The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has a Centre for Humanitarian Data in The Hague, the Netherlands which is focused on increasing the use and impact of data in the humanitarian sector. The vision is to create a future where all people involved in a humanitarian emergency have access to the data they need, when and how they need it, to make responsible and informed decisions.
The Centre has four work streams: data services, data policy, data literacy, and network engagement. The Centre’s data services work includes direct management of the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) platform and the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL) data standard. For data policy, the Centre is developing guidelines for responsible data use; for data literacy, we offer on in-person and remote training programmes as well as a Data Fellows Programmes. Finally, the Centre engages an active community in support of its mission and objectives through a number events and communication activities.
One area of emerging interest in the humanitarian sector is predictive analytics: asking “what will happen” in a particular humanitarian context and using machine learning and the application of statistical modeling to arrive at an answer. The Centre initiated its work in Predictive Analytics through the 2018 Data Fellows Programme, and has continued to invest in this area through sustained research into the development of models related to different aspects of humanitarian response. This includes ongoing projects to predicting funding allocations in South Sudan, and predicting needs related to the possible onset of El Niño in southern Africa.
The Predictive Analytics Team Lead will work to strengthen the Centre’s initial projects and develop a detailed plan for the Centre’s approach to predictive analytics.
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