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Recruiting for an IT Officer

UK - 9 Jul - MapAction is looking to recruit a part time IT Officer to carry out specific IT related tasks that will support the operations of the charity. Full details of the position can be downloaded - IT Officer job description.

Job Description

MapAction relies heavily on IT for its work in the field and in its UK headquarter. MapAction’s IT is managed by the Technical Circle, a group of technically minded staff and volunteers, with operational support by the Technical Director and a local IT outsourcing company. 

The job holder will support the Technical Circle and the Technical Director by carrying out specific IT related tasks and will be a key member of the Technical Circle.

The job holder will not be expected to deploy overseas as part of regular MapAction emergency operations. 

Key Responsibilities

  • To make sure all IT systems are operational at all times. This includes maintaining MapAction’s fleet of 30+ laptops, communications equipment, and specialist software applications (GIS, Geographic Information Systems).
  • To configure end user IT equipment to the specifics of MapAction’s demanding operating environment.
  • To check and rebuild laptops and other equipment after use in emergency deployments and training weekends.
  • To undertake scripting and automation tasks both for system administration purposes and some data manipulation tasks.
  • To work with MapAction’s IT outsourcing supplier (a local IT company) to develop and improve MapAction’s IT infrastructure. This includes system integration, acceptance testing and developing specifications for future work.
  • To implement, test and improve MapAction’s in-field IT procedures and systems.
  • To create written guidance for both technical and end user audiences.
  • To work with the volunteer team to integrate their contributions to the tasks above.
  • Other duties as required and as assigned. 

Person Specification

Essential:

  • Minimum vocational education (HNC or HND) in an IT related subject
  • Minimum two years professional experience in a technical support or system administration role
  • Experience of Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Server, MS Office, servicing hardware and software, software deployment and configuration, scripting
  • Basic (or above) knowledge of Linux, including setup, configuration and shell scripts
  • Good communication skills, verbal and written
  • Willingness and ability to work outside normal office hours when required, in particular:
    • During MapAction deployments to major emergencies
    • Occasionally attending MapAction’s volunteer training and development weekends.
    • Occasional participation in conference calls on evenings and weekends
  • Candidates must have the right to reside and work in the UK. MapAction is not able to sponsor visas.

Desirable:

  • A vendor qualification like MCSA, MCITP or MCSE
  • ITIL foundation qualification
  • Academic training in Computer Science or a related subject
  • Experience writing documentation for both technical and end user audiences
  • Experience of  working with a volunteer organisation
  • Knowledge of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technology, in particular ESRI software, GPS and Satellite Communications equipment 

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Applications will close on 28th July 2014. Interviews are planned for 12th August. Please indicate in your application if you are available on this day.  If you would like to discuss the role prior to applying then please contact us by email or telephone.

A full job description can be downloaded here - IT Officer job description

 
MapAction responds to Iraq crisis

Erbil, 30 Jun – MapAction has deployed two volunteers to Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to support the humanitarian response to widespread conflict across northern and central areas of the country.

MapAction’s volunteers are deploying in support of a United Nations’ team to help collate and disseminate key data about the crisis. In this complex and evolving situation, it is anticipated that the initial focus will be working with other organisations to develop, share and maintain data standards, so all humanitarian actors are using the same administrative boundaries and codes. The team will produce reference maps and templates to help support assessment and thematic mapping. It is also likely that MapAction’s 3W maps (“Who is doing What and Where?”) will play an important role in helping to coordinate the response.

Over the course of recent months, pockets of violence have escalated to widespread conflict across northern and central Iraq. According to UN reports, half a million people have fled Mosul and tens of thousands have fled the governorates of Diyala and Salah ad-Din.

Most internally displaced people (IDPs) have been forced to flee with few or no resources to sustain themselves in the long term. Initial UN assessments indicate that many are staying in the open and urgently need water, food, shelter and latrines. Humanitarian agencies are therefore prioritising the delivery of food, water, tents and other essential supplies for those affected.

