Climate and Disasters Assessment Officer

Climate and Disasters Assessment Officer

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

IMPACT Initiatives



IMPACT Initiatives is a humanitarian research NGO, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation manages several initiatives, including the REACH Initiative and AGORA, with is jointly managed with the NGO ACTED. The IMPACT team comprises specialists in data collection, management and analysis and GIS. IMPACT was launched at the initiative of ACTED, an international NGO whose headquarter is based in Paris and is present in thirty countries. The two organizations have a strong complementarity formalized in a global partnership, enabling IMPACT to benefit from ACTED’s operational support on its fields of intervention.

IMPACT has started doing localized needs assessments in 2016 to support humanitarian agencies, local government actors and development partners develop joint integrated response strategies at the level of specific crisis-affected geographic areas. Under the initiative AGORA, IMPACT works with its sister organization ACTED to deliver action-oriented area-based analysis, which aims at informing not only ACTED’s directly programming, but local governments’ and development actors’ planning strategies.

In the coming years, IMPACT is looking at further developing its research capacities to inform the aid community on how to tackle climate risk, and to mainstream climate and disaster risk management in programming strategies to strengthen the resilience of communities in fragile contexts. Area-based disaster risks mapping and climate change adaptation response planning will become of paramount importance to localized humanitarian programming. IMPACT is piloting area-based risk assessments and area-based resilience profiles in several countries to map out local level disaster risks and to identify actionable evidence-based solutions for climate change adaptation and risk preparedness. IMPACT ambitions to fine-tune and scale up similar research projects in other contexts.

We are currently looking for an Area-based Risk and Climate Assessment Officer to support our team in the Global Area-based Assessment / AGORA Unit.

  • Department: Global Initiatives
  • Position: Assessment Officer
  • Contract duration: 6 months
  • Location: Geneva with travel (up to 25% field deployment)
  • Starting Date: June 2022


Under the supervision of the ABA / AGORA manager based in Geneva HQ, the Assessment Officer will lead and support on various research and advocacy initiatives related to area-based disaster risk assessment and climate change adaptation.

The Assessment officer will provide advanced technical support to country operations in research design, data analysis, engagement with relevant local and international humanitarian actors, will contribute to developing global normative guidance and tools on the topic in collaboration with global programs and in line with internal research guidelines, and will actively support advocacy efforts in humanitarian platforms and networks. The individual fulfilling this role will play a critical function in providing technical, programmatic, and strategic support to a fast-growing and impactful work stream on the team.

This position offers opportunities to gain exposure to a varied scope of work and engage internally and externally with a wide range of interlocutors to advance the international humanitarian and recovery agendas on disaster risk preparedness, urban resilience and climate change adaptation.


The Assessment Officer is responsible for:

  1. Providing advanced technical support and surge capacity to country operations on area -based risks assessment and climate research, under both REACH and AGORA. This includes:
    • Taking stock of the different methodologies and approaches used for past and current area-based risk assessment and climate change assessments across country missions, in liaison with the Research Department, GIS / remote sensing unit and country programs
    • Providing advanced technical support to country teams in the design, analysis and strategic dissemination of their area-based risks assessment and climate adaptation assessments / response plans
    • Ad hoc surge support including country deployment up to 25% - this support may be provided remotely and/or through a field deployment, depending on the extent of support required and the specific needs of the country team
  2. Developing normative guidance and tools. This includes:
    • Conducting a literature review to map out and analyse existing tools, guidance and approaches from the humanitarian and development sectors
    • Proactively engaging with the remote sensing and GIS Unit and ABA global AO to identify and develop common areas of work, notably around sampling frameworks, risk typologies, land use and area-based vulnerability visualization techniques
    • Developing standard tools, indicator banks, methodologies, training material and normative guidance to enhance the quality and consistency of such assessments across the organization and integrating best practices from the recovery/development sector and urban planning practices.
    • When relevant, inputting in tools and guidance developed by other Teams in IMPACT to ensure relevant DRR and climate-related indicators can be effectively used and mainstreamed
    • Supporting the HQ focal point in chairing a Community of Practice with staff members from country missions involved in the topic, in coordination with the GIS / remote sensing unit when relevant
  3. Promoting area based risks and climate-related approaches within the humanitarian community. This includes:
    • Building a sound understanding of the urban resilience, risk preparedness and Climate change adaptation agenda, its manifestations in the humanitarian sphere, and identify information gaps in the humanitarian sector that area-based assessments can fill
    • Producing and presenting global ABRA and climate-related information products consolidating findings and trends from country-level analysis
    • Supporting engagement with external partners to identify relevant case studies and best practices
    • Supporting communications and dissemination activities at global level – including website articles, social media, webinars, and other similar activities
  4. TBC - Implementing IMPACT’s global research cycle on the contribution of Area and Settlement-based assessments to the global humanitarian agendas on Climate Change Adaptation and DRR, under the close supervision of the Global focal point for settlements and area-based programs. This includes:
    • Conducting preliminary research and analysis on applications of area and settlement-based assessments to inform new humanitarian agendas on DRR, Climate change adaptation
    • Identifying relevant stakeholders on each core theme and informants through advanced desk review and external engagement
    • Research design in consultation with external actors
    • Conducting interviews, data analysis, report drafting and dissemination
    • Formulating clear and impactful key messages on the basis of research findings


  • Academic Excellent academic qualifications, preferably including a Master degree in relevant discipline; (e.g. development, humanitarian studies, geography, Disaster Risk Management, urban planning, environmental policy)
  • Research skills Experience with designing and implementing primary research, in particular Disaster Risk Assessments, Area-based assessments, territorial analysis, spatial analysis, socio-economic surveys and/or humanitarian needs assessments. Experience with conducting sound secondary data and literature review.
  • Software skills Proven knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite, to include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; Experience with ArcGIS and remote sensing application.
  • Experience in the humanitarian or development sector At least 2 years of experience in the humanitarian sector and/or field-based roles in fragile or development contexts
  • Areas of knowledge Familiarity with the humanitarian system and global humanitarian policy frameworks, with urban planning in developing contexts, with climate change adaptation priorities and policies, familiarity with disaster risk reduction and humanitarian environmental concerns an asset.
  • Communication/reporting skills Excellent communication and drafting skills for effective reporting and advocacy efforts. Experience in engaging in international conferences and events on relevant topics a strong asset.
  • 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 and willingness to engage in short term field deployments, including to complex and challenging security environments
  • Language skills Fluency in English required.