Vacancy Announcement – Evaluator, Independent Evaluation, Planning, Performance and Results Section

Project title: Evaluation of UNOSAT Rapid Mapping Service

Title (i.e. consultant, individual contractor): Consultant

Organizational Unit: Planning, Performance and Results Section

Indicative starting date: 15 January 2018

Deadline for applications: 20 December 2017

Duty Station: home-based

Area of Specialization/Thematic Areas: Evaluation, humanitarian programming, conflict, development


The UNITAR Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) is a technology-intensive programme delivering imagery analysis and satellite solutions to relief and development organizations within and outside the United Nations, with the aim to contribute to decision-making in areas such as humanitarian relief, human security and strategic territorial and development planning.

UNOSAT’s Rapid Mapping Service provides satellite imagery analysis during humanitarian emergencies, including natural disasters and conflict situations. The service was created in response to the request of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), other humanitarian agencies and NGOs, which form part of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Humanitarian Coordination (IASC) hosted by the UN, for rapid mapping and satellite derived analysis in wake of disasters and complex emergencies. With a 24/7 year-round availability to process requests, UNOSAT delivers satellite imagery derived maps, reports and data for direct inclusion in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) according to need. The service responds to requests from the United Nations, governments, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, international and regional organizations and humanitarian non-governmental organizations.

Typical situations for which UNOSAT Rapid Mapping is activated include floods, earthquakes, storms, landslides, volcanoes, oil spills, chemical waste, refugee and Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camp mapping, conflict damage assessment and situational analysis. Requests for rapid mapping of complex emergency situations are increasing, and often include monitoring the situations over time, thus requiring additional support from UNOSAT compared to a typical sudden onset natural disaster. However, rapid mapping of natural disasters still represents the largest component of rapid mapping services. The capacity of providing frequent imagery analysis updates as situations unfold has become one of the key features of UNOSAT rapid mapping. UNOSAT benefits from a variety of sources for its satellite imagery: Free and open source, commercial vendors, International Charter Space and Major Disasters (natural and technological disasters only), and in-kind donations.

General objectives of the contract

The purpose of the evaluation is to provide evidence that the UNOSAT Rapid Mapping Service is providing effective and efficient support for evidence-based decision making to clients engaged in humanitarian and conflict related work. The evaluation should not only assess rapid mapping performance, including the timeliness of the mapping services and how the satellite derived maps and analytical reports have enhanced on-the-ground humanitarian work, but it should also seek to answer the ‘why’ question by identifying factors contributing to (or inhibiting) the successful achievement of results.

The purpose of the evaluation is also to provide recommendations and lessons-learned on the strengthening of the rapid mapping undertakings and overall service, including identifying what methods or approaches work well and why, since rapid mapping will likely continue to play an important role in the Institute’s strategy to respond to disasters and humanitarian emergencies. In this sense, the results from this evaluation will contribute to guiding not only the future contours of the service, but also project related work requested by donors and other stakeholders. Following the finalization of the evaluation report, the use of the evaluation will be promoted by sharing it internally within UNITAR, and externally with donors and other project partners. More information can be found in the draft terms of references (Annex 1).

Responsibilities/description of professional services

The consultant shall undertake a desk review based on rapid mapping related documents including analytical reports; collect data using appropriate tools, including surveys, interviews, focus groups; undertake two to three visits to the field; analyze data using quantitative and qualitative methods as appropriate to the evaluation questions; and submit deliverables in accordance with the below schedule.

Measurable outputs/deliverables/schedule of deliverables

  • Initial data collection, including desk review, stakeholder analysis
  • Evaluation design/ question matrix
  • Data collection and analysis, including survey(s), interviews, focus groups and field visits
  • Zero draft evaluation report
  • Draft evaluation report
  • Final evaluation report





Evaluation design/ question matrix


Evaluation manager

24 January 2018

Comments on evaluation design/question matrix

Evaluation manager/ UNOSAT


31 January 2018

Zero draft report


Evaluation manager

26 March 2018

Comments on zero draft

Evaluation manager


9 April 2018

Draft report


Evaluation manager/ UNOSAT

23 April 2018

Comments on draft report


Evaluation manager/ consultant

7 May 2018

Final report


Evaluation manager/ UNOSAT

21 May 2018

Performance Indicators for Evaluation of Results

The performance indicators for evaluation of results for this assignment are the following:

  • Timely submission of deliverables;
  • Satisfactory quality of the evaluation report.

Reporting structure

The evaluation will be undertaken by an international consultant under the overall responsibility of the Manager, Planning, Performance and Results Section, UNITAR and in consultation with the Rapid Mapping manager of the UNITAR-UNOSAT.

Duration of contract

The proposed timeframe for the evaluation spans from January to May 2018. While the assignment is administered on a lump-sum arrangement, the approximate number of work days per component/deliverable is calculated as follows:



Estimated number of work days


Desk study and submission of evaluation design/question matrix


May entail a mission to Geneva /UNOSAT for preliminary interviews

Data collection, including field visits (including field visit preparation)


Each field visit is calculated at 3 working days per country. The number of field work days may be adjusted depending on the final number of countries to be visited. Travel time is not budgeted.

Data analysis and preparation of zero draft



Preparation of draft report



Final report



Total estimated




  • Advanced university degree or equivalent in social science or related discipline;
  • At least 7 years of professional experience conducting evaluations in the fields of humanitarian programming, protracted conflict or similar areas. Experience undertaking evaluations related to technology based programming (e.g. GIS), rapid-mapping or satellite imagery would be a strong asset;
  • Field work experience in developing countries;
  • Excellent research and analytical skills, including experience using a variety of evaluation methods and approaches;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Strong communication and presentation skills;
  • Cross-cultural awareness and flexibility; and
  • Availability to travel.


Fluency in spoken and written English.


  • General conditions of contracts for the service of consultants apply. Before initiating the assignment, the consultant shall sign the Evaluation Consultant Code of Conduct and Agreement Form (part of Annex 1).
  • Interested applicants who have worked for UNOSAT or who may have a conflict of interest are not eligible for the assignment.


Annex 1: Complete Terms of Reference

How to apply

Send a letter of motivation and P11 form or Curriculum Vitae to with the following subject line: “Evaluation of UNOSAT Rapid Mapping Service”

Due to the high number of expected applications, UNITAR will only contact shortlisted applicants.