Atrocity Early Warning/Early Action Consultant

Closing date

About the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) is a university-wide academic and research center in humanitarian crisis and leadership. HHI is based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Global Health and Population and is affiliated with the International Division of the Brigham Health Department of Emergency Medicine. As an Inter-Faculty Initiative (IFI), HHI collaborates closely with all Harvard Schools and Harvard Teaching Hospitals and is the primary humanitarian outreach arm of Harvard University. The mission of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative is to create new knowledge and advance evidence-based leadership in disasters and humanitarian crisis. HHI was founded in 2005, currently operates 20 projects in 26 countries, and consists of 60 staff, faculty, affiliated faculty, students, fellows, and collaborators. HHI’s aim is to promote interdisciplinary dialogue in pressing humanitarian issues, advance the science and practice of humanitarian response worldwide, and improve the lives of communities in war, conflict, and natural disasters.

About the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology

The Signal Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, founded in 2012, has worked to advance the safe, ethical, and effective use of information technologies by communities of practice during humanitarian and human rights emergencies, through interdisciplinary teams that collaborate with faculty members, international organizations, academic and non-academic research institutes, and professional agencies. Its core goals have been to train and equip humanitarian practitioners with the technical methods, ethical doctrine, research, and relevant evidence-based practices needed to responsibly use Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as part of their operations. In this next phase of the Signal Program, it is our objective to strengthen the efficacy and efficiency of early warning/early action work through a strategic, evidence-based, and ethical integration of spatial methods, field methods, and novel analytic tools into existing EW/EA decision-support mechanisms and workflows. The team is looking for an individual to work towards this objective and to assist with the following responsibilities:

  • Support research regarding the impactful integration of spatial methods into atrocity early warning/early action (EW/EA) decision-making

  • Identify and facilitate relationships with local, regional, and international EW/EA stakeholders

  • Conduct qualitative research to support gap analysis regarding the ways in which spatial methods can be used for operational EW/EA decision-support

  • Participate in an exploratory seminar regarding the use of spatial methods for EW/EA decision-support

  • Assist in the design and evaluation of test cases for geospatial analysis to be integrated into programmatic EW/EA workflows

  • Prepare briefings on programmatic updates and achievements for key stakeholders and donors

  • Contribute to publications (gap analysis and seminar proceedings)

  • Assist with end-of-year program evaluation and strategizing future program direction

  • Monitor EW trends, policies, and other relevant developments in relevant conflict-affected communities**


  • At least 5 years working in humanitarian response, disaster preparedness and/or response or another related field

  • At least 3 years of experience in atrocity early warning/early action programmatic work

  • Familiarity with regional and/or local EW/EA mass atrocity organizations

  • Detail-oriented qualitative research skills (including stakeholder mapping, key informant interviews, focus groups, survey development, and Delphi procedures)

  • Strong academic and industry-oriented writing skills

  • Comfortable with cross cultural communication with mid- to high- level actors

  • Ability to work independently and with small-teams in remote settings

  • Language –excellent written and spoken English is essential

Preferred Experience

  • Experience with regional and/or local EW/EA decision-making work-flows, including scoping and identifying opportunities for practical upstream interventions to mitigate the potential for mass atrocities

  • Familiarity with EW/EA forecasting algorithms

  • Familiarity with geospatial methods and products

  • Experience with user-centric design practices

More details about this position

This is a part-time consultancy position for 12 months (with possibility of extension) through Mass General Brigham.

Women and applicants from low and middle income countries and conflict-affected communities are highly encouraged to apply.

How to apply

To apply please submit your CV, cover letter, and any relevant work examples to by August 14th, 2021.