GIS & Remote Sensing Officer

IMPACT Initiatives

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 with headquarters based in Paris and presence in thirty countries. The two organizations have a strong complementarity formalized in a global partnership, which allows IMPACT to benefit from ACTED’s operational support in its fields of intervention.

We are currently looking for a GIS and Remote Sensing Officer to support our team in Ethiopia.

Position: GIS and Remote Sensing Officer

Contract duration: 6 months, renewable

Location: Kampala, with frequent travel to Ethiopia

Starting Date: ASAP


Since 2018, Ethiopia has witnessed an escalation in unrest including large-scale displacement, killings, and destruction of property following domestical political changes. Such unrest has exacerbated the impact of climate-related crises, including the most devastating desert locust infestation in 25 years, which has damaged crops and fostered food insecurity. In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic infiltrated Ethiopia leading to lockdowns and transport bans in many regions that restricted access to markets. Then in November 2020, conflict erupted in the northern Tigray region, displacing many Ethiopians, and contributing to an approximate 1.1 million additional people needing assistance in Amhara, Afar and Tigray regions. All of these events have severely disrupted livelihoods, affected the availability of staple market commodities, and threatened to sharply escalate humanitarian need for vulnerable populations across the country.


IMPACT is seeking a candidate with a strong technical background, who has previous experience of working in the GIS/Cartography/Remote Sensing sphere. More specifically, the candidate should have experience with analysis of satellite imagery with different spatial and spectral resolution for the purposes of change detection; hazard mapping and climatic analysis, as well as collection and processing of socio-economic data. The candidate should understand concepts of cartographic design and be experienced in presentation of the results of spatial analysis using static and interactive mapping products.

Under the supervision of the Data and GIS Manager, with technical guidance from the HQ Remote Sensing Specialist, the GISO is responsible for conducting geospatial analysis and mapping to support rapid humanitarian needs assessments and research products for Ethiopia. The GISO will be responsible for the application of geographic information systems in Ethiopia, including relevant aspects of research design, support in designing data collection tools, ensuring (spatial) data quality, geo-spatial analysis, drafting of maps, and production of web maps and information management systems. In coordination with the relevant Managers and Specialists, the GISO is required to support assessment planning in line with project and program objectives and with IMPACTs research cycle and other relevant guidelines.

The position is based in Kampala, with frequent travel to Ethiopia. The level (GISO or SGISO) will depend on the candidates experience and qualifications.


The GIS Officer’s responsibilities include:

Research Planning

  • In coordination with relevant assessment officer(s), support assessment planning in line with project and program objectives and with IMPACT’s research cycle and other relevant guidelines;
  • Contribute to draft assessment ToRs with a specific focus on the analysis plan, and related mapping, as well as data management plan;
  • Develop geo-spatial analysis of assessment areas to be used in developing daily assessment plans, field movement plans and accompanying operational maps for field teams;
  • In coordination with relevant assessment officer(s), support construction of quantitative sample.

Remote Sensing Research Implementation

  • Harmonisation of available data through Secondary Desk Review (SDR) in the form of static maps, interactive dashboards or Web Maps;
  • Plan and develop satellite-based modelling techniques (e.g. natural hazard susceptibility) which highlight hazards and risks for the country, using Google Earth Engine, Python, or/and R for example. Understand, maintain and improve models already present and running, in order to use them upon request;
  • Suggest and conduct satellite-based analyses, such as rapid damage assessments, change detections, natural hazard impact mapping, and time series. Such activities will be based on a variety of different sensors including multispectral optical sensors, SAR sensors and very high resolution optical sensors;
  • Liaise with IMPACT HQ on the procurement of UNOSAT services and satellite imagery.

GIS Research Implementation

  • Ensure that collected data is properly geo-referenced, enabling the production of maps and related products;
  • In coordination with relevant assessment officer(s), document all changes in data collection that lead to a modification in the agreed TORs, ensuring that the IMPACT CC and IMPACT HQ are informed and agree on the modifications.

