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Position: Research Associate
Organization: United Nations University (UNU), Bonn, Germany
Application URL:
Posted Date: 2017-02-09
Deadline: 2017-02-23
VARMAP (http://www.ehs.unu.edu/) is looking for an experienced Research Associate to support the recently started project on “Urban Disaster Resilience through Risk Assessment and Sustainable Planning” (UD-RASP).

The UD-RASP project aims at enhancing urban multi-hazard disaster prevention and resilience in Tunisia, using the city of Monastir as a pilot case. Funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), the project will develop a standardised procedure to provide reliable data and information on urban growth and disaster risk trends in this pilot area. This will be achieved by integrating geospatial data derived from high resolution satellite imagery, available socioeconomic data, and information obtained from expert interviews into a multi-hazard risk assessment. The project will provide a methodology for resilient cities through the integration of risk information into urban disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies in accordance with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), applicable to urban environments in Tunisia and further North African countries.

Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS and the supervision of the Head of the Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management & Adaptive Planning (VARMAP) section, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks:
• develop an urban growth model for the city of Monastir, Tunisia, based on time series of land use/land cover information obtained from remote sensing data, while also taking into account relevant environmental and socioeconomic drivers of urban change
• perform data cleaning, quality checks, processing and systemisation of secondary statistical data (e.g. census data) and conduct data analysis using descriptive, bi- and multi-variate statistical methods
• contribute to associated capacity building activities and technical skills training in the project
• conduct literature searches (scientific publications, reports, etc.) in the context of vulnerability disaster risk and resilience in urban north African contexts
• prepare and carry out stakeholder interviews and focus group discussions (in French) with representatives from local (i.e., Municipality of Monastir) and national government
• draft project deliverables and reports (in English and French)
• reporting and dissemination activities (incl. scientific publications and presentations at conferences)
• support the supervision of student assistants working within the project
• co-authoring peer-reviewed publications to present and distribute the project’s research results
• support other administrative tasks within VARMAP (e.g. the organisation of workshops and events, institutional reporting)

Qualifications and experience requirements
Required qualifications and expeerience include:
• masters or higher degree (PhD) in Geography, GI Science, Remote Sensing, Statistics, Spatial Planning, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Management or other relevant discipline
• advanced knowledge of spatial analysis (GIS, remote sensing) and urban growth modelling, including relevant statistical skills
• experience with agent based modeling or cellular automata is an asset
• track-record in scientific writing is an asset
• strong ability to carry out work independently
• excellent communication skills with fluency in oral and written French and English is required;
• Arabic language skills are an asset
• project management experience will be an asset
• good team player with ability to work in international and intercultural environment; experience in international organisations would be an advantage
• excellent time management skills
• takes initiatives and has flexible attitude to work, as appropriate

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