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MSc Thesis graduate student “Relating food security assessment data to baseline vulnerability data”








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MSc Thesis graduate student “Relating food security assessment data to baseline vulnerability data”

Van31-05-2017 Locatien.v.t. Urenn.v.t. Opleidingn.v.t.

Position title:              MSc Thesis graduate student “Relating food security assessment data to baseline vulnerability data”

Duty station:               The Hague and Utrecht (50-50)

Time period:              4-6 months (depending on your institution’s requirements)

Status:                            Student


ICCO and Netherlands Red Cross

ICCO and (NLRC) wish to collaborate with a focus on data on food security. To do so, they wish to start by analyzing what data is available, which indicators are relevant to take into account, and how these could be integrated into existing tools such as the Community Risk Assessment developed by Their collaboration is supported by the Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation (DCHI) of which both ICCO and 510 are active members. This document provides a short overview of the background, objective, approach and planning, critical success factors, governance, communication, risks, costs and funding, and agreements.


About ICCO

ICCO is the interchurch organization for development cooperation with a strong focus on economic development, food security and livelihoods and always working in multi stakeholder partnerships. Through the ACT-alliance membership, ICCO is able to gain access to numerous UN bodies, effective advocacy channels and campaigns, joint fund raising and coordinated humanitarian relief (incl. key users of exposure data sets with socio-economic indicators relevant for this challenge).


ICCO is gathering household level data in various countries using various indicators including the HFIAS (Household Food Insecurity Access Scale) and DDS (dietary diversity score). In many cases they are using the Akvo flow application to do so. Data is gathered for  problem analysis  and for monitoring, evaluation and learning purposes. Among other social domains, ICCO has a particular interest in food security.


The data on food security and nutrition which is being gathered by ICCO is not always used for analysis as much as could be, so potentially information that could be derived from the data gathered is missed. In case of food security and nutrition, it is relevant to combine the information with other types of data, since such a  broader picture involving multiple aspects of ‘vulnerability’ will support in planning and adjusting the most appropriate  interventions.


About 510 and its place within the Netherlands Red Cross

510 is a self-organizing data innovation initiative of the Netherlands Red Cross. Our vision is that smart use of (big) data will help towards faster and more (cost) effective humanitarian aid at a global level. Contributing to open data, data analyses and capacity building in governments and NGOs are essential to increase the understanding of humanitarian data. We want to shape the future of humanitarian aid by converting data into understanding, and to put it in the hands of humanitarian relief workers, decision makers and people affected, so that they can better prepare for and cope with disasters and crises.


The 510 initiative was established early 2016 and has grown since into a team of 30 core and project staff, graduates, students, trainees and volunteer data experts with diverse backgrounds. The team is developing data and digital solutions for both international and domestic humanitarian aid. Our main results are published on


510 works together with all departments of the Netherlands Red Cross, as well as with different teams in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), other Red Cross National  Societies, Universities in The Netherlands and abroad, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), national governments and through the Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation (DCHI) with other NGOs and businesses.


We work in virtual teams using a fully digital collaboration environment, which enables us to bridge time differences and physical distances and to continuously work together on some of the most difficult humanitarian challenges. However, we also greatly value the opportunity to work together in a face-to-face setting, which is possible in our office in The Hague.


About DCHI

The Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation (DCHI) is comprised of governmental actors, knowledge institutes, academia, businesses, and humanitarian organizations in the Netherlands who develop innovative solutions to increase the impact and reduce the costs of humanitarian action. DCHI provides support to the Community Assessment and Prioritization project led by 510 to increase the impact of this project, and thus plays a supportive role in the collaboration between 510 and ICCO, both active partners within the coalition,


Purpose of the position

ICCO and wish to explore how data on food security and nutrition including primary data gathered by ICCO can be used to feed into  existing tools such as the Community Assessment Model developed by


ICCO and 510 wish to first carry out a research study to assess the research questions below.


Goals and activities

  • The ultimate goal would be to have a statistical methodology to relate detailed assessment data of small areas to base line open data available for the whole country
  • Test the validity of this methodology on datasets for Mali, Uganda and/or Ethiopia.
  • Find, clean and collate open data
  • Work with ICCO and 510 to open up existing detailed assessment data


Research questions

  • How can information regarding food security and nutrition be integrated into a holistic understanding of vulnerability of communities supporting humanitarian and development decision makers before, during, and after interventions? To what extent are relevant global or multi-country data sources available?
  • How can open secondary data that is available throughout the country be correlated to and supplemented by detailed assessment data regarding food security and nutrition that are available from smaller geographical areas in a few places.



  • Bringing your knowledge, experience and passions.
  • Affinity with – and motivated by – humanitarian and development work.
  • Currently following a University Master’s degree, has excellent grades at the university and is in the phase of doing an internship or doing a masters graduation project.
  • Preferably in the field of Econometrics or otherwise strong statistical background.
  • Is fluent in English.


We offer

A graduation position, with 50% in the 510 office in the Hague and 50% with ICCO in Utrecht. We offer travel compensation to our offices. You will be part of a vibrant community of data-driven humanitarians. We share and teach one another where possible.




Please reply to this advert with a motivation letter stating :

  1. Why you’re interested in doing this graduation project in less than 100 words.
  2. What currently interests you in less than 100 words.  
  3. A TED talk that you thought was particularly interesting.

And your CV.


For more information about the position, you can contact Maarten van der Veen,


The post will be open until the right candidate has been found.


For more information about the Netherlands Red Cross, take a look at and The NLRC on facebook: and Twitter:


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