Developer & GIS Database Coordinator


Location: Kentish Town, North West London NW5 2JT
Salary: 34,350 per annum incl. London weighting, plus benefits.
34,350.00 p.a.| 5 days p/w | Fixed Term: until September 2019
Closing Date: 15th August 2017
Job type: Fixed term
Organisation: The Rainforest Foundation UK
Website: http://www.rainforestfoundationuk.org/who-we-are/jobs
Developer and GIS Database Coordinator - full time (35 hour working week)

The Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) supports indigenous peoples and traditional populations of the world's rainforest to:

  • Secure and control the natural resources necessary for their long-term wellbeing and to manage these resources in ways which do not harm their environment, violate their culture or compromise their future.
  • Develop means to protect their individual and collective rights and to obtain, shape and control basic services from the state.

As a member of RFUK's Mapping Team, the Developer and GIS Database Coordinator will be responsible for leading the technical development of RFUK's mapping and GIS-focused platforms and applications as well as its monitoring software systems, including the online Mapping For Rights website and RFUK's real-time monitoring software.

We are looking for someone with:

  • Experience of using JavaScript, Python (or similar programming languages) to create web/desktop applications;
  • Familiarity with SQL and NoSQL databases with spatial extensions (PostgreSQL + Postgis, CouchDB/MongoDB); &
  • Knowledge of HTTP servers, API's, Version control systems, Geographic data servers (MapServer/GeoServer)

The post is based in the Rainforest Foundation's north London office, with regular travel to the Congo Basin region.

Please visit our website for a full job description and person specification and information on how to apply.

Please note that we do not accept CVs.

Closing Date for Applications: 15th August 2017

Registered Charity No. 1138287 | Registered Company No. 7391285
RF UK is an equal opportunities employer and makes no discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, age, physical abilities, religious or sexual persuasion.

Effective: September 2017
Duration of contract: Until September 2019
Reporting to: Mapping Coordinator
Responsible for: GIS and Database Officer
Close working relationship with: other staff and consultants in the Programmes Team.

The Rainforest Foundation UK

The mission of the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) is to support indigenous peoples and traditional populations of the world's rainforest to:

  • Secure and control the natural resources necessary for their long-term wellbeing and managing these resources in ways which do not harm their environment, violate their culture or compromise their future.
  • Develop means to protect their individual and collective rights and to obtain, shape and control basic services from the state.

RFUK considers that an essential first step to protect and manage the tropical forests and to reduce poverty in tropical forest countries is to realise the rights of the traditional and indigenous communities who live in those forests. With secure rights to land and livelihoods, forest peoples can effectively manage forest resources and direct and manage their own development. Founded in 1989, RFUK has in the past 20 years built a solid body of work based on this rights-based approach to development and protection of the rainforest. Although our work is focused on the Congo Basin, where RFUK has worked since 1996, we also work in the Peruvian Amazon.

RFUK tackles the underlying causes of deforestation linked to the problem of disenfranchisement of indigenous forest peoples globally and locally. From the field to the international policy arena, RFUK reinforces the active participation of forest peoples in the decisions that affect them.

RFUK currently has 25 staff, with a number of volunteers or interns at any given time. It is governed by a Board of seven Trustees. The London-based Foundation is part of a network of sister organizations, which also include the Rainforest Foundation US and the Rainforest Foundation Norway.

The Programmes Team at the Rainforest Foundation UK is one of three teams in the organisation and is the main team responsible for the implementation of our projects under the four themes cited above. It currently has a size of 16.

Community mapping, participatory GIS, and environmental monitoring

Community mapping and monitoring is a cross-cutting component of RFUK's programmes strategy. Technology developments are seen as key tools to promote community rights to forest lands and resources and to improve governance.

Underlying the marginalisation of forest communities is often a lack of reliable and transparent information on their use, ownership and possession of the forest. RFUK developed the MappingForRights database which is aimed at enabling communities to demonstrate their presence in the forest; for national decision?makers and the private sector to take account of and recognise this presence and to assist the international community in designing appropriate programmes and interventions concerned with those rights, through:

  • The development of low?cost geo?spatial technologies which allow communities themselves to accurately map their lands and resources, supported by teams of mapping facilitators and GIS technicians placed in the field.
  • An online interactive database where authorised users can access this geographical information about community presence, land use and rights as well as other claims on, and users of, the forest, such as logging activities, protected areas, infrastructure and agricultural expansion, and REDD projects.

To date, some three million hectares of forest land in the Congo Basin have been mapped and uploaded to the MappingForRights platform - providing an important and unprecedented visual aid for rights-based advocacy work. RFUK's tropical forest community mapping initiative (TFCMI) is now examining the feasibility and potential demand for establishing a similar online mapping facility of forest peoples' lands in other tropical forest regions.