MapAction’s Chief Executive, Liz Hughes, commented: “This is a very complex and volatile situation, which presents many significant challenges for humanitarian responders. MapAction’s volunteers will be working at the heart of the response to help coordinate the planning and delivery of emergency aid. Their efforts behind the scenes will help bring relief to thousands of people whose lives have been turned upside-down by this devastating conflict.”

Photo Credit: OCHA

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Building mapping capacity in DRC

Goma, 23 Jun – MapAction has recently completed a two-week training mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two mapping professionals deployed to Goma in the east of the country, which has suffered from civil war, volcanic eruptions and the presence of rebel groups in recent years.  The team was based at UNICEF’s offices in the city, with the aim of building capacity for humanitarian mapping both within UNICEF and partner organisations. In addition, the mission aimed to review existing mapping and data management processes within UNICEF.

MapAction ran two separate training courses – an Introduction to Geographical Information Systems and Spatial Analysis. A total of 32 delegates from UNICEF and 11 partner organisations attended the training.

A final report containing recommendations to improve map production processes, data management and to promote the use of geographical information within decision-making has been provided to UNICEF.

 
MapAction deploys to floods in Paraguay

ASUNCION, 16 Jun – Two MapAction volunteers have deployed to Paraguay to support the coordination of relief efforts following extensive flooding.

Days of sustained heavy rains have caused the Paraguay and Parana rivers to swell, leading to widespread floods across three departments, including the capital, Asunción. According to reports from the United Nations, approximately 160,000 people have been affected. Rain is forecast to continue to several weeks, so there are concerns that the situation could deteriorate further.

MapAction’s volunteers will initially support the United Nations’ relief efforts from Asunción, but may subsequently travel to other affected areas.

This is the charity’s second deployment to Paraguay, following a response to flooding in 2012. Jonny Douch, MapAction’s Operations Director commented: “With the eyes of the world on Brazil for the World Cup, it is poignant to think that its neighbour is experiencing such devastating floods. Within hours of receiving the request from the United Nations, we had our team selected and operational equipment ready to deploy. I know our volunteer team are looking forward to contributing their mapping expertise to help get people’s lives back together as quickly as possible.”

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Photo Credit: ABC.py

 
Volunteering for MapAction

UK, 2 Jun - MapAction are seeking to expand its volunteer capacity and are looking for people with a range of skills including GIS, system administration and software development.

As new volunteer, they will be part of our integral Operational Support Team, who will provide GIS and other technical support to the Deployable team during emergency missions. In between emergency missions they will be helping to develop MapAction's services in areas like web mapping and data sharing. There will also be opportunities to deploy on Disaster preparedness and capacity building missions, which along with regular team training will allow the volunteers to gain valuable experience prior to joining the deployable team, if this is of interest.

Information about specific requirements and how to apply is on the Volunteers page and in the following document – Volunteering with MapAction 2014.

The closing date for applications is 29 June 2014.


 
MapAction deploys to Balkan floods

Belgrade, 19 May – MapAction has deployed a skilled volunteer to Belgrade to help coordinate the response in Serbia of widespread flooding in the Balkans.

The area has been affected by sustained rainfall, which has resulted in what are thought to be the worst floods in 120 years with four months of rainfall in just one day. Several people are known to have died but the fall extent will not be clear until the flood waters start to recede.

The situation has been further exacerbated by landslides and damage to roads and infrastructure. As of 17 May, more than 6,000 people have been evacuated, but it is estimated that over 50,000 people may have been affected, and 115,000 homes have been left without electricity.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated in response to the emergency. Member states have agreed to provide rescue boats and helicopters to support the evacuation of residents and the transportation of water, medicines and food. Operational staff and high capacity pumping equipment have also been deployed.

MapAction’s volunteer will be working in partnership with the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team from their coordination centre in Belgrade. The team will provide information to assess the extent of the flooding, affected population, infrastructure damage and humanitarian needs, vital to assist humanitarian providers in their response.

This is MapAction’s second emergency deployment to the Balkans, following a mission to Albania to help with flooding in 2010. The charity continues to monitor the situation in Bosnia, Croatia and other potentially affected parts of Europe, and is ready to send further assistance as required.

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[Image: Serbia floods c Elvis Barukcic  AFP Getty Images May 2014]

 
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