The British High Commission in Nairobi is Looking for a Research and Evidence Manager SEO (Foreign Policy and Diplomacy in Africa): Apply Now!

About British High Commission Nairobi

The British High Commission in Nairobi is the diplomatic mission of the United Kingdom in Nairobi. It is located in the Upper Hill area of Nairobi. The British High Commission in Kenya maintains and develops relations between the UK and Kenya. We provide services to British nationals living in and visiting Kenya.

Research and Evidence Manager SEO (Foreign Policy and Diplomacy in Africa)

  • Job Type: Contract
  • Qualification: BA/BSc/HND
  • Experience
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Job Field: Data, Business Analysis and Ai

Main purpose of job:

FCDO plays an important role in the delivery of His Majesty’s Government’s ambition for the UK to be a global science superpower and innovation nation as set out in the Integrated Review. The FCDO supports this vision by facilitating research collaboration to bolster national prosperity, security, and resilience. It connects UK academia, business, and other government departments to international partners to tackle global challenges and support HMG’s wider geo-political priorities. We work in partnership with the local science, technology and innovation (ST&I) community in support of UK policy overseas, leading to mutual benefits for the UK and the host country.

The global science network in the FCDO’s Research and Evidence Directorate (RED) is a unique component of the UK’s overseas footprint with 152 officers in 67 locations around the world providing ST&I expertise. Our global science network in Africa comprises eighteen colleagues in four locations. The network develops bilateral and regional ST&I relationships supporting UK diplomacy and development objectives. The network is composed of the Science and Innovation Network (SIN) and FCDO Research and Innovation Hubs (Hubs). This role is based in the East Africa Research and Innovation Hub (EARIH) in the British High Commission Nairobi, Kenya office. You will work collaboratively with three regional Africa hubs based in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa to meet the evidence needs of FCDO’s country offices across Africa.

The FCDO is committed to applying robust evidence in its decision making. RED commissions groundbreaking research in partnership with global thought leaders, country experts, and technical specialists to respond to pressing global issues. In Africa, we collaborate with policy teams across the UK government as well as with our British High Commission posts in Africa to deliver high impact, demand-responsive evidence that respond directly to the needs of countries in our region. You will contribute to our growing research and evidence portfolio through stakeholder engagement, research commissioning and project management, and will work on important global topics, from climate change to global health.

In this role you will also be responsible for:

  •  Commissioning, overseeing and delivering rigorous research, and synthesising evidence. The research we commission responds directly to requests from FCDO colleagues based in our partner countries across Africa. This ensures that the research we commission and the evidence we synthesise informs vital, real-world decision-making.
  • Building capacity across FCDO to find, appraise and use evidence.

Roles and responsibilities:

Lead the commissioning and management of research focused on foreign policy, diplomacy and international influencing to inform internal decision-making across Africa (~50%)

  • Where evidence needs are identified and commissioning new research is the best way of facilitating access among FCDO decision-makers, developing terms of reference for the research, identifying potential suppliers and leading procurement; and
  • Managing research projects delivered by external research teams, ensuring outputs meet the needs of users and are delivered on time and on budget. Monitoring and evaluating the progress and quality of research projects.
  • Illustrative example for responsibilities 1 & 2: co-designing, with users, a project to comprehensively map the evidence base where an evidence need has been co-identified, commissioning the research to leading experts, quality-assuring outputs, producing targeted evidence briefs to facilitate use, and support dissemination of outputs to UK government decision makers where appropriate.

Support the use of research evidence among FCDO decision-makers working on foreign policy, diplomacy and international influencing in Africa, working collaboratively with others brokering evidence in these areas (~30%). This will include:

  • Working with decision-makers to build shared understanding of their evidence needs, right-fit evidence and sources of support;
  • Supporting decision-makers to access evidence to meet their needs by finding, conducting and commissioning new research;
  • Helping decision-makers to apply evidence when developing new policy or action by, for example, developing summaries, creating decision-support tools and building skills; and
  • Documenting lessons from your support, updating team guidance and sharing experience with others in the Global Science Department.
  • Develop, evaluate, recommend, and implement procedures for performance improvement and quality control

Support the design and delivery of initiatives to increase evidence-based practices among evidence commissioners and brokers in FCDO, particularly those in Global Science (~10%). This will include:

  • Support with mapping of key HMG and local government strategic objectives across Africa and identifying opportunities for alignment and increased evidence use for development and diplomacy. Will include consolidation and tracking of key statistics and figures to monitor both research and innovation uptake.
  • Monitor and advise on emerging themes across Hubs identifying opportunities to improve coherence and shared learning

Contributing to the Global Science Department objectives, engaging on key cross-cutting Departmental priorities, and contributing to broader RED discussions and directions (10%).

  • This includes monitoring, reporting and feeding into the management of the programme. You will also be expected to contribute actively to the FCDO corporate objectives at Post as well as central level.

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Resources managed:

  • No direct line management of staff.
  • Financial and technical oversight of project spend delivered through the centrally managed Evidence Fund (roughly £1,300,000).

Essential qualifications, skills and experience 1 

  • Practical experience of commissioning research and knowledge of research synthesis. Knowledge and experience of research and analytical methodologies, including quantitative and qualitative approaches. Experience of undertaking and applying research to address programme & policy questions.
  • Can engage internationally and across government on a cross-cutting agenda to help deliver UK Government objectives in the wider UK and international context and in developing productive relationships with other government departments and external partners to help deliver UK objectives.
  • Experience of working across stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, including national and international partners.
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work with others to ensure complex ideas can be communicated to different audiences.
  • Experience of programme and/or project management and delivery.

Desirable qualifications, skills and experience 1 

  • Knowledge and experience of producing or supporting the production of communication assets on science, technology, research, and innovation for the public.
  • Experience of working with the private sector, academia, government and/or development sector to drive impacts at scale in Africa.

Required behaviours 1 

  • Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Communicating and Influencing, Working Together

Method of Application

Interested and qualified? Go to British High Commission Nairobi on to apply

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