Insights & Research Lead / Jobtech Alliance - Kenya or Nigeria

Programs Nairobi, Kenya Africa - Various Locations, Kenya


Description

This position is for national in Kenya or Nigeria.

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian organization working in over 40 countries at the front lines of today’s biggest crises. Mercy Corps has built a reputation for innovative economic development programming, particularly working with start-ups, and hosts a venture capital arm called Mercy Corps Ventures. Its youth employment work places a focus on jobtech (read more here), which it has worked with for over a decade - investing, supporting product innovation, and conducting research on the opportunities for the sector. In late 2021, Mercy Corps launched the Jobtech Alliance, an ecosystem-building initiative around inclusive jobtech in Africa.
 
The Jobtech Alliance has a portfolio of grants which allows us to conduct a range of acceleration activities with jobtech start-ups, and to conduct wider ecosystem-building activities. We partner with jobtech start-ups across 10 African markets to support strategy, product and operational innovations which make their services more viable and scalable, more inclusive and/or delivering better quality jobs for the users they serve. We conduct research to better understand what makes these innovations work (or not), and conduct exploratory research on emerging themes to help guide the sector.
 
The Position
The Jobtech Alliance Research & Insights Lead will lead Research activities at the Jobtech Alliance. You will manage our learning agenda, conduct research on emerging themes from our acceleration activities and beyond, and coordinate with others in the research and insights space. We operate as a ‘do-tank’ rather than a ‘think-tank’ - our research insights need to be operationally useful. You will often have a role in moving research into practice, as well as vice-versa. You will be traveling up to 20% of the time across the continent.
 
Key Responsibilities
 
STRATEGY, RESEARCH AND LEARNING AGENDA - 20%

  • Contribute to our learning and research strategy, about how we produce and disseminate learning products, to most effectively influence the jobtech ecosystem.
  • Co-shape the overarching learning agenda of the Jobtech Alliance. Identify emerging themes coming out of our work, as well as upon the wider jobtech horizon, which require further research.
  • Support the venture building team to identify learning themes and opportunities within their innovation sprints.
  • Advise the team on new issues they should be addressing in their work, based on reading emerging research in the jobtech space. 
CONDUCTING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPING RESEARCH OUTPUTS - 60%
  • Conduct research on varying themes with acceleration start-up partners, from product design, to business model strategy, user-level impact, and/or operations. This involves strategizing research approaches and methodologies in a manner that is adapted to each innovation project’s needs, and would involve data collection activities with start-ups, the venture building team, and users themselves.
  • Analyze, synthesize, and produce knowledge products as a primary author for various forms of audiences and channels, including long-form reports, blogs, and other communication mediums for knowledge products. Our content will primarily be in the form of 5-10 page learning reports, and 1-2 page blogs, with a few longer-form research products. 
MANAGE CONTENT PRODUCTION & SUPPORT DISSEMINATION - 20%
  • Manage quarterly research and content calendar. Ensure that research and content (blogs etc) are on course.
  • Edit blogs and learning products produced by other team members.
  • Manage larger research products by consultants or external actors (for longer-form research products). 
RESEARCH STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT - 10%
  • Function as a learning focal point for engagement with external stakeholders. Attend local events, meetings and networking activities.
  • Where suitable, convene researchers in the jobtech space to move forward learning agenda, or to foster collaboration. 
Supervisory Responsibility
Consultants, Enumerators
 
Accountability
Reports Directly To: Director / Jobtech Alliance
Works Directly With: Start-ups, External partners, Results Measurement & Learning Lead, Venture builders,
 
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
 
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in business, social science, international development, or a related field.
  • 5+ years of relevant experience, including working in or with technology startups.
  • Demonstrated expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with both business strategies and decisions, as well as user-level impact.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills, with a keen ability to synthesize and present complex data in a simple, compelling, meaningful way.
  • Computer proficiency in word processing, databases, and spreadsheets.
  • Must be a strong self-starter.
  • Ability to complete tasks in a timely manner while balancing several assignments with inputs from multiple team members. 
Success Factors
You are a learn-it-all, with a passion to learn more about the jobtech, employment, and start-up space - how to make tech businesses work, and how those can have an impact on their users. You are an excellent communicator and collaborator, who can work with different stakeholders. You possess strong analytical and research skills, and can tell the difference between an ‘insight’ and ‘information. You are a great storyteller, who can write short, punchy, content with strong and clear messaging.
 
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
Based in Nairobi, Kenya or Lagos/Abuja, Nigeria for those with legal right to work in those countries.
 
Ongoing Learning
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
 
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
 
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
 
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
 
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
 
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.