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Data Systems Manager

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Due Date: January 26, 2024
Data Systems Manager

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The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is an integrated set of activities funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is intended to provide timely, accurate, evidence-based, and transparent food security early warning information and analysis. Created in 1985 in response to famines in East and West Africa, FEWS NET provides global coverage through a mix of presence and remote monitoring. FEWS NET’s work is implemented across several pillars by a team of partners that includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Geological Survey, the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Climate Hazards Center, American Institutes for Research, and Chemonics International (Chemonics). Chemonics houses FEWS NET’s Early Warning Team (EWT), a team charged with integrated emergency food insecurity analysis through a Washington-based technical office and more than 20 FEWS NET offices.

Based on an in-depth understanding of local livelihoods, the EWT monitors information and data on factors that affect food security, such as weather conditions and climate, crops, pasture, markets and trade, and nutrition. The FEWS NET EWT produces regular reports, including Food Security Outlooks and Outlook Updates, emergency alerts, market and price updates, and global weather hazards analyses. FEWS NET makes reports available at and distributes them globally to governments, relief agencies, and other organizations engaged in humanitarian response and development programs. 

The seventh phase of FEWS NET began in 2019. The work of FEWS NET EWT relies on close collaboration with international, regional, and national partners on food security data and information gathering and analysis. Major activities include joint monitoring and assessments, data exchanges, collaborative analysis and reporting, and technical capacity strengthening. FEWS NET supports local and regional food security networks to contribute to achieving the global objective of food security for all. 

Position Description
Data management is a key component of FEWS NET’s work, given the range of data and information that EWT relies on to conduct its analysis. The EWT relies heavily on partners and stakeholders for secondary data, but also gathers select primary data in some countries as well. The EWT is required to manage this primary and secondary data from its presence and non-presence monitoring countries, as well as an increasing number of ad hoc countries of interest to USAID, thereby ensuring up-to-date data streams are available.

Since 2015, the EWT has been responsible for uploading its data to various domains of the FEWS NET Data Warehouse (FDW). The EWT has also supported the development and design of the FEWS NET Data Explorer (FDE) – the interface through which FDW is accessed – in collaboration with the FEWS NET Data and Learning Hub (the Hub). The FDW includes data domains such as: commodity prices, cross-border trade, agricultural production, historical food insecurity classifications, food insecure population estimates, and population estimates, among others. The Data Systems Manager will play a vital role within the data sector and, at the direction of the Data Advisor, Markets and Trade (M&T) Advisor, and in collaboration with other relevant EWT staff, will support on-going data management for the EWT, identify opportunities to enhance data management processes, test and roll out new data analysis and visualization products, provide technical troubleshooting support to EWT staff, develop data products relevant to the EWT food security analysis, and collaborate closely with the Hub on the management of the FDW and FDE.

The main responsibilities of the Data Systems Manager include, but are not limited to:  

  • Engage with other EWT technical sectors (M&T, Decision Support, Livelihoods, etc.) within the EWT to identify opportunities to enhance data management processes
  • Build, maintain, and provide training on data analysis and visualization tools and platforms (Microsoft Excel refreshable workbooks, PowerBI dashboards, etc.) to improve data use across EWT staff
  • Develop detailed guidance and trainings on new data visualization tools
  • Provide support to all EWT staff on data analysis tools and platforms and FDW and FDE access. Develop and carry out training sessions on the use of FDW and FDE domains and associated tools, including new analysis and visualization tools
  • Support ongoing initiatives developing data visualization tools on the FEWS NET website
  • Work closely with EWT regional and project office colleagues to support ongoing API initiatives to automate data ingestion from secondary sources into the FDW
  • Provide support and management of FDW metadata set-up and updates for the data domains for which the EWT is responsible
  • Clean and process monthly datasets for eventual upload into the FDW and FEWS NET CKAN system
  • Serve as a technical coordinator for the EWT regional data assistants, coordinating cross-team communication and building their capacity
  • Support the EWT’s collaboration with the FEWS NET Hub on FDW and FDE related helpdesk tickets


  • Fluency in English required; French, Spanish, and/or Arabic language skills desirable
  • Education and experience in a discipline relevant to the data management work of FEWS NET, such as computer science, data science or a related field
  • At least two years of relevant experience (with PhD), four years of relevant experience (with Master’s degree), or six years of relevant experience (with Bachelor’s degree) is required
  • Relevant experience includes managing large and complex datasets and relational databases and developing data visualizations using multiple data streams (static and dynamic)
  • Ability to maintain database standards, guidelines, and procedures; process non-standard data; and balance multiple tasks with tight deadlines is required
  • Proven experience in data manipulation and analysis software such as R, Python, PowerBi, or similar tool is required
  • Demonstrated ability in handling and processing non-standardized data is required
  • Excellent computer skills with an expert level in Microsoft Excel is required
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills in person, by phone, and through email are required
  • Ability to work collaboratively across multidisciplinary teams and adapt to changing environment
  • Demonstrated leadership, versatility and integrity
  • Detail-oriented, analytical thinker with the ability to identify and pro-actively solve problems. 

Location and Reporting
This is a full-time position based at the FEWS NET Home Office in Washington, DC. While the preference is for the Data Systems Manager to be based in Washington D.C., applicants who do not intend to reside in D.C. are eligible to apply. The Data Systems Manager will work under the direct supervision of the FEWS NET EWT Data Management Advisor. This position will also collaborate with the Washington-based technical and management teams and technical staff in FEWS NET country offices.

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