Job Opening

Posting Title: Mercury Data Management Specialist
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 02 March 2023 - 15 March 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-202595-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The first expected outcome from this consultancy is a set of searchable databases containing large and complex data entries, in the order of hundreds of thousands of single data points. The databases shall include basic search function, enable access by third parties and be password protected.
The second expected outcome is documentation (e.g., logbook) detailing how each dataset and/or individual data points were obtained, modified, and stored to enable tracing back to the original datasets.
The third expected outcome is a report describing all compiled observational data and metadata, including by, but not limited to, type of matrix, type of monitoring programme, temporal and spatial coverage, and data quality. The report shall include a narrative text, as well as images and graphs, in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the compiled data.

Work Location

Home based

Expected duration

10 months

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. The Convention was adopted in Kumamoto, Japan in 2013 and came into effect in 2017. The Secretariat functions of the Convention are administered by UNEP. This post is located in the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention in Geneva.

Article 22 of the Minamata Convention on Mercury states that the Conference of the Parties (COP) will evaluate the effectiveness of the Convention, beginning no later than six years after the Convention’s entry into force and periodically thereafter at intervals to be decided by the COP.
In decision MC-4/11, at its fourth meeting, the COP agreed to begin the first effectiveness evaluation of the Convention and adopted the framework for the effectiveness evaluation as outlined in annex I to the decision. Further in the same decision, the COP established the Open-ended Scientific Group (OESG) in accordance with the terms of reference in annex II to the decision.
In accordance with its terms of reference, the OESG shall develop a scientific report in which, among other things, it will compile, analyse and synthesize comparable mercury monitoring data on changes in mercury concentrations in environmental media, biotic media and the human population, including vulnerable populations over time.
The purpose of the consultancy is to hire a mercury data management specialist to collect, rearrange and store large and complex data originating from a variety of sources with the goal of presenting mercury monitoring data in an organized manner to enable the OESG and other experts to understand, analyse and interpret the data.
Under the supervision of the Programme Management Officer, the consultant will perform the necessary tasks to achieve the objectives outlined above. To this end, the consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables:

Tasks and deliverables
Database Set Up (4 weeks of effort)
1. Review and, if appropriate, suggest changes to standardized nomenclature and formats for submission of monitoring data developed by the OESG;
2. Prepare an initial database structure to store submitted and collected monitoring data using open-source software (e.g., MySQL, PostGreSQL, etc) that will facilitate access for analysis of trends and spatial patterns;
3. Provide and maintain a password protected data storage location for the database that can be accessed by the OESG and its experts and a file transfer capability to both receive large datasets submitted from Parties and other data providers and downloaded data, as well as to distribute compiled datasets for analysis by OESG and its experts;
Data Acquisition and Harmonization (12 weeks of effort)
4. Contact and follow-up with owners of known datasets identified by the OESG in the revised data collection plan to confirm and facilitate their submission of the data or to acquire the data, including by downloading publicly available datasets;
5. Prepare a preliminary overview of the number and types of datasets acquired (to be included in the updates to the progress report to COP-5) and a list of the types of data quality issues encountered to assist the OESG in the finalization of data flag criteria;
6. Load the data acquired above or submitted by Parties and other data providers into the database structure, checking for completeness and consistency with the standardized formats. Perform and document necessary data reformatting and conversions. Contact data providers to obtain missing information. Identify data quality issues and assign preliminary data quality flags. All data transformations and quality issues should be documented;
7. Identify additional sources of data through internet search and literature review, as needed;
Database Completion and Reporting (4 weeks of effort)
8. Add final data quality flags to individual datasets, based on preliminary flags and criteria finalized by the OESG;
9. Provide detailed draft documentation describing how each dataset and/or individual data points were obtained, modified, and stored to enable tracing back to the original datasets;
10. Provide a draft report describing the compiled database, including but not limited to describing the number and types of monitoring programs included, the media and species addressed, the temporal and spatial coverage, data quality, etc.;
11. Provide the final versions of deliverables #9 and #10, which take into account the comments and requests made by the OESG, and of any other pending deliverable.

Qualifications/special skills

An advanced university degree in chemistry, environmental science, knowledge and data management or related field. A bachelor’s degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying working experience in chemical management or data management may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten years of experience in the field of chemical science, chemical management, environmental science, data management or closely related field.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, proficiency in English, along with excellent writing skills in English is required.

No Fee


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