Nairobi County, Kenya
The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya with travel within Kenya and possible occasional travel to Tanzania and Rwanda. The position will report to the Principal Investigator (PI).
The Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) for Kenya will provide scientific leadership as well as programmatic direction for project activities in Kenya related to an anticipated project funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) entitled, “Understanding knowledge systems and what works to promote science technology and innovation in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.” The duration of the project is expected to be approximately 18 months.
The purpose of the project is to research and propose a practical and context-specific knowledge system concept for Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda that is informed by international evidence of what works in innovation and research systems. The project will also propose practical actions and recommendations for effective investments in science, technology and innovation by these countries and their partners. The Co-PI for Kenya will work in partnership with the PI and Co-PIs in Tanzania and Rwanda.
Project Scope and Deliverables
The primary purpose of the DFID project is to bring together robust international evidence and country level research to inform a clear and practical approach for national decision makers in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and their partners. The emphasis will be to enable a practical understanding and discussions on the theory and evidence of what works, and recommendations for policy makers in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
The scope for the entire project in the three target countries may include, but is not limited to, the following activities. The co-PI for Kenya will undertake the portion of the scope related to Kenya and contribute to findings and reports for the project as a whole.
A Scoping Exercise to include key stakeholder consultation and review of existing evidence (including grey literature) on Kenya, contribute to the refinement of the project methodology, draft conceptual framework, methodology for the investment case, develop a workplan for Kenya and identify and potential constraints.
Review Existing Evidence and Contribute to the Development of the Theoretical Approach to include research available evidence on national knowledge systems in Kenya, identify evidence gaps, review national systems in other sectors for practices in knowledge systems development, and contribute to the finalisation of the conceptual framework for the analysis of the knowledge system a theory of change and related information.
Map and Describe the Knowledge System in Kenya to include the types of institutions/actors within the knowledge system, conduct an analysis of the policy environment of the knowledge systems, identify the financial resources within the systems, identify how these intuitions/actors interact, and identify and map existing interventions to develop knowledge systems, identify knowledge system gaps and related activities.
Undertake Political Economy Analysis to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the knowledge system in Kenya, identify barriers and enablers, interests and incentives, identify the roles of formal institutions and informal social, political and cultural norms, identify whether existing interventions are working or not, and the underlying reasons why, identify how and where Government and their partners could focus efforts, and contribute to the revision of the knowledge systems framework and theory of change, and related activities.
Develop the Economic Investment Case (if approved) for investing in science technology and innovation in Kenya to include synthesise and collect data to set out the investment case for science, technology and innovation, compare the investment case for specific areas of science, technology and innovation, set out clearly with evidence how this case may differ due to the macro-economic context for Kenya, identify the barriers and enablers within the knowledge system, and related information.
Identify Practical Actions to Strengthen the Knowledge Economy in Kenya to include consultation with key stakeholders and constituencies on priorities for science technology and innovation, and development of practical action points to support the further development of the knowledge system in Kenya, and related information.
Contribute to establishing standards for scientific rigor and quality of all research, data collection, analysis and report writing undertaken as part of the project.
Lead the study and analytical work in Kenya in partnership with the PI, RTI experts, and Kenyan institutions, and contribute to the design of overall project activities, methodologies and deliverables.
Coordinate research and work products with the PI as well as co-PIs located in Tanzania and Rwanda.
Ensure the analysis, reports and recommendations that result from the Kenya research products are technically sound, clear and practical.
As applicable, prepare briefs for both policy and academic audiences in Kenya.
Program Leadership, Management and Coordination
Develop and manage strategic relationships with partners and stakeholders in Kenya in partnership with the PI.
Develop a project workplan for Kenya that will be combined with workplans for Tanzania and Rwanda, draft and finalize reports/deliverables with input from the other co-PIs and the PI, and contribute to financial reporting documentation as needed.
Meet regularly in person and electronically with the PI and other co-PIs to discuss activity implementation and progress.
Undertake site visits within Kenya, and, if required, to the other target countries.
Establish/strengthen relationships with government counterparts, research institutions, academic partners and other stakeholders in Kenya.
Education and Experience
Master’s level degree in Political Science, Public Administration, Research Methodology, or related field;
Candidates must have at least eight years of progressive experience in the design and oversight of complex research studies related to knowledge management, political economy analysis and related fields.
Existing relationship with an academic institution, think tank or research institute in Kenya.
Demonstrated knowledge of the broad array of institutions and actors involved in the knowledge sector in Kenya.
Demonstrated success managing against programmatic deliverables.
Knowledge and Skills
Strong quantitative and qualitative research skills are required.
Excellent writing, editing, research, and presentation skills in English.
Proven track record in building successful relationships with government counterparts, research institutions, donors, partners, and other stakeholders.
Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills.
Ability to produce thorough, high-quality work within a tight timeframe in English.
Must be fluent (writing and speaking) in English and Swahili.