Position in: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa

Do you want to help produce actionable research that enables African democracies to thrive?

Code for Africa (CfA) has an immediate vacancy for a full-time Research Manager to join our CivicSignal team.

The position is based at one of our regional hubs in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal or South Africa. We’re also open to exceptional applicants from elsewhere in Africa.

The successful candidate will join CfA’s transnational CivicSignal research team, which drives analysis of the continent’s media ecosystem and emerging civic technology sector. You will be part of a multinational and multilingual team that uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine intelligence tools and digital surveys/analysis to create research reports and datasets for a global audience and international institutional partners. 

Candidates must have demonstrable experience in managing research teams, in planning and coordinating the execution of data-driven digital research projects, and transforming the research insights into publishable formats.

The ideal applicant is fluent in English. Additional proficiency in international languages such as French and/or Arabic would be an advantage.

Required: minimum requirements include:

  • Evidence of managing a substantive research project, or research team.
  • Experience in building design approaches and methodologies for research teams, and a familiarity with taxonomies and schema that inform research projects. 
  • Strong analytical and logical skills, with a demonstrable track record translating data into actionable insights.
  • An understanding of media ecosystems and economies and/or digital advocacy and/or digital civic engagement.
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publication, present research insights and shape research proposals.
  • Meticulous eye for detail to ensure data integrity and analytical precision.
  • The ability to collaborate with a diverse set of multidisciplinary project stakeholders.
  • Experience in working with remote, distributed teams with agile methodologies.
  • Previous experience of contributing to reports and research publications
  • Proactive, solutions-oriented approach to problem solving
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines with good prioritisation and time management skills
  • Ability to work with minimal instruction in a teamwork environment
  • Strong organisational, analytical and interpersonal skills
  • High professional standards and ethics

Preferred: candidates who are able to demonstrate the following will have an advantage:

  • Competence in open source intelligence (OSINT) research techniques, including data scraping, data mining and other intelligence gathering techniques.
  • Competence in computational linguistics, natural language processing (NLP), and specifically the  methodologies and tools offered by the MediaCloud.org platform.
  • Multiple languages, such as French, Arabic and other languages spoken in Africa.

Language and Location Requirements:

  • Location: Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal or South Africa. Exceptional candidates from elsewhere in Africa will be considered.
  • International Languages: English
  • Preferred but not required: Arabic, French, KiSwahili or any other major language spoken in Africa.

About the Role:

The successful candidates will join CfA’s CivicSignal Research team, managing, conducting and publishing research projects focussed on African media ecosystems. Previous research partners included the Global Disinformation Index Media Market Analysis for South Africa and Kenya, as well as several Reuters Institute Digital News Reports.

Fundamentally, CivicSignal addresses issues and topics that impact democracies and civil society, seeking to provide the data and analysis necessary for government and citizens to make informed decisions. The projects range across a broad spectrum, including internal and external mis/disinformation, media sustainability, monitoring of hate speech and xenophobia, and general media ecosystem mapping.

As part of a multinational team within a growing organisation, you must be agile and able to thrive in a multicultural environment. You will need to work easily with people from different backgrounds who may speak different languages. 

Responsibilities: Your daily responsibilities will include:

  • Setting the research agenda, overseeing research projects, and coordinating and managing the research team
  • Standardising research methodologies/taxonomies/schema, research approaches and documentation according to international benchmarks. 
  • Ensuring research outcomes are aligned with organisational goals and lead to meaningful outcomes.
  • Designing, and reporting on, research projects for external and internal partners.
  • Collaborating with the CfA tech and data teams to ensure that CivicSignal is in sync with larger organisational goals.
  • Work proactively and think critically to help improve data and research capabilities in CfA’s research department.
  • Liaise with the Senior Programme Manager for our Engagement and CivicSignal teams,  to coordinate report launches and related events. 

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.

How to apply:

Please fill in this form by 10 February 2023. Applications shall be reviewed on a rolling basis.

About Us:

Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of indigenous African civic technology and investigative data journalism laboratories, with over 80 staff in 20 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.