In April 2015, RFUK launched the first community real-time forest monitoring system (RTM) that enables communities to capture and transmit information on forest illegalities to a central database in real-time, even in non-networked areas. This kind of technology has the potential to transform the role of communities in forest governance and has many possible applications including monitoring of extractive industries, wildlife inventories and REDD schemes.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

General:

The postholder will be responsible for supporting the development of the mapping and monitoring component of RFUK strategy, in coordination with other programmes staff.

Specific responsibilities and tasks:

The Developer and GIS database Coordinator will be responsible for the following tasks, under the supervision of the Mapping Coordinator:

1. Technical development

  • In close relation with the Mapping Coordinator, Real Time Monitoring (RTM) Coordinator, and Research and Policy Coordinator, leading the technical development of RFUK mapping/GIS and monitoring software systems, including MappingForRights and real-time monitoring;
  • Supporting the further development and extension of the existing MappingForRights Website and database (MfR), including any structural and back-end elements;
  • Developing, managing and implementing back-up and recovery arrangements of MfR, and ensuring that storage, archiving, back-up and recovery procedures are functioning correctly at all times;
  • Ensuring the development of the RTM systems, according to country and partners needs, and projects logframe, workplan and budget;
  • Managing budget(s) allocating budgets for technical equipment and development according to RFUK procedures;
  • Monitoring technical developments that could be of interest for the work of the RFUK;
  • Contributing to the development of reports, briefings, leaflets and other media to inform RFUK target groups;
  • Working closely with several third-party developers and contractors, and writing specifications and TORs for external developers and contractors.

2. Managing staff

  • Managing RFUK staff (GIS and Database Officer). This will include ensuring the proper preparation and implementation of work plans, undertaking six-monthly staff appraisals, providing strategic guidance adequate support as and when required, including organising relevant training (liaising with the Mapping Coordinator and Programmes Administrator and Finance Coordinator);
  • Ensuring that line-managed staff are fully aware of and comply with relevant RF UK internal policies, including travel safety and security arrangements, overseas fieldwork guidelines, financial procedures, anti-bribery policy etc.
  • Supervising the work of consultants, researchers and volunteers as appropriate;

3. General

  • Ensure good coordination with other members of the Programmes Team and ensure regular communication and information sharing in this respect;
  • Represent the RFUK at external meetings, where required;
  • Contribute to the production of external communications about our work;
  • Liaising with the Media and Communications Manager in the production of communications outputs;
  • Undertake other tasks as required by the Mapping Coordinator, the Head of Programmes and Executive Director.

PERSON SPECIFICATION Details

Essential

  • Masters degree in a relevant subject, such as GIS in forestry, land use planning
  • Experience of using JavaScript, Python (or similar programming languages) to create web/desktop applications
  • Familiarity with Amazon web services and Unix based systems administration
  • Familiarity with SQL and NoSQL databases with spatial extensions (PostgreSQL + Postgis, CouchDB/MongoDB)
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with relevant technology; HTTP servers, API's, Version control systems, Geographic data servers (MapServer/GeoServer)
  • Familiar with Open Geospatial Standards (WMS/WFS/TMS )
  • Knowledge of Remote sensing, and satellite imagery from acquisition to analysis
  • A good understanding of the range of participatory approaches to managing geographic information, both high- and low-tech.
  • Demonstrable ability to plan work and deliver outputs to agreed deadlines.

Desirable

  • Good knowledge of indigenous peoples' rights issues and international agreements affecting them, especially in an African context.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of participatory and rights based approaches to community development and advocacy.
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Experience of delivering training and ongoing mentoring
  • Knowledge of forest management issues in tropical forests.
  • Demonstrable commitment to being part of a team motivated by political challenges and practical achievements on behalf of indigenous people of tropical forests.
  • Fluency in English and proficiency in French, both spoken and written.

Willingness and ability to travel in Congo Basin region countries, as well as other occasional travel, such as to European destinations.

Summary Terms and Conditions

Hours, remuneration and place of work

The post is a full time post, based on a 35-hour working week, with a six-month probationary period.

The starting salary is 34,350 gross per annum, including London weighting.

Monthly salary is paid by Bank Automated Credit transfer, on the 25th of every month.

Holidays, sick pay and other benefits are provided in accordance with statutory requirements. At present, 30 days paid leave per year are offered.

Non-contributory pension (4% of salary).

The place of work is 233a Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2JT. This is a non-smoking environment. There is no parking provided for the post-holder, although bicycles are allowed in the building.

Notice period is three months.

Equal Opportunities

RFUK is an equal opportunities employer, and makes no discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, age, physical abilities, religious or sexual persuasion.

233a Kentish Town Road unfortunately is not as accessible to those with physical disabilities as the organisation would like, but every effort will be made to provide an accessible and pleasant working environment for all staff, trustees, volunteers and visitors.

posted: 19 July 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.