Title: Community & Knowledge Lead
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Job Category: IT & Telecoms
Work Type: Development, training, advocacy, and community.
Reports To: Executive Committee, Code for Africa

Code for Africa has an immediate vacancy for a Community & Knowledge Lead to lead its pan-African community networks and civic technology training programmes.

The successful candidate will be based out of our tech lab in Nairobi, Kenya, and will champion our digital journalism and open government tools through communities such as Hacks/Hackers Africa and Codebridge, while also managing our Ujuzi Skills Programme.

We are looking for candidates with substantive experience in community outreach and project management, who are comfortable speaking / training in front of large groups, and with some track record in the digital journalism and open data or civic technology spaces. Candidates should also have managed projects for diverse project portfolios and remote teams.



Code for Africa is the continent’s largest independent open data and civic technology initiative. Our federation of partners in 20+ countries seek to build digital democracies that give citizens timely and unfettered access to actionable information that empowers them to make informed decisions and that strengthens civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability.

A major focus of this work is to strengthen watchdog journalism by providing digital tools, data, and editorial support through grant-making programmes such as innovateAFRICA and impactAFRICA.



As a Community & Knowledge Lead, your job will consist of two key programmes:

  1. You will lead our data literacy and digital journalism training programmes, ranging from d|Bootcamps to special events such as our d|DroneCamps or investigative d|StoryCamps.
    • You will be responsible for shaping the content / agenda and for selecting speakers / trainers, in consultation with both internal / external stakeholders. You will be expected to lead some of the training sessions yourself. You will receive support from a logistics / admin team, as well as from our tech lab.
    • You will also be responsible for managing any projects that come out of such events, where participants are regularly awarded micro-grants to use their new skills to build real-world data journalism or civic engagement prototypes.
  2. The second part of your responsibilities will see you provide thought-leadership and resource coordination for our Hacks/Hackers chapters across the continent, and for affiliate communities such as the Codebridge network, helping journalists, technologists, data specialists and other relevant stakeholders find synergies to collaborate on digital projects that empower citizens.
    • You will engage with these communities by curating our large Facebook and Slack communities, as well as by moderating our forums, mailing lists, IRC and other communication channels. You will also write and/or edit blogs showcasing the community’s activities, will shape our social media campaigns, and will help create outreach strategies.
    • You will occasionally present at conferences and community meetups, both in Africa and further afield, and should therefore be open to travel.

The successful candidate will report to Code for Africa’s executive committee (ExCo) and will work as a member of our core Civic Tech Lab team, alongside the secretariat, to build robust systems / infrastructure to support substantial growth over the next three years.

S/he will specifically be responsible for implementing efficient project management systems to ensure that we keep to donor / stakeholder pledges, and will provide regular reporting to the leadership team and external stakeholders. In keeping with Code for Africa’s ‘flat management’ structure, the Community & Knowledge Lead will also serve as a liaison with grantees / partners.



Your specific responsibilities will include:

  • Plan and run the our skills and project showcase programmes, including designing the workshop content and managing delivery for 8 to 10 d|bootcamps per year, plus smaller workshops and meetups, with support from a dedicated logistics / admin person.
  • Solicit and project manage prototype projects from each d|bootcamp or related event, with support from our technology lab. This will include oversight of the team formation, project selection and planning processes, in consultation with the ExCo, along with managing work plans and schedules, implementing quality control, monitoring progress, ensuring that deadlines and minimum standards are met, and keeping senior leadership abreast of projects’ status.
  • Manage the pan-African community, primarily through Hacks/Hackers, along with ad hoc support to any of the Codebridge communities that request it.
  • Maintain detailed Code for Africa’s procedural manuals / wikis for all activities and processes, to help empower communities to manage their own chapters and activities, and to help event partners maintain Code for Africa standards and methodologies for workshops and other knowledge sharing activities.
  • Provide thought-leadership on our community engagement strategies and other projects / programmes via blog posts, social media engagement, and presentations at events / meetings.
  • Help identify opportunities for our grantees, partners or projects to showcase their work through 3rd party awards or competitions, or at international events, and help the applicants format their proposals for inclusion.
  • Coordinate with Code for Africa team managers and employees to verify that budgets, timelines and deliverables are feasible, that processes are properly documented, and that outcomes are adequately reported for partners and the management team.
  • Curate a set of software and data development policies and best practices, to safeguard Code for Africa’s commitment to open source and open data principles, and to maintain our commitment to replicable / reuseable technologies by providing detailed technical documentation.

The successful candidate will have at least three years of professional experience in running skills based programmes, and should be able to demonstrate capacity for planning and managing systems in a highly entrepreneurial organization.



Candidates should be able to demonstrate the following skills and qualities:

  • Passion for civic technology and the watchdog role of the media.
  • A track record for multi-tasking, with the ability to wear many hats in a fast-paced environment, with integrity and creativity that nurtures teams and partners.
  • A track record for organising and executing skills-based programmes / training workshops.
  • Proven proficiency with spreadsheets including, formulas, sorting, tables, formatting and other intermediate functions related to data wrangling as used in data journalism and open data.
  • A track record for building and nurturing vibrant civic technology and/or journalism communities.
  • A track record for project management on team-based digital and/or journalism projects.
  • Proven ability to translate software requirements to – and to effectively collaborate with – programmatic and fundraising colleagues who do not necessarily have technical backgrounds.
  • Proficiency with software development / architecture and/or website development and management will be an added advantage.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills are essential, as are relationship building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.

The position is contract based, for an initial 12 months, renewable for further one year periods, with remuneration subject to experience / seniority. The successful candidate will be expected to start as soon as possible, but no later than 01 October 2016, on an initial three month probationary contract.



Applicants should send compelling cases (be as creative as you’d like), with clear showcase of skills and past experience, to join@codeforafrica.org.


Code for Africa (CfAfrica) is the continent’s largest independent open data and civic technology initiative. We seek to build digital democracies that give citizens timely and unfettered access to actionable information that empowers them to make informed decisions and that strengthens civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability.

CfAfrica operates as a federation of autonomous country-based digital innovation organisations that support ‘citizen labs’ in nine countries and major projects in a further 15 countries. There are CfAfrica affiliate labs in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. CfAfrica runs Africa’s OpenGov Fellowships and also embeds Innovation Fellows into newsrooms and social justice organisations to help liberate data of public interest, or to build tools that help empower citizens.

In addition to fellowships and citizen labs, CfAfrica runs the $1 million per year #innovateAFRICA fund plus the $500,000/year #impactAFRICA fund and the $500,000/year Sandbox Fund which all award seed grants to civic pioneers for experiments with everything from camera drones and environmental sensors, to encryption for whistleblowers and data-driven semantic analysis tools for investigative watchdogs.

CfAfrica also curates continental resources such as the africanSPENDING portal of budget transparency resources, the openAFRICA data portal, the sourceAFRICA document repository, and the connectedAFRICA transparency toolkit for tracking the often hidden social networks and economic interests in politics. CfAfrica is furthermore custodian of the continental 30,000 strong Hacks/Hackers community, and incubates the continent’s largest investigative journalism initiative, the African Network of Centers for Investigating Reporting (which spearheaded the #PanamaPapers investigations on the continent).