Data management, cleaning and analysis

  • Ensure that all collected data is stored in line with IMPACT’s Data Management Guidelines, and with the ToRs (data management plan Annex);
  • Ensure that spatial data is revised and cleaned, and that all revisions are recorded;
  • Conduct spatial analysis on collected data as per ToRs;
  • Ensure that data and its spatial analysis are validated by IMPACT HQ before product drafting stage;
  • Ensure that data and its analysis do not contain personal or other sensitive information and are validated by IMPACT HQ before sharing to external parties;
  • Ensure the quality and accuracy of technical information provided as well as the confidentiality and protection of collected information.
  • Development and maintenance of country-level databases for the consolidation of all assessment- related and GIS data in country.
  • Drafting or products
    • Ensure accurate linkages between spatial databases and assessment data;
    • Maintain regular communication with IMPACT HQ on progress and deadlines for GIS products;
    • Ensure the drafting of timely and accurate GIS products, which comply with IMPACT’s guidelines
  • External engagement
    • Link with relevant partners to consult and involve them in the GIS components of a research cycle;
    • Represent IMPACT in relevant meetings/working groups and support the presentation of research findings through GIS inputs to relevant third parties in order to enhance their use and impact;
    • Follow up on issues identified by partners or during meetings/working groups;
    • Promote an active use of datasets, GIS products and research findings by partners and the broader humanitarian community for their decision making.
  • Capacity building
    • In coordination with the Research Manager and GIS Specialist, support the development and implementation of capacity training plans for GIS and other team members, particularly on remote sensing capacities;
    • Be available to provide regular support and technical backstopping.
  • Accountability to communities and beneficiaries

The GISO is responsible for ensuring that all interactions Ethiopian communities are conducted in a respectful and consultative manner. Due attention must be paid to ensuring that communities are adequately consulted and informed about IMPACT programme objectives, activities, beneficiary selection criteria, and methodologies. This is the responsibility of every IMPACT staff member.

  • Confidentiality and data protection

The GISO will maintain the strictest confidentiality on all data collected and related processes. He/she will actively take measures to prevent the unauthorized sharing of any information and data belonging to IMPACT and its partners, or collected during his/her assignment with IMPACT.


  • Years of work experience: At least 2 years of relevant working experience, preferably in humanitarian field;
  • Academic experience: Excellent academic qualifications, preferably including a master’s degree related to GIS, Remote Sensing, Data Science, Geography or related disciplines;
  • Theoretical knowledge: Should have remote sensing theoretical knowledge on projection, raster resolution, type of satellite images, band combination etc., understanding of climate hazards an added advantage;
  • Research skills: Advanced experience with geo-spatial information management and analysis, and excellent spatial analysis skills;
  • Software skills: Advanced knowledge of ESRI suite software (ArcPro, ArcMap, ArcGIS Online); good knowledge of Google Earth Engine; advanced knowledge of Microsoft office including Excel; knowledge of R, STATA, Python or equivalent statistical software an advantage; knowledge of Adobe Suite, particularly InDesign and illustrator an asset;
  • Knowledge of remote sensing tools: Good knowledge of tools such as ESA SNAP, GRASS;
  • Familiarity with aid system: Experience in a complex humanitarian emergency is not required, but is an asset;
  • Communication/reporting skills: Excellent communication and drafting skills for effective reporting;
  • Multi-tasking skills: Ability to multitask with tight deadlines, on numerous research cycles;
  • Level of independence: Proven ability to work independently;
  • Cross-cultural work environment: Ability to operate in a cross-cultural environment requiring flexibility;
  • Experience in geographical region: Past experience in the region is desirable;
  • Language skills: Fluency in English required.
  • Security environment: Ability to operate in a complex and challenging security environment.

Compensation and Benefits

  • For this position, salary between 2’460 CHF and 2’520 CHF monthly (before income tax), etc as well as a monthly living allowance of 300 USD NB – IMPACT salaries are strictly determined by our salary grid depending on the grade of the position and the level of education of A location-dependent security and/or isolation adjustment is then applied as a recognition that some staff are required to work in difficult places where living and working conditions are much more difficult than elsewhere.
  • Accommodation and food provided in a guesthouse
  • Enrolment in Swiss private pension fund (Swisslife – 9.975% of staff gross salary), health insurance, life insurance and repatriation assistance.
  • Flight tickets every 6 months & visa fees covered (in-country travel costs and professional expenses are fully covered).
  • Contribution to the luggage transportation: between 20 and 100 kgs, depending on the length of the contract (+ luggage and personal property insurance)
  • Annual leave of 36 days per Public holidays of the country of assignment. Family/compassionate leave when applicable.
  • Predeparture induction – 3 days at IMPACT Initiatives’ HQ in Geneva + one week pre-departure training in ACTED HQ in Paris, including a 4-days in situation security training;
  • IMPACT prioritizes the psychological safety of its staff and the health insurance provided covers, among others, up to 1000 € per year of psychosocial counselling fees.

How to apply

Please apply at the following link: GIS & Remote Sensing Officer | Impact (

Closing date: 21 Jan 2024