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[ecrea] Job: Senior Researcher - Africa's Voices

Mon Feb 27 20:26:08 GMT 2017

A new senior researcher position is opening up at Africa's Voices, a research organisation spun out of research at the University of Cambridge. You can read more and apply here:

*Position Title:* Senior Researcher
*Function: *Research & Innovation
*Position Type:* 1 Year Renewable Contract
*Application deadline:* 20th March 2017
*Location:* Nairobi, Kenya and Cambridge, UK
*Language:* English


Africa’s Voices is a non-profit start-up, spun out of ongoing cutting-edge research at the University of Cambridge. We conduct innovative research and produce powerful, insightful evidence that helps to amplify the voices of Africans towards development and governance actors. In media forums we spark inclusive, interactive discussions, and gather audience opinions through SMS, instant messaging, and social media. We analyse these conversations -- often in low-resource local languages -- using our own tested methods. We combine social science theories and frameworks with data science techniques, and tailor these to challenging language contexts. This way, we provide powerful insights into the beliefs, ideas and priorities of hard-to reach populations and social groups, and how these change over time. Our evidence helps organisations to better understand, engage with, and respond to target populations.

Africa’s Voices combines rigorous academic research and a commitment to innovation with real-world impact. We provide our researchers with a vibrant interface to world-leading university research. Researchers regularly work with faculty, advisors, external researchers, and student interns to bring the latest developments in research methods and digital technologies into our working practices. Our innovative, dynamic approach has been recognised internationally, including being awarded the Market Research Society’s President’s Medal in 2016 for our work with UNICEF Somalia. We have offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Cambridge, UK, and a small but highly qualified and motivated team that we are seeking to grow steadily in the coming period. More at <>.


The Senior Researcher is expected to join our rapidly growing team to undertake, design, and manage applied research projects collaboratively with client organisations, with ultimate impact always in mind. The role will include managing relationships with clients; managing a team of junior researchers in African countries and the UK; contributing to developing innovative methodologies and research approaches; communicating research insights to stakeholders; and producing research reports and academic publications.


  * A completed postgraduate degree (Masters or PhD) in a relevant
    Social Science discipline (such as social psychology, sociology,
    political science, development studies, socio-economics).
  * At least 5 years of relevant experience in research applied to
    social issues.
  * Ability to innovate through rigorous research design in challenging
    applied contexts.
  * Excellent knowledge of, and experience working with, quantitative
    methods, statistical concepts and data analysis.
  * A sufficiently wide-range understanding and experience of
    qualitative methods (such as content analysis, focus group
    discussions, grounded theory or digital ethnography).
  * Experience in research on public opinion OR social norms OR public
    health OR behaviour change or similar.
  * Willingness to work with and adapt new methodologies relevant to
    digital social research, including collaborating with data
    scientists on coding scripts for analysis.
  * Experience in scientific research design, including survey methods.
  * Ability to undertake research that has policy and social impact and
    to engage in knowledge exchange.
  * Ability to prioritise and manage multiple projects simultaneously,
    and follow through on issues in a timely manner.
  * High levels of energy, initiative, and flexibility in quickly
    adjusting to changing work requirements.
  * Aptitude for and willingness to work in client-facing contexts,
    focused on delivering research value-add.
  * Clear and confident communicator of research methods and results to
    non-specialist and practitioner audiences.


  * Knowledge of one or more of these domains: social innovation/ICT;
    African media or media development; research and evaluation in a
    development context.
  * Exposure to, interest in and some understanding of techniques such
    as text mining, NLP, machine learning, category analysis,
    agent-based modelling.
  * Strong client orientation and proven ability to work with
    development and governance actors, ability to identify problems,
    provide technical support, build collaboration and arrive at solutions.
  * Track record of academic publications and interest to contribute to
    collaborative academic outputs with University-based collaborators.
  * Technical understanding of user interfaces and digital
platforms.'Knowledge and understanding of data visualisation techniques.
  * Working knowledge of languages relevant to the African context
    besides English.


The location of the post will be either Cambridge, UK, or Nairobi, Kenya, based on discussions with the appointee. However, willingness to travel (up to 50% of the time) will be essential.


Upload your CV and a Cover Letter to explain why you are interested in Africa's Voices and this position, and how you fulfil the selection criteria. Application deadline is midnight (GMT) on Tuesday, 20th March 2017. Applications may be considered after this date only if a suitable candidate has not been found.

Recruitment questions can be directed to Head of Performance, George Kaburu: (george /at/ <mailto:(george /at/>. Questions about research can be sent to Africa’s Voices acting Head of Research, Dr. Matti Pohjonen: (matti /at/ <mailto:(matti /at/>.

Africa’s Voices Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and supports workforce diversity. All applications for vacant positions will be welcomed and will be considered on the relative merits of the applicant against the role profile for the position regardless of colour, race, nationality, ethnic origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, parental responsibilities, age, religion, or belief.
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