Technical circle volunteers

About the Technical circle

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MapAction is looking for voluteers to join MapAction’s ‘Technical Circle’. The Technical Circle is a group of both volunteers and staff whose role is ensure that MapAction has the technical capability (equipment and knowledge) to both maintain and enhance its humanitarian activities and can provide this in a technically innovative and competitive institutional environment.

The Technical Circle makes recommendations on policy for all aspects of technology which are not directly related to GIS/GPS and mapping, or data management (which are the responsibility of the GIS and Data Circles respectively). The Technical Circle is responsible for ensuring that the technological facilities and skills are available as required to support the work of the other parts of the organisation.

IT administration is an important function in MapAction. The prime focus for the volunteers is the aspects which are directly used in the field or during operations. In addition to policy, this includes the hands on maintenance of our fleet of laptops and other field kit including printers, networking equipment and both voice and data satellite communications. They are also engaged with the hosting arrangements for our web servers.

We outsource a number of generic IT functions to a local company (email servers, file server, network infrastructure etc). The Technical Circle manages these relationships with the suppliers, notably designing and selecting appropriate solutions, capturing user and function requirements, specification and testing and signing off on delivery.

We use a mixture of proprietary and open source solutions, favouring conservative solutions for generic functions and are more willing to take risks with new technology where it is focused on our core operations.



  • Pragmatic, practically minded and tenacious problem solver.
  • Typically five or more years of professional experience in a technical support, system administration or similar role.
  • Education to degree level or higher in computer science, GIS or a related subject.
  • Professional experience of at least two of the following; administering Microsoft Windows 7, administering Microsoft Windows Server, servicing hardware, administration of software applications (desktop, server or cloud applications).
  • Proven ability in configuration and scripting (Python, Powershell, Batch or similar).
  • Good communication skills – listening, speaking and writing.


  • A vendor qualification like MCSA, MCITP or MCSE.
  • ITIL foundation qualification.
  • Knowledge of Windows software deployment.
  • Knowledge of Linux.
  • Knowledge of git, Github or other version control systems.
  • Experience writing documentation for both technical and end user audiences.
  • Experience of working with a volunteer organisation.
  • Knowledge of GIS technology (in particular ESRI software), GPS and satellite communications equipment.

Volunteers joining the Technical Circle may not automatically be eligible to join the Deployable Team (i.e. those who travel to emergencies are short notice). Eligibility to join the Deployable Team is based on different criteria to those above. A higher standard of desktop GIS knowledge would be required for the Deployable Team than would be required for the Technical Circle, though this is not the only difference. Currently there is a mix of deployable and non-deployable member of the technical circle. There is plenty of scope for Technical Circle members to play a valuable role in the organisation whether or not they also deploy.

How do I apply?

We generally recruit volunteers once a year, around January/February. Please check back here then, or sign up to our email newsletter to be notified of volunteering and employment opportunities at MapAction.