[R-jobs] Data scientist for Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants at UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya

Julian Blanc ju||@n@b|@nc @end|ng |rom c|te@m|ke@org
Mon Jun 15 08:05:28 CEST 2015

The CITES Programme for monitoring the illegal killing of elephants (MIKE) is looking for a Data Scientist based at the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. For more details and to apply, please go to http://tinyurl.com/mikeds-p3. Deadline for applications is 3 July. 

Org. Setting and Reporting
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between states. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival (www.cites.org). The MIKE programme was  established by the CITES Conference of the Parties to monitor levels of illegal killing of elephants at more than 80 conservation areas spread across 47 elephant range States in Africa and Asia, with the goal of providing reliable information and building capacity for the management of elephant populations. This positions is in the CITES Secretariat, administered by UNEP, and located at the Nairobi duty station.

Under the supervision of the MIKE Coordinator, the incumbent will: 
1) Implement the analytical programme of work of the MIKE Programme and coordinate the Programme’s scientific outputs by: Managing and further developing the MIKE data management systems; developing and applying effective quality assurance mechanisms to ensure the accuracy, consistency and comparability of the data sets; preparing reports of MIKE analyses for technical and non-technical audiences alike, including range State governments, the CITES Parties, the scientific community and the public; participating in the preparation of specialized papers for publication in the peer-reviewed scientific literature; and contributing to the preparation, conduct and follow-up of technical meetings. Representing the CITES Secretariat at relevant national and international fora, and presenting the MIKE Programme’s scientific work and findings; and responding effectively to relevant inquiries on specialized topics from the media and the scientific community.
2) Participate in the development and coordination of site-level monitoring and information management initiatives implemented under the MIKES Project, including: Developing improved monitoring tools and systems for data collection, management and application; providing technical and scientific guidance and advice to participating governments and partners to strengthen monitoring systems and capacity at participating sites, including through the preparation of training materials; and leading in the development, documentation and deployment of monitoring protocols for the collection of relevant data. 
3) Participate in the development and coordination of international information management and dissemination initiatives implemented under the MIKES Project, including: Conducting analyses of monitoring data and preparing analytical reports and data visualizations; contributing to the further development of tools and methodologies for analysing monitoring data to ensure the production of reliable, cost effective and user-friendly synthesis information; collaborating with the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) in developing and consolidating systems and capacity for monitoring trade in elephant products, and exploring collaborations for similar databases for other illegally-traded target species; and collaborating with partners on monitoring the population status, trends and threats to target and contributing to the development of population status databases.
4) Participate in the management, monitoring and further development of the MIKE Programme by: Leading the development and implementation of the MIKE Implementation Monitoring System (MIMS); communicating regularly with designated focal points in governments, implementing partners and MIKE governance structures on technical and implementation matters; reviewing and preparing relevant documents and progress reports; identifying problems and issues to be addressed, proposing corrective actions and tracking their execution; coordinating activities related to budget and funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) concerning project activities for which he/she is responsible, and preparing related documents/reports , (work programmes, budgets, etc.); participating in the supervision of consultants, including scientists and statistical experts.  
5) Undertake any other related duties as required.


• Professionalism: Knowledge and experience in the use of advanced statistical methods, including information-theoretic approaches and Bayesian methods using the R language; ability to prepare, manage and assure the quality of data, as well as to design and administer relational and spatial databases using PostgreSQL and SQLite; Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to particular sector, functional area or other specialized field; Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems; Ability to develop sources for data collection; Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Shows pride in work and in achievements; Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities;  Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; Remains calm in stressful situations.
• Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required ; Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; Uses time efficiently.
• Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
• Teamwork:  Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; Is willing to learn from others; Places team agenda before personal agenda; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
• Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; Thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in Statistics, Biostatistics, Quantitative Ecology, Forestry or a related field, additional training in database systems an advantage.  A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Work Experience
At least five years of progressively responsible professional experience in data management and statistical analysis is required. At least three years of experience at the international level, preferably in developing countries would be desirable. Experience in the publication of scientific research in relevant fields and in the workings of scientific committees is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in written and oral English is required.  Working knowledge of other UN official languages is desirable.
Assessment Method
Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

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