Positions in: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa or elsewhere in Africa

Do you want to run a continental DataLab?

Code for Africa (CfA) has an immediate vacancy for a full-time Senior Programme Manager who will drive a continental, distributed team of data analysts, data scientists and project champions who work with CfA’s partners across Africa. The candidate will be based in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa or elsewhere in Africa to drive our distributed DataLab. 

Candidates must have demonstrable experience in managing a cross-disciplinary team and a track record in managing large data science and data analysis projects. The ideal candidate will also have experience in open data and tech for good spaces and will speak English fluently. Proficiency in programming languages such as R and Python and additional international languages, such as French or Arabic, will be a plus.

The DataLab is Code for Africa’s data desk. It focuses on the data lifecycle, including data research, data analysis, data science, data visualisation and open data. The team comprises highly skilled data analysts specialising in data journalism, statistical analysis, data science, and coding. The DataLab supports the organisation and CfA’s partners as a service desk, offering assistance in building databases or dashboards, predictive modelling, impact tracking, processing and interpreting analytics data, designing interactive components, and improving reports with data visualisations.

The successful candidates will work as part of a multinational and multilingual team using digital collaboration tools to create content for a global audience and international media partners.

Required: minimum requirements include:

  • 5+ years experience in programme management in an international NGO, tech-for-good startup environment, or organisation focused on civic tech, civic engagement, open government and/or open data
  • Proven track record of data science projects tackling real-world problems, preferably in a civic technology, government, or nonprofit setting.
  • Experience with data visualisation tools (e.g., AirTable, Flourish, Tableau, Datawrapper, or equivalent dataviz or dashboard systems) to effectively communicate insights and findings.
  • Proven proficiency in programming languages such as Python and R, and related data science libraries such as SciPy, NumPy
  • Demonstrable ability to self-manage, creating your own and wider team timelines and milestones, with clear systems/processes
  • Evidence of nurturing leadership skills, for building and growing effective and happy teams of ambitious multicultural and multilingual domain experts.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously.
  • Digital first workplace skill-sets, including proficiency in collaborative work solutions such as Google Drive (Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc) and Slack (or equivalents such as Teams), as well as project management tools like Trello (or equivalents)

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

  • Robust network of contacts in data science and tech space in Africa and beyond.
  • Understanding of data-driven storytelling strategies and campaigns.
  • Proven track record working with open data, open government and civic technology.
  • Strong and engaging social media presence.
  • Proficiency in French or Arabic.

Language and Location Requirements:

  • Location: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa or elsewhere in Africa
  • Languages: English
  • Preferred but not required: French and Arabic

About the Role:

The successful candidate will join the DataLab team as part of CfA’s wider Knowledge team. The Knowledge initiative spearheads training management and partnerships, data analysis, digital journalism, and storytelling initiatives for CfA’s partners  in newsrooms, universities, CSOs and selected government agencies, as well as building and engaging local communities or networks across Africa. The Knowledge team is also the custodian of other major CfA public infrastructure, including the largest open data portal on the continent, open.AFRICA, and Africa’s biggest census data portal, HURUMap

You will drive CfA’s transnational DataLab team, which manages a wide portfolio of data-driven products in 20+ countries, while also supporting a network of external partners in the media and watchdog civil society sectors. The scope of your work will encompass various stages of the data workflow, including research to mining, cleaning, visualisation, storytelling and the application of  machine learning techniques, such as deep learning and generative AI. Also, you will play a crucial role in leveraging data-driven insights to tackle complex societal challenges and drive positive social impact.  

You will also play a pivotal role in shaping the vision and maximising the broad-reaching impact of multiple CfA’s products. Notably, this includes overseeing openAFRICA, Africa’s largest open data repository. Additionally, you will contribute to the management of other prominent initiatives, such as HURUmap, CfA’s geolocation open source tool, Outbreak.AFRICA, the health emergency infodemic tool, the budget portal PesaYetu and a series of interactive calculators, such as GenderGap and TaxClock.

Responsibilities: Your daily responsibilities will include:

  • Coordinate and supervise the daily, weekly and monthly activities of the DataLab and its project and product champions.
  • Drive the vision and growth of flagship products including openAFRICA, HURUmap, PesaYetu, Dominion, GenderGap.AFRICA and others. 
  • Develop and apply statistical analysis, predictive modelling, and data mining techniques to identify patterns, trends, and correlations in data that contribute to program effectiveness and social impact and to extract insights from large and diverse datasets.
  • Oversee a growing team of data scientists/analysts who will work on clearly defined projects, including providing guidance, mentorship and support for the team’s professional development
  • Steer technical scoping and specification of DataLab  projects and products, including developing project charter, work plans and budgets for data resources and technological tools, 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
  • Oversee project deliverables to ensure adherence to agreed quality benchmarks, by facilitating regular progress/prototype reviews at appropriate milestones for stakeholders, and by proactively problem-solving where expectations are not met.
  • Cooperate with CfA’s teams to collect impact data and maintain CfA’s impact trackers.
  • Facilitate the creation and maintenance of partnerships to amplify the impact of the Knowledge programme and its partner initiatives.
  • Supervise the communication of the Knowledge team’s successes and impact stories, on CfA’s social media, Slack channels and public newsletters.
  • 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 the 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.
  • Medical insurance cover, underwritten by a remote-first provider to ensure cover wherever you are
  • 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 complete this form by 06 October 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.