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VACANCY: SENIOR ANALYST/METHODOLOGISTS

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Apply for the Senior Analyst/Methodologist position at Afrobarometer

Role: Senior Analyst/Methodologist (SA/M)

Responsible for: The SA/M will be responsible for strengthening AB methodologies, contributing to the quality, quantity and scope of AB outputs, and helping to build skills in research methods and analysis among AB staff and partners.

Location: Flexible; Africa preferred

Reports to: Director of Analysis and Capacity Building (DoA/CB)

Direct / Indirect Reports: None

Organizational Overview

Afrobarometer (AB) is a pan-African, nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that measures the political, economic, and social atmosphere in African countries. Guided by the vision of a world in which Africa’s development is anchored in the realities and aspirations of its people, AB provides high-quality data and analysis on citizens’ evaluations and experiences of democratic governance and quality of life. These outputs are provided as a public benefit and are freely available to policymakers, policy advocates, civil society organizations, academics, news media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.

Launched in 1999 in 12 countries, Afrobarometer has now completed more than 300,000 interviews in survey rounds in up to 42 countries. Round 9 surveys, which commenced in October 2021 and concluded
in July 2023, will cover 39 countries. AB conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples. Effective analysis and communication of survey findings, as well as capacity building for survey research, analysis, and communications skills, are integral parts of Afrobarometer’s work.

Among Afrobarometer’s key achievements are proving that public attitudes research can be conducted even in fragile, post-conflict, and closed political environments in Africa; legitimating public opinion as a pillar of African democracy, governance and development decision-making; and building a network of researchers that has earned the reputation as the go-to source for reliable data on what Africans are thinking.

Afrobarometer’s institutional values are independence, excellence, collaboration, and commitment. Afrobarometer individual values are integrity, respect, responsiveness, cooperation, and fairness. Funders and other stakeholders are treated as partners in the advancement of Afrobarometer’s mission. Relationships, non-partisanship, trust, and accountability are at the core of our work. Afrobarometer staff and network members appreciate benefiting from colleagues’ creativity, diligence, and enterprise, and value the ability to work individually and as part of a team. The qualities of leadership, initiative, and excellence are nurtured and rewarded. In pursuance of these values, all staff are required to abide by the Afrobarometer Statement of Personal and Professional Standards of Conduct.

Role Overview

AB is structured around five core teams that manage key functions, including the Surveys Team, the Analysis Team (or Analysis Unit (AU)), the Communications Team, the Capacity Building Team, and the AB Secretariat responsible for overall project management.

The SA/M will be part of the AU, which currently includes the Director of Analysis and Capacity Building (DoA/CB), the Head of Publications (HoP), a Senior Editor, a francophone Assistant Editor, and a number of Student Research Assistants and AB Interns. The core goals of the AU are to increase the number and scope of AB analytical outputs that help the network to continue reaching new audiences, and continue building its reputation as the most credible and reliable source of public attitude data on the continent, while expanding the pool of AB published authors. The AU seeks to both build analysis and publication skills and capacity in the network while maximizing the visibility, utility, and impact of AB data.

Every year AB produces a large number of diverse publications and analytical and communications outputs. Many of these, such as Country Dispatches, are produced by AB’s National Partners in each of the countries where it works, but they still pass through the AU for editing and finalization. The AU also plays a direct role in producing many outputs, including for example: planning for and sometimes producing the series of Pan- African Profiles (PAPs) that are produced at the end of each round of surveys; designing and producing new outputs (e.g., SDG Scorecards, Climate Change Country Cards, Child Welfare Country Scorecards); producing special reports and other deliverables commissioned or requested by donors or other stakeholders; conducting analyses of AB metadata and other methodological reviews; and reviewing submissions to the AB Working Paper series. The AU team is proud of the scope and quality of the outputs it produces, but hopes to continue to build its size, scope and capacity to further enhance AB’s visibility and its impact on policy across the continent and globally.

