Switzerland: Geospatial Analyst

By Human Rights Watch Organization: Human Rights Watch
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 02 Nov 2018

Geospatial Analyst
Program Department
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

The Program Department of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a full-time geospatial analyst to provide remote sensing, GIS and field data collection support for research on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. This position is fixed-term for two years, with the possibility of extension, and reports to the director of geospatial analysis, based in the Geneva Office. The preferred location for this position is Geneva, Switzerland, but other locations will be considered.


  1. Work with Researchers in HRW’s geographic and thematic divisions to assess their satellite data and analysis needs for ongoing and future projects;
  2. Provide training and technical support to Researchers for field data collection, including the use of mobile apps and geographically-enabled devices;
  3. Select and order satellite data from commercial providers and scientific agencies;
  4. Process and transfer satellite and related geospatial datasets into the organization’s internal and cloud-based servers;
  5. Conduct primary research with active and passive satellite and drone sensor data using a range of remote sensing methods, including photointerpretation, pixel and object-based classification, coherence change detection and related fuzzy modelling and regression routines;
  6. Produce photogrammetric products, including orthomosaics, DTMs and 3D site models from drone and field imagery;
  7. Script Python code for specialized image and vector research applications;
  8. Conduct spatiotemporal analysis of both field and satellite-derived vector datasets;
  9. Work with HRW’s Communications and Publications Divisions on the design and public release of geospatial research products, including maps, satellite imagery and related geographic datasets;
  10. Support Deep Learning / AI projects on remotely sensed data;
  11. Support the design and implementation of online mapping projects and services;
  12. Support the collection and processing of unstructured social media data sources for geospatial modelling, verification and related forensic activities;
  13. Evaluate quality and potential relevancy of geographic datasets from external agencies and local human rights partners;
  14. Review and evaluate planned and newly launched satellite sensors for potential research applications;
  15. Conduct academic and industry literature reviews on relevant geospatial topics;
  16. Participate in relevant technical and human rights meetings and conferences; and
  17. Perform other duties, as required.


Education: A bachelor’s or technical college degree in remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) or equivalent industry studies, is required; An advanced (graduate) degree is desirable.

Experience: A minimum of 2-3 years of relevant work experience is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Proficiency, experience and/or familiarity with the following technical software and tools is desirable, but it is not required or expected that applicants have all the skills and knowledge described below:
    • ESRI ArcGIS software;
    • ENVI/IDL, ERDAS IMAGINE or equivalent remote sensing software packages;
    • PYTHON scripting, familiarity with ArcGIS API for Python;
    • Photointerpretation of very high-resolution satellite data;
    • ArcGIS Server and Online;
    • Cloud-based analytical tools and services, including Google Earth Engine;
    • Photogrammetric software including Pix4D;
    • Deep Learning and AI applications;
    • Commercial and scientific satellite sensors (multispectral and SAR); and
    • IMINT, GEOINT concepts.

  2. An understanding of the principles of analysis of satellite images and willingness to learn new skills is required.

  3. The ability to multi-task effectively, including having strong planning and organizing skills, and ability to work well under pressure are required.

  4. The ability to prioritize tasks with minimal supervision and work independently as well as function as a member of a diverse team with staff in multiple locations globally is required.

  5. Proficiency in English (CEFR C1 / C2) is required. Proficiency in other languages is highly desirable.

  6. Ability to explain verbally and in writing complex technical subjects clearly, compellingly and respectfully to non-specialist audiences, including colleagues, policymakers, and the public is desirable.

  7. Experience working with non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations is desirable.

  8. A demonstrated interest and activity in international human rights is desirable.

Duration: Initial fixed-term employment for a two-year period. Renewable dependent upon availability of continued funding.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW offers a relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We do not discriminate in hiring practices and actively seek a diverse applicant pool. We encourage candidates of all abilities, ages, gender identities and expressions, national origins, races and ethnicities, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, and those with criminal records to apply. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.

How to apply:

How to Apply: Please apply immediately by visiting our online job portal at https://www.hrw.org/careers and attaching a letter of interest and CV or resume. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email recruitment@hrw.org. Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

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