Technical Lead - Guatemala

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 21 October 2020

Job Description

Project Description. Each year, the destructive forces of nature uproot lives and disrupt economic opportunities of millions of people around the world. In Guatemala, the population faces a wide range of meteorological, hydrological and geological hazards, including floods, drought, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. With support from Taiwan, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) will strengthen disaster monitoring, early warning systems, and disaster communications to reduce the time that disaster responders need to collect, analyze, and distribute action-oriented information to those who need it in times of emergency. PADF will also support national and regional efforts to combat COVID-19 by delivering technical assistance on the use of satellite data for monitoring the effects of COVID-19 mitigation strategies and recovery efforts.

During this 12-month initiative, PADF will upgrade the physical infrastructure of the Instituto Nacional de Sismología, Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrología (INSIVUMEH) and establish a National Hazard Monitoring and Forecasting Center (NHMFC). The center will bring together data scientists from across INSIVUMEH’s distinct departments and foster collaboration and information sharing between the agency and national-level disaster responders.

PADF will also deliver trainings tailored to build skills of INSIVUMEH staff and will hold simulation exercises to expand the use of new technologies, including the application of near real-time access to satellite data higher spatial, temporal, and spectral resolutions than ever before. PADF will aim to capitalize on these technologies to enhance insight, improve decision-making, and enable more rapid responses during emergency situations. Through in-person and virtual exchanges between INSIVUMEH staff, the national disaster agency CONRED, members of the CONRED Scientific Council, private sector actors, and members of hazard-prone communities, PADF also seeks to reduce barriers to inter-agency collaboration and the rapid distribution of hazard data to public safety officials, first responders, communities, businesses, and households.

Position Summary. The Technical Lead will have responsibility for overall management and coordination of the design, development, and implementation of disaster monitoring and communication activities.

Reports to: Senior Project Manager (Washington, DC)

Job Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala

Contract Duration: 12 months

Essential Duties and Responsibilities.

  • Technical Knowledge and Design: Reviews and provides technical guidance and leadership in the design, development and implementation of project activities in Guatemala following the PADF approved work plan.
  • Coordination: Closely coordinates with and supports the Project Coordinator with project design and execution, development, and implementation of trainings, simulation exercises, and strategies to improve disaster communications. Coordinates project activities with national and international experts, partners, and representatives from the Government of Taiwan.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Supports Project Coordinator and other project stakeholders to ensure that project plans are executed in a timely and high-quality manner. Oversees the monitoring of project activities and submits donor reports in a timely fashion.
  • Representation and Liaison: Works in close collaboration and liaises with relevant national government officials, Taiwan representatives in Guatemala, and other project stakeholders to coordinate efforts and promote an integrated approach to improving disaster monitoring and communications.
  • Financial Management Support: Supports the Finance and Administrative Assistant with the financial management of the project. Reviews and provides guidance to the project staff in the management of project expenditures and implementation schedules.

Competencies

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (preferred) in meteorology, atmospheric sciences, hydrometeorology, civil or environmental engineering, or a related field, with deep knowledge of disaster risk reduction (DRR), early warning systems, and disaster communications highly desired.
  • At least five (5) years, experience working in support of the application of meteorological satellite data observations, hazard monitoring, disaster management, community-based disaster risk reduction, or other relevant experience within the Guatemalan context.
  • Strong program management skills, preferably including knowledge of reporting and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with evidence of ability to work productively on an international team, including effective coordination with individuals in Guatemala, Washington DC, and across the region.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with participants from a range of education levels and disciplinary backgrounds.
  • Proven experience of working in partnership with, and building capacity of, local and national institutions.
  • Past experience managing inter-agency coordination or partnerships.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in Spanish (required) and English (desired).
  • Strong analytic skills and ability to respond quickly and efficiently to requests.
  • Ability to identify synergies amongst partners, projects, and possible new initiatives.

Personal Characteristics

  • Superior interpersonal skills and ability to interact with staff in Washington D.C. and in the field, as well PADF partners.
  • Flexible in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work with multi-disciplinary team, either individually or as part of a team.
  • Willingness to learn from others.
  • Ability to think clearly and analytically.
  • Ability to plan own work, setting priorities and complete it under pressure or when faced with competing demands.
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
  • Strong organization skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Commitment to program excellence.
  • Commitment to confidentiality.
  • Ability to maintain and support a positive work environment.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

Domestic travel to areas with minimum physical comforts may be required. Telework may be required in accordance with local restrictions due to COVID-19.

About the Organization

About PADF

Created in 1962, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) believes in creating a hemisphere of opportunity, for all. We work across Latin America and the Caribbean to make our region stronger—more healthy, peaceful, just, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable for current and future generations. For nearly 60 years, we have served the most vulnerable communities, investing resources throughout the hemisphere. We partner with and enable civil society, governments, and the private sector for the greater good of the region. Affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS), PADF is a an independent, non-profit organization 501(c)(3) that creates public-private partnerships to achieve sustainable economic and social progress and assist the least advantaged people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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