The Senior Analyst/Methodologist will be a new addition to the AU team who will help the team to achieve its goals as outlined above, by fulfilling the main duties and responsibilities as outlined below.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The SA/M’s primary responsibilities will relate to review, evaluation, and upgrading AB survey methodologies and production of AB analytical outputs. The SA/M will also provide secondary support to capacity building, communications and outreach, and network management as agreed with the DoA/CB and the senior AB managers. Specific duties and responsibilities in these primary and secondary areas of responsibility may include the following:

A. Review, evaluation, and upgrading of AB survey methodologies – AB methodologies have been described as the “gold standard” for survey research in Africa. But the organization constantly seeks to review and upgrade its methods, both through its own analyses and reviews, and through supporting review by others. The role of the SA/M in continued strengthening AB methods will include:

  • With input from DoA/CB, DOS, NDM, and other key AB staff, plan and oversee implementation of a program of strategic reviews of key AB methods and protocols through analysis of survey findings and meta data as appropriate, as well as review of best practices from other survey research projects.
  • Engage directly in review/analysis of AB meta-data, and coordinate analyses done by others (e.g., capstone projects, analyses conducted by AB student research assistants, etc.) with the goal of evaluating the effectiveness of AB current survey/fieldwork methodologies, identifying gaps or shortcomings, and proposing solutions.
  • Coordinate formation and function of an Afrobarometer Technical/Methods Review Committee that will help identify, track, review analysis, and respond to methods issues that are identified through internal or external review processes, including coordinating the committee’s review and approval of suitable updates to AB methods and protocols.
  • Undertake a review and, if necessary, update AB weighting protocols for Round 10 (2023-2024), in collaboration with the NDM and the Technical/Methods Review Committee.
  • Contribute to development, review, and/or finalization of AB phone survey protocols and the phone survey manual that is currently being developed by an AB consultant.
  • In collaboration with HoP, manage the AB “Methods Notes” publication series, including producing pieces as well as reviewing and editing work produced by others for this series.

B. Production of AB analytical outputs – AB produces a stream of publications and outputs at various levels of analysis, from infographics and country dispatches using primarily descriptive statistics, to policy and working papers that employ more advanced analytical methods. The role of the SA/M in production of AB analytical outputs will include:

  • Review and provide editorial feedback on AB analysis products produced by others. These may include outputs of all types and at all levels of analysis, although priority for the SA/M will be on contributing to review of higher level and more analytically advanced products such as policy papers and working papers, and papers produced as outputs of AB intermediate and advanced level thematic seminars.
  • Provide mentoring support to selected authors as assigned as part of AB’s Research Mentorship Programme.
  • Produce, as a lead- or co-author (as assigned) analyses such as Pan-African Profiles (cross- country comparative reports on selected topics produced at the end of each round), special analyses requested by donors or other stakeholders, or other analyses as agreed with the DoA/CB.

C. Capacity building – AB’s capacity building program builds skills in survey research, analysis and communications at levels ranging from non-analyst, to beginner, intermediate and advanced analysis. The SA/M may contribute to this program in several ways including:

  • Serve as a resource person for planning and implementation of AB “advanced track” analysis training courses, such as intermediate or advanced level thematic seminars, including occasionally serving as a trainer/facilitator (in person or online) as agreed with DoA/CB and the capacity building team.
  • Contribute as requested to production of training materials and videos related to survey methodology or advanced analytic methods.
  • Serve as a mentor for Afrobarometer staff, partners and intermediate/advanced training participants who are seeking to produce analyses for publication by AB or externally.
  • Through occasional interventions such as sharing appropriate readings, contributing to AB newsletters, holding (online or in-person) methods seminars or office hours, or other means as agreed with the DOA/CB and the capacity building team, contribute to skills and knowledge enhancement for AB staff and partners with respect to survey and analysis methods.
  • Liaise with other survey research projects to share learning and experience on methodological issues, seek feedback on AB methods and/or issues arising, and otherwise promote shared learning not just within Afrobarometer but across global regions and other multinational survey research projects.

D. Communications and outreach – AB has developed an extensive communications function to ensure that our findings reach a wide array of policy makers, policy advocates, media and other stakeholders, as well as ordinary citizens. The analysis and communications teams collaborate closely on developing and producing many analysis/communications products. The SA/M’s role will include:

  • Contribute as requested to efforts to raise AB’s profile and reinforce the value and credibility of AB data especially as related to explaining and continuing to strengthen AB methods. This includes representing Afrobarometer in professional and public settings such as meetings and conferences as requested, making or contributing to preparation of AB presentations to various audiences such as donors, university audiences, media, civil society organizations, or the general public.
  • Ensure that the methods-related content on the AB website is clear, coherent, comprehensive and up-to-date.
  • As necessary, work with the AB communications team to produce simple, user-friendly outputs (written, audio, video, infographics, slides, etc.) that explain AB methods, “sell” AB reliability and quality, and help tell the AB story and confirm the value and credibility of AB data to diverse audiences.
  • As agreed with DoA/CB and HoP, seek opportunities to produce written outputs such as blog posts, or newsletter articles, Methods Notes, or other outputs that explain AB methods in ways that reinforce the credibility, visibility and utility of AB data to a wide audience of users and stakeholders.

