Head of Data and Research Unit

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Position Title:  Head of Data and Research Unit

Duty Station:  Dakar, Senegal

Classification:  Professional Staff, Grade P3

Type of Appointment:  Special short-term graded, nine months with possibility of extension

Estimated Start Date:  As soon as possible

Closing Date:  01 February 2022

Established in 1951, IOM is a Related Organization of the United Nations, and as the leading UN agency in the field of migration, works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

Applications are welcome from first- and second-tier candidates, particularly qualified female candidates as well as applications from the non-represented member countries of IOM. For all IOM vacancies, applications from qualified and eligible first-tier candidates are considered before those of qualified and eligible second-tier candidates in the selection process.

For the purpose of this vacancy, the following are considered first-tier candidates:

  1. Internal candidates
  2. Candidates from the following non-represented member states:

Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba (Netherlands); Botswana; Cabo Verde; Comoros; Congo (the); Cook Islands; Cuba; Curaçao; Fiji; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana;   Holy See; Iceland; Kingdom of Eswatini; Kiribati; Lao People’s   Democratic Republic (the); Latvia; Libya; Luxembourg; Marshall Islands;   Micronesia (Federated States of); Montenegro; Namibia; Nauru; Palau;   Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines;   Samoa; Sao Tome and Principe; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Suriname; The Bahamas; Timor-Leste; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu

Second tier candidates include:

All external candidates, except candidates from non-represented member states.


The IOM Regional Office of West and Central Africa (WCA) Region covers 23 countries and supports the implementation of hundreds of projects. The volume of data collected through these projects is tremendous and ranges from data on internal displacement and migration flows (Mobility Tracking, Registration, Flow Monitoring) to data on voluntary returns completed by IOM Country Offices (AVRR data), protection data from Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants (AVM), on missing migrant (MMP), and project data (M&E) or ad-hoc data collection conducted for specific projects. In addition, the Region is also rich in migration data collected from a wide range of partners (National Statistics Offices collecting national data on migration, UN Agencies/NGO collecting data on specific aspects of migration).

The demand for migration and displacement research and studies developed by IOM or by consultants for IOM is increasing and contributes to show the complexity and diversity of mobility in the Region. The Regional Office seeks and manages various partnerships with academic institutions, UN, NGO and international partners, as well as private companies and local civil society organizations.

Despite the volume of data and research initiatives, the Region lacks country-wide data on migration. Country, regional and continental initiatives to improve migration data have spurred and require support and guidance to ensure that data gaps are addressed in a coherent and cohesive manner.

The Regional Data and Research Unit (DRU) of IOM Regional Office (RO) of West and Central Africa was launched in 2019 to address these gaps, and work towards harmonizing data and research initiatives within IOM, as well as with external partners (National and Regional Authorities, Academics, etc.) The RDRU contributed to all the objectives of the IOM Migration Data Strategy :1. Strengthen evidence base on migration; 2. Develop capacity of States to enhance migration evidence base; 3. Ensure evidence-based IOM – and United Nations system-wide programming, and those of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM). It also considers statistics continental frameworks such as the African Union Commission Strategy for the Harmonization of Statistics in Africa (SHaSA).

Under the overall supervision of the Regional Director, the direct supervision of the Senior Regional Policy and Liaison Officer, and in close collaboration with the Regional Thematic Specialists of the RO of West and Central Africa and the IOM’s Global Data Institute, the Head, Regional Data and Research Unit will be responsible for management and direct supervision of the RDRU.

Core Functions / Responsibilities:

