robust and high quality geospatial services, you will be critical in driving innovation by working closely with the technical team to grow our capability. You will be involved in all aspects of MapAction's operational activity, from emergency responses, both remote and deployed, through the planning and delivery of internal and external training, and supporting preparedness activity with partners globally. Having an excellent understanding of information management in humanitarian or development contexts and an extensive knowledge of practical applications of geospatial technologies will make you an excellent candidate for the role.

You will need to be an experienced leader, able to work closely with a variety of technical experts in challenging, high pressure and time constrained situations. You will need experience in project and programme management, comfortable with uncertainty and able to manage relationships with multiple partners concurrently.  

The Head of Geospatial Services sits in the Operations team, working closely with the Operations Director and line managing the Geospatial Coordinator.

Job satisfaction will come from working with committed and passionate staff and volunteers alike, all working towards common humanitarian outcomes.


Delivering geospatial excellence:

  • Lead MapAction's Geospatial offer to partners. The role requires a leader who is able draw on learning and experience to evolve our offer, understanding the needs of partners and working closely with the MapAction team to plan, deliver and evaluate the delivery of products and services across MapAction outputs: emergency response, training, anticipatory action and preparedness activities.
  • Operationalise geospatial plans. The role requires an experienced and highly competent geospatial professional who can translate organisational strategies into workable operational plans, policies, and procedures. 
  • Oversee the day to day geospatial activity of the organisation and the delivery of outputs.
  • Working with the operations team, support in the preparation, deployment and management of emergency responses.

Evolving MapAction's Offer:

  • Lead on the development of MapAction's geospatial offer, working closely with the volunteer and technical team to seek innovative geospatial solutions to complex humanitarian situations.
  • Manage and strengthen relationships and collaboration with key partners and networks through attendance at key geospatial fora.
  • Maintain a watching brief of existing and emerging technologies, working closely with staff and volunteer teams to understand where these may be effectively used or adapted to MapAction's work.

Maintaining MapAction's capability:

  • Lead the coordination and application of geospatial data across the organisation.
  • Ensure geospatial training content continues to deliver a highly trained, relevant and expert team and is reflected in our training offer to external partners.
  • Maintain expert knowledge of tools and systems to maintain and enhance organisational  knowledge management and lead in its operational utilisation across the team (SalesForce, wiki, team launchpad, Google Apps, MapAction website (Wordpress), MDR (CKAN)).

Ensuring quality and compliance:

  • Act as the quality marker for Geospatial activity and data and uphold standards.
  • Work closely with the Head of MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning) to develop and collect appropriate metrics to measure the effectiveness of MapAction products and services.
  • Act as a staff focal point for the maintenance and improvement of MapAction Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Person specification:

  • Professionally qualified Geospatial expert with extensive experience in geospatial service delivery, particularly in the humanitarian or development sector.
  • Ability to work both strategically and operationally, avoiding unnecessary complexity.
  • Ability to work under pressure, consistently meeting deadlines and able to offer practical solutions.
  • Demonstrable ability to ensure high quality outputs.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate and coordinate with multiple stakeholders, build and maintain relationships.
  • A proven leader and team player. Comfortable with working, leading, and getting the best from multiple small teams combined with the energy and enthusiasm to drive improvement throughout the organisation.
  • Demonstrable project management skills.
  • Commitment to working effectively with volunteers.
  • Ability to deal with ambiguity and use judgement in challenging circumstances.
  • Strong commitment to MapAction's mission and values.
  • Ability and willingness to travel, including being deployed at short notice.

This is a big role but you are not alone. We support each other to get things done. We recognise that the role asks for a broad range of skills and experience. However, if you believe you are a good match for the role with skills and experience we may not have listed we'd be interested to hear from you.

Additional information:

  • Flexibility and willingness to work outside office hours including evenings and weekends, including undertaking cover for the Operations Director as requested and attending the monthly in person office coordination meeting and weekend training events. In particular, training events will be scheduled for a weekend, once a month, and this post is expected to attend these events. Reasonable time off in lieu is available by agreement.
  • Must have the right to live and work in the UK. MapAction is unable to consider candidates who do not already hold appropriate permissions.
  • Note: this is an operational role in a small, highly specialised charity and an appreciation of, and affinity with the humanitarian purpose of the charity is essential, as well as a willingness to take up additional tasks outside of the normal role when needed

Contact Name: MapAction
Reference: TJ/8078/38088/147
Job ID: 2954945

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