Consultant, Data Scienctist, remote and in Greece

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Athens, Greece
Apply by 2 February 2017
Mid-level , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 3 January 2017

Job Description

Project Locations: Remote with travel to Athens

Timeframe: January 3, 2017 – March 3, 2017 at 5 days a week


Since January 2015, more than 1 million migrants and refugees have reached Europe by land and sea, with the majority arriving via Greece. Mercy Corps Greece launched a response to the migration crisis in August 2015 to provide a timely humanitarian response and promote the resilience of migrants and refugees. We work closely with Greek civil society, private and public partners to respond to unmet humanitarian needs and promote refugee and migrant adaptation to shocks and stressors caused by the migration to Europe and their ongoing circumstances in Greece.

Mercy Corps’ response in Greece is informed by a holistic protection approach including specialized programing (i.e. multi-purpose cash, youth, information dissemination and legal aid) as well as integration of specific measures across all activities to mitigate and respond to protection issues of affected populations. The current portfolio comprises a cash transfer programme and a series of youth-related projects that constitute the youth learning spaces programme. The MEL system heavily relies on quantitative tools for cash transfer and qualitative methods for youth and protection.

Purpose / Project Description:

Mercy Corps has used Segovia as cloud database of cash transfer beneficiaries and Mastercard as card service provider of the programme. The Segovia database combines information a) from Mastercard on beneficiaries’ expenditures and b) from the programme team about cards’ recipients (e.g. household size, age, sex). Mercy Corps is now switching from Mastercard and Segovia to Prepaid Financial Service (PFS), which is able to host a basic online database.

Data from the field is collected through ONA and it is subsequently sent to PFS in order to allow cash distribution. PFS hosts a basic database that can be fed with data coming from the programme team. Mercy Corps is trying to have a smooth data management transition as the programme team is rolling out PFS in various implementation sites.

Consultant Activities:

The Data Science Consultant will help the team to set up a data management system for information collected in the field regarding registration, monthly top-up distribution and expenses on PFS card use.

The Consultant will perform the following activities:

  1. Work with field-based program and MEL staff on building a data management system regarding registration, card top-ups and PFS data:

  • Guide the country team on building an appropriate data management structure and flow of data from collection to analysis to decision making and learning;
  • Work with country teams to automatize the process of integration of data collected in the field and data provided by PFS on cardholders’ expenditures;
  • The Consultant is responsible to write standard of procedures (SOPs) for the processes utilized for data management.

  1. Facilitate the process of data visualization in order to obtain quasi-real time data on beneficiaries:

  • Work with the MEL and programme teams to make data user friendly and easy to understand
  • Help with the process of understanding data coming from the field

Furthermore, he/she is responsible to share lessons learnt about the data management and analysis process in order to be used by the MEL team.

  1. Facilitate the process of data analysis in order to obtain in-depth understanding of beneficiaries profile and gather lessons learnt on expenditure patterns. The analysis should outline recommendations for programme and MEL teams.

Consultant Deliverables:

By the end of the contract, the consultant should deliver three outcomes;

  • System that allows easy and secure data migration from ONA to PFS database and vice-versa;

This system should be able to communicate information back to ONA in order to allow a monitoring procedure for beneficiaries through pull-out data or similar. This is particularly challenging in light of a) the high number of cases b) the number of users for data collection and c) the variety of locations where the programme is implemented. Data from the field is continuously collected from the field and uploaded on ONA.

  • Dashboard for data visualization of beneficiaries with quasi-real time data;

The programme team requires an easy-to-use data visualization tool that is able to show basic information about a) data collected in the field regarding beneficiaries, including, for instance, breakdown by nationality, location, household size and b) expenditure patterns of beneficiaries from data collected from PFS.

  • In depth analysis reports on beneficiaries, including expenditure patterns;

The consultant would be responsible to provide an in-depth analysis on beneficiaries, including insights into expenditure patterns. This would provide guidelines for PDMs and feedback to programme team.

The Consultant will work closely with the MEL team for technical aspects and the Cash Coordinator as reference point for field coordination and focal person for programme.

Timeframe / Schedule:

The consultancy is anticipated to begin on or around early January 2017 for a duration of two months at 5 days per week. The consultant will provide primarily remote support from his/her home office; however, occasional short-term travel to the field to provide in-depth, in-person support may be required. A first pilot of the data management system should be set up by the first three weeks of the consultancy.

Field contact points:

(Cash Coordinator), (Islands Program Manager), (Mainland Program Manager)

The Consultant will report to: (DM&E Specialist)

The Consultant will work closely with: Program and MEL field staff, country leadership


About the Organization

Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided over $575 million in assistance to 73 nations. The agency's programs currently reach 5 million people in more than 25 countries, including the United States. Mercy Corps is a nonprofit organization with headquarters offices in Portland (Oregon), Seattle (Washington), Washington, DC, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Known for its quick-response, high-impact programs, over 95 percent of the agency's resources are allocated directly to programs that help those in need.
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