  1. Provide strategic, technical, and operational inputs, as well as coordination and support for the design, development and implementation of IOM data and research initiatives at the national and regional levels in the West and Central Africa region, in line with IOM’s Migration Data Strategy, agreements, policies and standards.
  2. Review, endorse and track data and research related project proposals developed by Country Offices in the West and Central Africa, and provide regular updates to the concerned HQ Division on projects endorsed. Provide project endorsement in coordination with relevant HQ divisions and RTSs.
  3. Develop regional and multi-country DTM programmes and projects and identify anticipated synergies between thematic areas (Labour Migration, Counter Trafficking and Migrant Protection, Transition & Recovery, Emergency response, etc.) in close coordination with Regional Thematic Specialists (RTS), HQ and IOM Country Offices (CO).
  4. In line with the IOM Migration Data Strategy, work towards improving migration data among WCA States by liaising with relevant regional (ECOWAS, Migration Observatories) and continental entities (StatAfric, AUC, etc.) on migration data, and with HQ and the IOM Global Analysis and Migration Data Center (GMDAC).
  5. Support other IOM data initiatives such as MiMOSA compliance across return and reintegration operations, protection data, the Missing Migrant project, Immigration and Border Management and Migration and Health Division Mobility Restriction Monitoring of Points of Entries, and ad-hoc research and studies conducted on climate change, transhumance, and any other topics relevant to IOM.
  6. Act as a migration data and research thematic resource person providing capacity building, training, and general technical and coordination support to Country Offices (CO) in the Region
  7. Develop regional data and research thematic guidance notes and methodologies to ensure a coherent regional approach. Provide data and research guidance to Project Managers through sharing information with the COs at the regional level and providing general technical support upon request from the Field in coordination with the Senior Regional Policy and Liaison Officer (SRPLO).
  8. Supervise the Regional Data and Research Unit of the RO, provide guidance and capacity building to its staff, develop a coherent strategy to support a coherent data and research approach in the Region and directly manage RDRU related projects.
  9. Identify emerging issues relevant to data and research and contribute to the development of thematic reports. Monitor developments in the thematic areas, in close collaboration with the SRPLO, RTSs and, where available, COs and relevant HQ Departments.
  10. Represent IOM on technical data and research matters in inter-agency, regional and international meeting/workshops, in coordination with SRLPO; present operational policies, strategies, results and lessons learned in workshops, seminars and conferences; and contribute to inter-agency publications and reports by ensuring that IOM’s global and regional capabilities are well reflected.
  11. Support the development of strategic partnerships, relevant to the achievement of the overall strategy of the Organization, ensuring that IOM’s visibility is enhanced in country and regional fora and technical working groups on data and research.
  12. Perform such other duties as may be assigned.

Required Qualifications and Experience:


• Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems, Geography, Statistics, Social Studies, Economics or a related field from an accredited academic institution with five years of relevant professional experience; or

• University degree in the above fields with seven years of relevant professional experience.


• Experience in information management, project management, research, data analysis and data activity implementation;

• Experience in DTM or related information management activities and IOM is an advantage;• Experience working with National statistics offices on migration or forced displacement data is an advantage;

• Working experience in conflict or post-conflict context is an advantage; and,

• Experience working in international organizations, humanitarian community and familiarity with the humanitarian reform and cluster approach.


• In depth knowledge of the broad range of migration related subject areas dealt with by theOrganization;

• Ability to multitasks; and,

• Experience in budgeting, proposal reviews, staff management.


IOM’s official languages are English, French, and Spanish.

External applicants for all positions in the Professional category are required to be proficient in English and have at least a working knowledge of one additional UN Language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian or Chinese).

For all applicants, fluency in English and French is required (oral and written). Working knowledge of Arabic is an advantage.

Proficiency of language(s) required will be specifically evaluated during the selection process, which may include written and/or oral assessments.


Accredited Universities are the ones listed in the UNESCO World Higher Education Database.

Required Competencies:

Values  – all IOM staff members must abide by and demonstrate these three values:

•  Inclusion and respect for diversity:  respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.

•  Integrity and transparency:  maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.

•  Professionalism:  demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies  – behavioural indicators level 2

•  Teamwork:  develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.

•  Delivering results:  produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.

•  Managing and sharing knowledge:  continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.

•  Accountability:  takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.

•  Communication:  encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.

Managerial Competencies  – behavioural indicators level 2

•  Leadership:  provides a clear sense of direction, leads by example and demonstrates the ability to carry out the organization’s vision; assists others to realize and develop their potential.

•  Empowering others & building trust:  creates an atmosphere of trust and an enabling environment where staff can contribute their best and develop their potential.

•  Strategic thinking and vision:  works strategically to realize the Organization’s goals and communicates a clear strategic direction.

Competencies will be assessed during a competency-based interview.


Internationally recruited professional staff are required to be mobile.

Any offer made to the candidate in relation to this vacancy notice is subject to funding confirmation.

This selection process may be used to staff similar positions in various duty stations. Recommended candidates will remain eligible to be appointed in a similar position for a period of 24 months.

The list of NMS countries above includes all IOM Member States which are non-represented in the Professional Category of staff members. For this staff category, candidates who are nationals of the duty station’s country and who do not have prior experience outside the duty station’s country as staff member in the Professional category cannot be considered eligible.

Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances. Subject to certain exemptions, vaccination against COVID-19 will in principle be required for individuals hired on or after 15 November 2021. This will be verified as part of the medical clearance process.

Vacancies close at 23:59 local time Geneva, Switzerland on the respective closing date. No late applications will be accepted.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications via PRISM, IOM e-Recruitment system, by 01 February 2022 at the latest, referring to this advertisement.

IOM only accepts duly completed applications submitted through the IOM e-Recruitment system. The online tool also allows candidates to track the status of their application.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Posting period:

From 19.01.2022 to 01.02.2022

No Fees:

IOM does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training or other fee). IOM does not request any information related to bank accounts.

Requisition: SVN 2022 22 Head of Data and Research Unit (P3) Dakar, Senegal (57360858) Released

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