World Resources Institute Job Vacancy: GIS Technical Assistant, Global Forest Watch - Antananarivo, Madagascar

About WRI
World Resources Institute is a global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. Our 500 experts and staff work with partners in more than 50 countries; we have offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States. WRI is consistently ranked as the top global Think Tank working on environmental issues.

In 2014, WRI was ranked one of the Top Workplaces by the Washington Post.

World Resources Institute (WRI) seeks a GIS Technical Assistant for its Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative. The position will be full time and located in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The position will largely focus on leading the development of Madagascar specific GFW applications (largely GIS based), developing data management and diffusion protocols, compiling data content, conducting research and analysis related to forests and building the capacity of WRI’s partners in Madagascar in the use of GFW tools to apply information to the management of forest resources. The GFW Madagascar program is relatively new and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). This position will play a significant role in shaping the direction of GFW’s work, forming partnerships with other GIS technical experts in Madagascar, and leading the technical implementation for GFW in Madagascar. The Technical Assistant will report to the GFW Madagascar National Coordinator and collaborate closely with the West Africa and Madagascar Manager for GFW and the rest of WRI’s Africa Forest Team.

GFW’s mission is to make high-quality information about forests universally accessible and useful for people worldwide, so as to empower them to manage forest landscapes sustainably and improve the livelihoods of local people. The GFW platform unites satellite technology, open data, and human networks to provide free access to the most timely, reliable, and actionable information about forests around the world. The GFW initiative supports governments, civil society, and the private sector to apply this information to solve critical forest monitoring and management challenges.

The Madagascar GIS Technical Assistant's main areas of responsibility will include the following:
  • Lead development and implementation of technical aspects of WRI-GFW’s activities in Madagascar – beginning with the development of the Madagascar Forest Atlas;
  • Lead the conceptualization, development and implementation of GIS-based tools and analytical methods in support of WRI-GFW’s Madagascar partners;
  • Support communicating about forest data and analysis to technical and non-technical audiences at national and international levels (e.g. by producing maps, graphs, figures, contributing to writing blog posts and articles);
  • Respond to technical inquiries related to WRI-GFW’s Madagascar work;
  • Represent WRI-GFW and give presentations at conferences and workshops, when necessary;
  • Provide technical assistance to relevant processes such as land use planning, monitoring of logging activities, enhancement of protected areas management, and other relevant areas of natural resource management in Madagascar;
  • Support and/or carry out field activities to ground truth data;
  • Provide training for WRI-GFW Madagascar personnel and partners in GIS, remote sensing, management of forest databases, as well as in the application of forest data to key forest management processes;
  • Produce documents of communication, synthesis and posters in line with WRI quality standards;
  • Contribute to building a strong GIS community in Madagascar;
  • Provide support in developing strategies for acquiring new datasets relevant to GFW, in the context of identified thematic and geographic research priorities;
  • Prepare and analyze spatial data, including deriving spatial statistics by using of geoprocessing tools (e.g. Model Builder and other analytical tools using ArcGIS and Python);
Required Qualifications:
  • Degree or certificate in Geography, GIS, Information Systems, Natural Resource Management or other related field;
  • Minimum 2 years of full time relevant GIS work experience;
  • Proficiency in standard GIS software (ESRI, Quantum GIS);
  • Strong analytical skills, including raster analysis, generating statistics and indicators from spatial data, automating common tasks;
  • Ability to work on a variety of projects while meeting tight deadlines;
  • Ability to work and thrive as part of a diverse, international team;
  • A demonstrated ability to take initiative and get things done with little supervision;
  • Authorization to work in Madagascar;
  • Fluency in written and spoken French and English;
  • Adherence to the missions and institutional values of WRI.
Desired Qualifications:
  • Programming experience using Python, Java Script or other program languages for delivery of fast and powerful GIS analyses;
  • Experience working with the Google Suite of tools (i.e. Google Earth Engine);
  • Previous experience building web GIS applications;
  • Proficiency in graphics software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator) with an ability to produce high quality maps for publication;
  • Strong communication skills, including presentation experience;
  • Demonstrated experience with remote sensing and image analysis, including familiarity with software (ENVI or Erdas Imaging);
  • Deep understanding of the forest sector and land use trends in Madagascar;
Final candidates will be required to take an analytical test and submit a writing sample.

Salary and Benefits: Salary is commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous, comprehensive benefits package.

How to Apply
Qualified applicants should apply online at All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered.

About WRI
Established in 1982, WRI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization respected globally by policymakers, non-governmental organizations, and corporate leaders.

WRI’s reputation is grounded in its excellent analysis, non-partisan approach, and high-impact results. We measure our success based on how our work helps to create real-world change on the ground—and approach we call “Managing for Results.”

WRI’s work is united by and driven by our values: Innovation, Integrity, Urgency, Independence, and Respect.

WRI fosters a culture of innovative ideas, working collaboratively, and thinking independently. WRI employees are driven by the organization’s mission and have the satisfaction of helping to create a more prosperous and healthy planet.

Closing Date: 29 Apr 2016

How to Apply
Qualified applicants should apply online at All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered.