Director, Research, Data and Innovation, WRI Africa

Data Analysis & Technical Research Africa, Multiple Countries

This position can be based in WRI Ethiopia, WRI Kenya, WRI Rwanda, WRI DRC. Existing work authorization is required at the time of application submission. WRI is unable to sponsor any visa work sponsorship for this position. 

About the Program:

WRI has central staff dedicated to creating a strong learning culture and ensuring research excellence across programs and international offices. The Research Data and Innovation (RDI) core function at WRI includes two key components: the preservation of research integrity and support to data products. This group works closely with the Managing for Results team, who monitors WRI’s outputs and outcomes to help us learn and ensure strategy turns into tangible results. We measure our success in both the quality of our research and in its ability to drive change in the world in ways that support WRI’s mission across three priority systems: Food, Land and Water; Energy; and Cities.

Job Highlight:

In the role of Director, Research, Data and Innovation, WRI Africa, you will oversee these three functions and will be particularly responsible for research integrity. Working closely with our Global Research, Data and Innovation team, you will lead the peer review process for our knowledge products in Africa, as well as mentor staff, develop and provide training, and ensure that our strategies are evidence-based and contribute to achieving our goals. You will foster a culture of research excellence and ensure high quality research across WRI Africa. You will be supported by the Global Research, Data and Innovation team, the Managing for Results team, including our Manager for Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning, and the Data Lab team, including our Africa liaisons.

You will report to the Deputy Director for WRI Africa and you will have a dotted line to the Global Research, Data and Innovation Lead.

What will you do:

Ensure quality of WRI-branded knowledge products (50%):

  • Provide feedback to authors on research design and the provision of robust evidence that is fit for key audiences— including policymakers, businesses, multilateral development organizations—and coherent with other research and publications at WRI
  • Review WRI Africa publications, as well as other WRI publications relevant to Africa, to determine whether they meet WRI’s research standards and approve them for publication
  • Assist research staff in identifying external experts who can provide objective, relevant reviews of drafts

Research Culture & Capacity (25%): 

  • Foster a learning culture where constructive criticism and candor are highly valued and staff feel empowered to speak up and discuss failures
  • Establish regular engagement with programs to help connect the dots across programs and encourage a culture of cohesion
  • Provide support and training to staff on research design, data interpretation, analytical issues, and effective writing
  • Participate in hiring of research-focused staff

Coordinate with the Data Lab and Managing for Results functions (25%): 

  • Ensure that the links between research and outcomes are understood by all program staff and pursued as an integral part of strategies to drive sustainable outcomes
  • Collaborate with the Data Lab and Managing for Results to ensure alignment within WRI Africa
  • Help develop capacity for the Data Lab and Managing for Results functions in WRI Africa
  • Provide guidance (dotted line) to existing Data Lab and Managing for Results staff

What will you need:

  • Education: You have a completed master's degree in a discipline related to environment, development, or evaluation, with strong methodological skills in social sciences, natural sciences, or related fields
  • Experience: You have 12+ years of relevant, full-time experience in conducting research related to environment or development, including 5+ years of experience managing researchers
  • You have experience working with international organizations and relevant experience working in the Africa continent 
  • You have a track record of conducting and overseeing research that translates into policy and practice
  • You have demonstrated knowledge of specific research methods, quantitative or qualitative and experience communicating those methods clearly to diverse audiences
  • Experience applying valuation methods is desirable
  • Languages: You have professional proficiency in English. Professional proficiency in French is desirable.

Potential salary:

Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors. 

How to Apply:

Please submit a resume withcoverletterby April 4 2023.Applicants mustapply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

What we offer:

  • A competitive salary 
  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the United States. 
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission-driven organization with access to varied learning and training opportunities. 
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work. 
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI. 
  • Long-term commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours.
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure


Founded in 1982,World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, aswell as a growing presence in other countries and regions.     

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact. 

mission and values: 

WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. 

Our valuesare shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence, Respect.    

Our culture:

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities,Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply.Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRIhasalsobeen awarded EDGE certification. 

Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.