Data/Systems Engineer

Global Remote

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Open to multiple location: Global, Remote

About GiveDirectly 

GiveDirectly (GD) aims to reshape international giving – and millions of lives – by providing cash grants directly to the world’s poorest. The Brookings Institution estimates that $70B of cash transfers would be required to eliminate the poverty gap; the aid sector currently spends $135B each year, much of it on evidence-free interventions. GiveDirectly wants to change that, establishing cash transfers as a benchmark for foreign aid – as the index fund is a benchmark for the financial industry – and in the process accelerating the end of extreme poverty.

GD has raised over $500m since launching in 2011, delivered cash to more than 500,000 people, and launched offices in 7 countries. We’ve also supported large-scale, experimental research that indicates strong recipient impact of our programs. As a result, GD has been celebrated as one of the most innovative non-profit companies by Fast Company, while the growing cash transfer movement (and GD’s leading role within it) have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, This American Life, Foreign Affairs, and The Economist.

We’re looking for exceptional talent to grow our collaborative, diverse team. Joining GiveDirectly provides the opportunity to work alongside individuals who come from 21 different countries and speak 69 different languages. We’re actively working toward an equitable and inclusive environment for all team members, and seek candidates who will bring diverse perspectives and experiences to our organization. We recruit from organizations across all industries: our team has hailed from sectors including start-ups, government, consultancies, investment banks, and nonprofits.

Across our global offices, our culture is candid, analytical, non-hierarchical, and fast-paced. We value ability, adaptability, and willingness to learn. We offer competitive salary and benefits, as well as performance-based bonuses.


About the Role

GiveDirectly is investing in new, digital approaches to find, enroll and pay extremely poor populations at greater speed and scale. In partnership with experts at U.C. Berkeley and the Government of Togo, we have demonstrated a groundbreaking approach to identify and pay the extreme poor using AI/ML tools. Our work has been built off and contributes to a growing base of academic literature in this field, with our research partners recently publishing preliminary findings from our programs. Our AI/ML work has been featured in WIRED and Reuters.


We are looking for a data engineer who has experience storing, setting up and processing terabyte-scale datasets. This individual will work with a data scientist to develop cutting edge AI/ML technical solutions for the extreme poor. Data sources include Call Detail Records (CDR) from telecommunications companies, high resolution satellite imagery, as well as GiveDirectly recipient data. While reporting to the Director of Innovation, the Data Engineer will also support the engineering work of the Director of Technology. The role will require international travel and deployment for two to three months at a time. 



  • Manage collection, storage and processing of CDR and satellite data with MNOs and satellite companies
  • Building required infrastructure for optimal extraction, transformation and loading of data from various data sources using on-premise and cloud technologies
  • Identifying, designing and implementing internal process improvements including re-designing infrastructure for greater scalability, optimizing data delivery, and automating manual processes
  • Working with stakeholders across Innovation, Field Technology, Fundraising Products, to support their data infrastructure design, deployment and management 



  • Undergraduate degree in computer science, computer engineering, statistics, data science, or similar
  • Ability to travel and deploy to international, on premise locations for up to 2 months at a time
  • Strong communication skills and ability to compel technical and non-technical audiences
  • Secure server specification and maintenance. Installing and maintaining operating systems and software.
  • Experiencing setting up and maintaining a server cluster.
  • Experience with storing and processing terabyte-scale datasets. Proficient in spark, dask, and/or other packages for distributed computing. Experience with SQL and database management.
  • Experience monitoring and maintaining data pipeline workflows for cleaning and preprocessing streaming data.

  • Experience with satellite and call-detail record data a plus
  • Working within the constraints of on-premise, low technical resource environment is a plus

In addition to the specific skills required for each role, we’re looking for candidates who are aligned with our GD Values, and who demonstrate our core competencies: emotional intelligence, problem solving, project management, follow-through, and fostering inclusivity.


**GD is committed to observing all local, national and international laws that protect children, vulnerable adults, and basic human rights of all.  GD is committed to a policy of “zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (SEAH)” and expects anyone who works for GD to uphold the protection and safeguarding of our recipients as a priority.**

Time commitment: Full time

  • Category Global Poverty
  • Created by Cristina Sharpe
  • Submitted 14 Jun
  • Last updated 14 Jun