Research Officer (consultancy to facilitate using digital civic engagement to support land health interventions)

Research Officer (consultancy to facilitate using digital civic engagement to support land health interventions)

Position Title: Research officer (consultancy)
Location: Nairobi, Kenya, with some travel to the Upper Tana river basin (Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga)
Duration: Approximately 10 weeks (this is a delivery-based consultancy extending from January 2019 to June 2019)
Expected start date: early February 2019
Deadline: 21 January 2019, 5pm EAT

About Africa’s Voices Foundation

Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF) is a fast-growing start-up, capitalizing on interactive media and digital communications to curate and spark engaging discussions that capture citizens’ voices as evidence and elevate them to the level of decision-making. We serve development, humanitarian and governance organisations with unique capabilities to listen intelligently to the citizens they serve. Spun out of cutting-edge research at the University of Cambridge in 2015, we have an established presence in East Africa and beyond with a vibrant growing core team in Nairobi. Our clients include UNICEF, the European Union, Oxfam, and the MasterCard Foundation.


We use media forums to 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 frameworks with data science techniques to 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.  



Position Overview:

AVF is launching a new 6-month programme supporting civic engagement for land health interventions in Kenya. Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF) will deploy interactive radio shows – shows in which audiences participate by submitting SMS responses to questions asked on air – to collect and analyse the perceptions and beliefs that affect community practices related to land health. This engagement via interactive radio will seek to understand farmers’ beliefs that relate to changes in land use can enrich the insights from biophysical data on carbon stocks or storage. Moreover, evidence on farmers’ perceptions of land productivity could support more effective, tailored, and sustainable interventions designed to enhance yield, and limit degradation.

The research officer will support the delivery of this programme, including the research design in its initial inception phase, the qualitative analysis of data collected through radio listeners’ engagement via SMS and the final evaluation and reporting. Fluency in Gikuyu, English and Kiswahili are essential.


Key responsibilities:

  1. Contributes to the design stage of the project by synthesising insights from existing research (from partners and external) and identifying research gaps in line with the project’s objectives.
  2. Participates in discussions with partners to understand their evidence needs and suitable way to share and integrate AVF’s evidence into the broader programme partnership.
  3. Supports SMS-survey development and question testing.
  4. Translates questions into Kiswahili and Kikuyu languages.
  5. Conducts qualitative analysis from the audience engagement data, developing themes identified from a diversity of voices.
  6. Triangulate the findings from the audience engagement data with other data sources and translated into actionable insights for adaptive programming.
  7. To translate the insights in a way that can be incorporated into new content in the radio shows, seeking for further views from stakeholders and farmers on the results.
  8. To support the dissemination of findings in ways tailored to a diversity of stakeholders, including to inform policy.

Essential experience, skills and qualifications:

  1. Undergraduate or Masters level degree in Land and Water Management, Agriculture and Technology, Environmental Studies, Development Studies, or any relevant Social Sciences discipline.
  2. Experience designing and conducting research in Kenya.
  3. Experience conducting qualitative analysis, including developing coding frames, labelling textual data, interpretive analysis. Knowledge of quantitative methods is desirable but not essential.
  4. Able to synthesise research findings into succinct and compelling communication outputs for a range of stakeholders.  
  5. Fluent in Gikuyu, English and Kiswahili.
  6. Legal right to work in Kenya.


  • This post will be based in Nairobi, Kenya, with some travel to the Upper Tana river basin (Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga)

To Apply

Please send your CV and Cover Letter explaining why you are interested in AVF and this position, and how you fulfil the selection criteria to Please include “Research Officer in the title of your email.

The application deadline is 5pm (EAT) on 5pm, 21 January 2019. Applications may be considered after this date only if a suitable candidate has not been found.  

AVF 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.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.