WASCAL (the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a research and education-focused institution designed to provide knowledge and services to help tackle climate change challenges and enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems. It does so by strengthening the research capacity and infrastructure in West Africa related to climate change by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany. The West African countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.

WASCAL seeks to recruit a Data Technician for the COINS and DecLaRe projects. This is a local position and shall be based at the WASCAL Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The candidate will be required to service WASCAL by providing support to the projects COINS (Co-developing innovations for sustainable land management in West African smallholder farming systems) and DecLaRe (Decision Support for Strengthening Land Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF under the guidance of the local projects’ coordination team at WASCAL.

The aim of COINS is to incentivize and enable sustainable farming and land use measures and associated governance mechanisms to improve livelihoods and food security in West Africa while increasing natural capital by reversing land degradation and increasing resource use efficiencies.

DecLaRe aims to identify recommendation domains for scalable innovations towards sustainable crop production and animal husbandry in West Africa. Focusing on northern Benin and Ghana DecLaRe builds on available local and scientific knowledge and databases. It combines their use with problem-oriented research at the field level and modelling at the national to regional level. DecLaRe’s ultimate goal is to construct a decision support system (DSS) that can be used for land use and land management as well as for policy development.

The chosen candidate will provide data management support to a multidisciplinary team of experts from different African and German institutions mainly to process, store, and publish the data from the two projects to all stakeholders in West Africa and beyond.

The successful candidates will be expected to:

  • Strongly collaborate with Data Management Department
    • Collate and organise all data and reports related to the two projects.
    • Process/transform data to meet data quality and data integration requirements of the projects.
    • Integrate/load/store data into databases including open data cubes.
    • Help in conducting data management activities of the projects including data provision service to researchers and students.
    • Design, build, test, and maintain automated data integration/ETL processes.
    • Design and implement data quality and data cleansing requirements and methodologies.
    • Analyze and compile technical documentation as required by the projects.
    • Any other task that may be assigned from time to time by the project leadership team and the Director of the Competence Centre.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • At least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Sciences, Information Technology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing, Engineering or a closely related field.
  • Hands on experience (minimum 2 years) in Python and JavaScript programming languages and in GIS & Remote Sensing methodologies including spatial data collection, processing, and integration. Experience in the use of Google Earth Engine will be an advantage.
  • Experience in the operation and administration of relational database management systems like PostgreSQL, PostGIS and MS ACCESS.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication in English.  French language will be an advantage.
  • Knowledge of data management concepts and basic requirements.
  • Knowledge of system security (e.g., intrusion detection systems) and data backup/recovery.

Application procedure:

Interested applicants should submit following documents to candidature@wascal.org by 10th November 2023: a cover letter (maximum 2 pages) outlining motivation, qualifications, and experience for the position (considering the background and desirable qualifications), a curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of three references. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.  Only applications from candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.