Position in: Africa
Do you want to help expose the puppet-masters behind disinformation networks, and expose transnational organised criminals?
Code for Africa (CfA) has an immediate vacancy for a full-time Deputy Investigative Manager to join our pan-African forensic investigation team at the iLAB.
The successful candidate will support iLAB’s Investigations Manager. They will work as part of CfA’s internal iLAB team of forensic researchers, data scientists and OSINT (open source intelligence) investigators, who produce evidence-based dossiers and other actionable evidence for a global audience and for international watchdog media partners.
The iLAB works in support of the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), which is a CfA initiative that brings together the continent’s best muckraking newsrooms to investigate crooked politicians, organised crime and big business. The iLAB spearheads investigations that individual ANCIR newsrooms are unable to tackle on their own. This includes forensic analysis of suspected digital influence operations and disinformation campaigns, as well as toxic content aimed at misleading citizens or triggering social discord or polarisation using hate speech or radicalisation or other techniques . The iLAB also supports partners to investigate transnational organised crime, illicit financial flows and state capture on the continent.
The successful candidate will work as part of a multinational and multilingual team across the continent, using digital collaboration tools to create content for a global audience and international media partners.
Required: minimum requirements include:
- Demonstrable investigative skills honed from experience in investigative research, forensic investigations/research, forensic audit, business intelligence, due diligence, asset tracking, compliance, or other investigative professions. CfA will not consider any applicants who has served with government intelligence agencies;
- Technical capabilities in conducting targeted forensic data analysis and digital forensics or open source investigations;
- A minimum of 2 years managing investigative projects, forensic teams or editorial newsrooms, with evidence of successful collaboration/impact, in challenging and/or fast-moving environments;
- A minimum of 2 years project management experience managing several projects at once with high stakes and outputs.
Preferred: candidates who are able to demonstrate the following will have an advantage:
- An understanding of influence operations, including both disinformation and misinformation, as well as digital amplification and viral media techniques would be a benefit.
- An understanding of offshore financial schemes, international money laundering operations, and/or criminal structures would be a bonus.
- Experience of managing or using digital technologies for conducting OSINT investigative research into influence operations and evolving disinformation trends, or alternatively using data-driven network analysis/ named entity recognition tools for analysing PEPs or institutional networks.
- Previous experience working on the digital collaboration tools that CfA uses, ranging from Slack and Google Drive, to Trello would be an advantage.
- Familiarity with mining and handling large datasets would be a plus.
- Ability to speak and write in English and French or Arabic.
Language and Location Requirements:
- Location: Africa
- Languages: English and/or French or Arabic
- Preferred but not required: French and/or Arabic
About the Role:
The successful candidates will be part of a ‘technology for good’ team of forensic researchers and data scientists/analysts at the iLAB, who work in support of African watchdog newsrooms and other human rights-defending organisations.
The iLAB’s role is to offer these newsrooms/civic watchdogs a robust toolkit of open source intelligence (OSINT) leads and resources, along with investigative support for identifying and exposing disinformation and other influence operations intended to undermine our democracies and our economies, often by creating social discord or polarisation. Your duties will include assisting the iLAB Project Manager in leading a team of analysts who are tasked with identification of sock-puppets, botnets, fake accounts and unwitting proxies used by the shadowy ‘puppet masters’ who are producing and disseminating false content.
The iLAB also actively gathers evidence on corruption and organised crime affecting the public sector, and transforms the information into actionable data to help civic watchdogs and investigative media better understand the nexus between politically exposed/influential people (PEPs and PIPs) and organised crime networks, and their role in subverting public resources.
As a Deputy Investigative Manager, you will assist the iLAB Manager and work together with the iLAB team to liberate the data-driven evidence used to expose and neutralise coordinated behaviour or other malign intentions. You will also help build the detailed datasets about PEPs, PIPs and organised crime and corruption that are needed for our partners to ‘join the dots’.
And, you will work with CfA’s Academy and other teams to help train others, including journalists and human rights defenders, to find the stories and trends hidden in the data.
Responsibilities: Your daily responsibilities will include:
- You will work as the deputy iLAB’s investigations manager who will support the iLAB Project Manager in overseeing a fast growing team of forensic researchers and data scientists/analysts who work on clearly defined projects in support of partner newsrooms / watchdog NGOs;
- You will steer project scoping and specification, including developing work plans and budgets, all anchored by the original project conceptualisation or framing that is further fleshed-out during review/ideation sessions, with clear mechanisms for support or guidance and a clear communication structure.
- You will oversee project deliverables to ensure adherence to agreed quality benchmarks and budgets, by facilitating regular progress/prototype reviews at appropriate milestones for stakeholders, and by proactively problem-solving where expectations are not met.
- Where needed, you will manage the day-to-day implementation of projects/partners, based on their work plans and CfA strategic objectives or expectations, with programmatic guidance from the regional manager.
- You will also help generate investigative leads and/or research topics and/or hypotheses, based on digital signals/evidence from public sources, and will help your team scope/plan their research and analysis, with clear data requirements and timelines to produce actionable outputs.
- You will use CfA production tools and methodology to set investigative assignments and deadlines, based on clear hypotheses, and will oversee the day-to-day activities of your team while also coordinating its collaboration with other CfA teams and/or partners, all while ensuring quality control, and monitoring output/impact.
- You will assist in liaising with external CfA partners, including newsrooms and civil society experts, to help them find “the stories in the data”, and will ensure that both senior leadership as well as content teams at these partners are geared to support impactful publication of the iLAB’s investigative research.
- You will proactively problem-solve and iterate on projects, helping the team and project partners find creative solutions for challenges or obstacles, and developing detailed plans for amplifying your team’s work.
What We Offer:
- A competitive salary, subject to experience, with opportunities for performance-based growth, both in terms of career path and public stature.
- A dynamic workplace, with a transnational team, occasional international travel, and generous vacation benefits.
- Ongoing opportunities to learn new cutting-edge skills and techniques/technologies to future-proof yourself in a rapidly evolving industry.
- A chance to shine on a global stage, writing for international audiences and interacting with colleagues around the world.
P.S: Women are highly encouraged to apply.
How to apply:
Please fill in this form by 10 August 2021
Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of indigenous African civic technology and investigative data journalism laboratories, with over 70 staff in 19 countries, who build digital democracy solutions that are intended to give citizens unfettered access to actionable information that empowers them to make informed decisions and that strengthen civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability.
This includes building infrastructure such as the continent’s largest open data portal, open.AFRICA, and largest open source civic software portal, commons.AFRICA, as well as the largest repository of investigative document-based evidence, source.AFRICA, as well as incubating initiatives as diverse as the africanDRONE network that gives citizens their own ‘eyes in the sky’, the PesaCheck fact-checking initiative in 12 African countries, and the sensors.AFRICA remote-sensing citizen science initiative to combat air/water pollution.
CfA also incubates the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), as an association of the continent’s best investigative newsrooms, ranging from large traditional mainstream media to smaller specialist units. ANCIR member newsrooms investigate crooked politicians, organised crime and big business. The iLAB is ANCIR’s in-house digital forensic unit, with teams in east, south and west Africa. ANCIR uses its resources to strengthen newsrooms’ own internal capacity, by providing access to the world’s best whistleblower encryption and investigative semantic analysis technologies, as well as skills development, and seed grants for cross-border collaboration.
At CfA, we don’t just accept differences – we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our products and our community. CfA is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.
To all recruitment agencies: CfA does not accept agency resumes. Please do not forward resumes to our employment application line, CfA employees or any other CfA contact. CfA is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.