E. Management 

  • Contribute to preparing quarterly and annual reports on Analysis Unit activities and outputs and or special reports to donors.
  • Contribute to the Afrobarometer Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) programme by providing tracking and reporting for all activities of the Analysis Unit and/or of the SA/M.
  • Contribute to development of new funding proposals as requested by the CEO, COO and/or DoA/CB.
  • Other tasks as requested by the DoA/CB or members of the AB Central Management Team (CEO, COO, DoS, DoC).

Qualifications

Minimum Requirements

  • PhD in Political Science or a related discipline, and overall familiarity with core issues related to democracy and governance in Africa.
  • Extensive knowledge and direct field experience with survey research methodologies, especially in complex multinational, multicultural and multilingual environments.
  • Advanced skills in data analysis methods and in use of core statistical analysis software such as SPSS R, and/or Stata, especially as applied to survey research data.
  • A demonstrated track-record in analyzing survey methods and metadata analysis.
  • A solid publications record, preferably related to survey data and/or survey methods.
  • Experience with training and/or mentoring junior scholars, especially in survey methods and/or data analysis; demonstrated success with mentoring and/or co-authoring with others preferred.
  • Familiarity with methods and protocols for weighting survey research data.
  • Ability to work independently and remotely, but also function effectively as a critical member of a dispersed team within a multi-cultural and multi-country context.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Flexibility and willingness to work on a wide range of tasks.
  • Good time management and ability to manage multiple projects and tasks.
  • Responsiveness and ability to operate with diplomacy, tact, and empathy and build rapport with both management and other colleagues.
  • Contribute as requested to efforts to raise AB’s profile and reinforce the value and credibility of AB data especially as related to explaining and continuing to strengthen AB methods. This includes representing Afrobarometer in professional and public settings such as meetings and conferences as requested, making or contributing to preparation of AB presentations to various audiences such as donors, university audiences, media, civil society organizations, or the general public.
  • Contribute to preparing quarterly and annual reports on Analysis Unit activities and outputs and or special reports to donors.
  • Contribute to the Afrobarometer Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) programme by providing tracking and reporting for all activities of the Analysis Unit and/or of the SA/M.
  • Contribute to development of new funding proposals as requested by the CEO, COO and/or DoA/CB.
  • Other tasks as requested by the DoA/CB or members of the AB Central Management Team (CEO, COO, DoS, DoC).
  • Available for significant international travel when required.

Desirable

  • A general understanding of external and economic trends affecting the non-profit sector in which Afrobarometer works.
  • French, Portuguese and/or Arabic language skills
  • African citizenship or heritage

Salary

Afrobarometer will offer a competitive salary based on the skills and experience of the successful candidate.

How to apply

The deadline for all applications is 31st August 2023.

PLEASE READ THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY BEFORE APPLYING.

Please send your application to [email protected]

Include your name and position title in the subject field of your email. Example: “[Name Surname] Senior Analyst/Methodologist.”

Documents to include:

  1. An up-to-date curriculum vitae with contact details (your email, phone, postal address, and WhatsApp number).
  2. If available, a sample of your own writing or of writing to which you contributed significantly.

2. A personal statement describing:

a. Your interest in the position and in working with Afrobarometer.

b. Evidence of how your skills, experience, and knowledge meet the Selection Criteria (minimum requirements and desirable skills/traits). If you lack experience or evidence in any area listed, please state how you would gain the knowledge or competency needed to succeed in the role.

c. Your availability for the position (notice period in your current role) and preferred working location.

Afrobarometer is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status.

We are also proud of our commitment to protecting staff, partners, and other stakeholders from abuse and exploitation and thoroughly vet all final candidates through rigorous background and reference checks.

VISIT HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AFROBAROMETER

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