Open Data Webmaster - Consultant (remote)


ICARDA’s institutional website ( is a critical communication tool used to promote the institute’s research outputs to a global audience. Together with the Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) platform, it also offers core support to ICARDA’s online knowledge management activities. For the further development of these websites, and to enhance ICARDA’s knowledge management and communication services, ICARDA seeks to hire a self-driven and competent ‘Open Data Web Master.’

This talented individual, under the guidance of the M&E, KM Leader and Head of the IT Unit;, will maintain, develop, design and enhance web-based institutional websites and platforms, primarily the ICARDA website and MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning) platform, bridging information and data to enhance the worldwide use of ICARDA’s institutional knowledge and expertise.


Main purpose of position

The ‘Open Data Web Master’ will act as an administrator for MEL and ICARDA websites, keeping them up and running; as information officer, providing and gathering extensive information through and from the websites; and as a developer, implementing and proposing new technical solutions to enhance website functionalities and guarantee a flawless user experience.

The consultant will ensure that and are easy to use and secure. S/he will also propose and implement new developments for and in coordination with digital/development agencies and other suppliers. The consultant will also be responsible for analytics and SEO strategies, in order to improve the dissemination of content.



The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is an international autonomous, non-profit, research organization supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

ICARDA’s mission is to reduce poverty, enhance food, water and nutritional security, as well as environmental health in the face of global challenges including climate change. We do this through innovative science, strategic partnerships, linking research to development and capacity development that take into account gender equality and the role of youth in transforming the dry areas. ICARDA works in partnership with governments, universities, civil society, national agricultural research organization, other CGIAR research Centers, and the private sector. With its temporary

Headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, ICARDA operates in regional and country offices across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. For more information:

Main tasks will include:

  • Managing and maintaining the ICARDA and MEL websites and overseeing their continual expansion to deliver and manage information for a worldwide audience, guaranteeing their accessibility, stability, and security.
  • Providing monthly reports on ICARDA and MEL websites, covering web and social media analytics, the status of technologies/software implemented, and other key measures of success (cost, time, scope, quality, risks, security, issues, etc.), helping to inform strategies that enhance the websites’ performance.
  • Writing and building efficient, testable and reusable PHP modules including web services based on coding best practices and industry standards, to develop the platform and resolve any issues reported for the MEL and ICARDA websites. The successful candidate will also evaluate and ensure, through test cases, that the written code meets industry standards, is valid, properly structured, follows security standards, and is compatible with browsers, devices, and operating systems. S/he will also be accountable for compliance with quality control processes (source code changes, documentation, user acceptance tests, etc.).
  • Documenting the features of the modules delivered to help support and maintain new and existing products and services.
  • Providing technical expertise and advice for all frontend and backend aspects of ICARDA and MEL websites and related sources and repositories, including user experience, development, maintenance, optimal web performance, and services.
  • Designing and managing specific technical projects according to institutional needs, such as kick-starting new initiatives and online communication systems innovations.
  • Liaising with external/internal developers, ICARDA’s Information Technology Services, and other stakeholders to translate business needs to technical requirements and products. The successful candidate will work closely with the Global MEL support/development community and other technical stakeholders.
  • Developing and implementing a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) for ICARDA and MEL websites and ensure the monitoring and troubleshooting of both environments.
  • Ensuring the maximum security of ICARDA and MEL websites by conducting penetration tests, report on findings and proactively resolve issues.

Key Deliverables

  • Website and social media statistics, SEO, performance reporting, recommendations to improve websites.
  • Integrate with CGIAR website via RSS feed and ensure the ICARDA page on is up to date.
  • Act as the first and second level support for the ICARDA website and the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) system.
  • Develop, test and implement Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for ICARDA applications such as ICARDA website, MEL system, SharePoint, OCS, Power BI, etc. to exchange data and Integrate the information, data and knowledge stored in these applications.
  • Review and in terms of user experience and develop an enhancement plan for, in close collaboration with the relevant ICARDA stakeholder(s).
  • Engage actively in online communication campaigns and yearly reporting operations, per institutional needs.



Essential qualifications and competencies

  • B.Sc. degree in Information Systems Management, Information Technology, Computer Science or related field, with a minimum of 3 years’ hands-on experience in PHP development.
  • Proven extensive experience in software/web development using MySQL, PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JSON, jQuery, XML and Zend Platform.
  • Solid knowledge in Linux administration including web hosting and database administration on Linux environments.
  • Knowledge of metadata and data objects.
  • Knowledge of Drupal 8 supported by Acquia Certified Back End Specialist – D8.
  • Knowledge of web analytics, SEO and UX testing.
  • In depth knowledge and understanding of online content and dissemination.
  • In-depth understanding of software development lifecycle, especially using Agile approach with SCRUM methodology.
  • In-depth understanding of UI, cross-browser compatibility, general web functions and standards.
  • Knowledge of security principles and how they apply to web applications.
  • Experience with API development using both RESTful and SOAP protocols.
  • Troubleshooting and analytical skills, team worker, result-oriented mindset, proactive responsiveness, ability to work under pressure and remotely.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills in English.

Desirable qualifications and competencies

  • Experience with GIT.
  • Exposure to unit testing.
  • Experience with one or more of the following: .NET, and SQL Server.
  • Experience with platform interoperability.
  • Professional certifications relevant to software development project implementation.


Our Offer

This position may operate remotely, however candidates from Egypt and from  other countries where ICARDA has offices ( are preferable. The employment contract will be for  12-months, with possibility of renewal.

Short-listed candidates will be screened with online testing systems. The successful candidate should be available to commence work as soon as possible.

How to Apply

Interested applicants are invited to apply and submit the following information here latest by 30 August 2019:


  • A cover letter including a 2-page (max) description of why you are an ideal candidate and what you would bring to the role including online example of work developed;
  • A current curriculum vitae;
  • Names and contacts (telephone, fax, and e-mail addresses) of three professional referees who are familiar with your qualifications and work experience. Your nominated referees ideally should have persons from each of the following category: direct supervisor, internal peer and/or direct report. The references should be listed in the cover letter.


Screening will start as soon as possible and will continue until the position is filled. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Details of this vacancy and other opportunities can also be viewed at




ICARDA is and equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing women representation in its workforce and strongly encourages applications from qualified women.

Applications will be acknowledged, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.