Position in: Anywhere in Africa

Do you want to help deepen public understanding of Africa’s watchdog media and digital democracy pioneers?

Code for Africa (CfA) has immediate vacancies for full-time Research Analysts to join our pan-African CivicSignal team. 

Applicants must have demonstrable experience in analytical research and open source intelligence into media ecosystems or digital civic engagement, and should be comfortable with using data-driven social analytics, survey/polling methodology, landscape analysis and a combination of data mining and media monitoring tools to produce actionable insights and citable reports for a range of partners including international donors, development agencies and policymakers.

The ideal applicant is fluent in English and/or French and/or Arabic.

Successful candidates will join CfA’s transnational CivicSignal research team, which drives analysis of the continent’s media ecosystem and emerging civic technology sector. As part of a multinational and multilingual team, you will use digital collaboration tools and natural language processing (NLP) and  machine intelligence toolkits to create research reports and datasets for a global audience and international institutional partners. 

Required: minimum requirements include

  • An understanding of media ecosystems and/or digital advocacy and/or digital civic engagement.
  • A minimum of one year’s experience in the field, and/or evidence of a substantive research project using ML/NPL/AI analysis tools.
  • Proficiency in Python or R
  • Proficiency in statistical analysis and market research, along with related qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Strong analytical and logical skills, with a demonstrable track record translating data into actionable insights.
  • 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 precision.
  • The ability to collaborate with a diverse set of multidisciplinary project stakeholders.
  • Experience in working with remote, distributed teams with agile methodologies.

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

  • Competence in computational linguistics, Natural Language Processing, and specifically the  methodologies and tools offered by the MediaCloud.org platform.
  • Competence in other open source intelligence (OSINT) research techniques, including data scraping, data mining and other intelligence gathering techniques.
  • Previous experience of contributing to reports and research publications
  • Multiple languages, such as French, Arabic and other languages spoken in Africa.
  • Knowledge of network analysis.

Language and Location Requirements:

  • Location: Anywhere in Africa
  • Languages: English, French, Arabic
  • Preferred but not required additional languages: French or Arabic

About the Role:

You will help design and conduct digital research and analysis into Africa’s watchdog media and digital democracy initiatives across the continent.

As a Research Analyst on CfA’s CivicSignal team, you will work with a transnational team of other specialist researchers and data analysts to generate actionable insights into the media ecosystem, and how other civic watchdogs function in Africa. This will include data-driven research into digital democracy initiatives, civic engagement mechanisms and the regulatory frameworks that shape ecosystems or that influence events such as elections and public policymaking. You will also help map the changemakers or pioneers who steer decision-making, and the ownership/composition and funding models for key roleplayers.

Your research will leverage CivicSignal’s own natural language processing and classification tools, such as MediaCloud, along with additional databases built by using survey and polling methodologies. Your team will regularly deploy machine learning and other artificial intelligence techniques, including sentiment analysis, n-gram analysis, cluster analysis, and social listening to produce actionable intelligence tools and briefing documents. This will include creating lexicons of country- and language-specific terms and phrases, to trigger early warnings about inflammatory or otherwise dangerous content.

Responsibilities: Your daily responsibilities will include

  • Designing and implementing pioneering digital research projects for both internal teams and external partners in academia, development agencies and policy think-tanks.
  • Managing CfA’s computational linguistics toolkit, built on MediaCloud software, to apply machine learning and other NPL processes to analyse the content produced by media and other civic watchdogs for everything from political partisanship and gender bias, to toxic speech and influence operations.
  • Digitising and integrating external qualitative research from strategic partners into CfA’s core collections, to enable contextual fresh insights.
  • Co-drafting analytical data-driven reports and research papers designed to help shape public discourse within our ecosystems, or to help guide intervention/development strategies at donor/support agencies.

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 15 February 2023.

About Us:

Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest network of indigenous African civic technology and investigative data journalism laboratories, with over 100 staff in 21 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.