Gui²de East Africa Director of Research and Strategy Job in Kenya

Gui²de – East Africa

Director of Research and Strategy

Country: Kenya

Education: Master’s

Other advanced degree: Honours

Language Requirement: English

Length of Commitment: Two years

Start Date: ASAP

About gui²de – East Africa: The Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development and Evaluation (gui²de) conducts empirical field-based research to assess the impact and effectiveness of interventions and policies aimed at empowering individuals in developing countries to improve their lives.

Major research themes include governance and accountability, the promotion of agency in the delivery of health, education, and other public services, the role of mobile technology in development, and financial development and integration.

The Initiative, jointly convened by the Economics Department and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown, provides timely, relevant, and insightful analysis to inform development policy and practice.

The gui2de office, located on Georgetown’s campus in Washington, DC, consists of six full time administrative and research support staff, and twenty faculty affiliates from across the University.

The office also hosts dozens of undergraduate, Masters, and PhD student research assistants throughout the academic year, and places students interns internationally during the summer months.

In 2016, gui²de opened a research office in Nairobi, Kenya. Known as gui2de-East Africa, the office primarily administers impact evaluation research projects in Kenya, but also serves as a hub for other gui2de research activities in the region.

The office attracts funding from partners such as the US Agency for International Development, the UK’s Department for International Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank, as well as other sources.

gui²de-East Africa manages grant-funded research on behalf of Georgetown University faculty and their co-principal investigators from educational and professional organizations, allowing close oversight of the research activities, more direct involvement of the PIs in project management and decisions, and higher quality research output.

The office consists of a small core team that provides strategic leadership and the administrative infrastructure needed to conduct our work, along with a team of research project managers and assistants.

gui²de-East Africa is the University’s first international office devoted to research, and represents a commitment to the region, and to the continent. It also provides a test case for potential future deployments in other parts of the developing world that could support research by Georgetown faculty and their collaborators, as the University builds out its development identity and brand.

What We’re Looking For

gui²de-East Africa is seeking a highly-motivated international development professional who is an active, energetic leader and a dynamic problem-solver to direct our Nairobi office and the execution and expansion of our Kenya research portfolio.

The role is a leadership position and reports directly to gui²de’s Washington, DC-based Director of Programs, with supervision from gui2de’s faculty directors.

This position is ideal for someone who has training in technical and analytical aspects of empirical international development field research, operational management experience in a relevant organization, and a strong desire to provide overall leadership and ownership of a relatively recently-established country office with 10-15 full-time administrative and research support staff.

gui²de’s culture is minimally hierarchical, dedicated to quality, and hard-working.

The ideal candidate:

  • Thrives in an ambiguous, fast-paced, and demanding environment, and can handle multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Is an operational problem-solver who wants to be a part of building up an organization and developing and implementing institutional processes, policies, and standards of practice;
  • Has the ability to see and help define the big picture and both short and long-term organizational strategic goals;
  • Is proactive and takes initiative to identify important questions and solutions;
  • Highly values communication, and is effective at engaging with a wide variety of both junior and senior colleagues and external stakeholders;
  • Has strong writing skills and the ability to effectively and efficiently communicate ideas to both technical and non-technical audiences;
  • Is highly organized, dedicated to producing quality deliverables, and has exceptional attention to detail;
  • Demonstrates good judgment in determining when to take initiative and work independently, and when to consult team members and supervisors, and generally fosters a collaborative environment;
  • Has a high degree of emotional intelligence and is comfortable working with and managing a diverse team, and taking ownership of team members’ performance and professional development;
  • Can create a positive and supportive office culture and work environment while still demanding quality from team members.

What You’d Do

The gui²de-East Africa Director of Research and Strategy is responsible for oversight of all projects administered by gui²de-East Africa, while day-to-day operations of the office are managed by the Operations Manager.

The successful candidate will work closely with gui2de leadership, as well as University departments such as the Office of Research Services, Sponsored Accounting, General Counsel, Human Resources, and Contracts and Procurement. The Director represents Georgetown University, gui2de leadership, and the Kenya office in the development and execution of relationships with local partners.

The Director’s responsibilities cut across three core functionalities.

Research and Implementation

  • Work closely with gui²de’s Washington, DC-based Principal Investigators to design and implement complex and large-scale empirical studies, including but not restricted to RCTs, across a variety of sectors, including education, health, digital finance, cash transfers, governance, and more
  • Oversee the delivery of interventions, execution of evaluations, and management and analysis of data by project staff
  • Ensure that project work is implemented with the highest standards of quality and research integrity

Strategy and Partner Relations

  • Serve as gui²de-East Africa’s key overall point of contact for programmatic, financial, human resource, legal, and operational matters
  • Work with gui²de leadership to continually assess and document the organization’s performance and strategize about future development
  • Engage with Georgetown University administrative and finance staff to strengthen the organization’s systems, processes, and capacity to ensure they remain responsive to program needs and meet institutional standards
  • Serve as gui²de-East Africa’s senior and strategic representative at high-level meetings with project partners, donors, government officials, and business leaders, and assist project staff in the execution and implementation of research agreements and contracts as needed
  • Represent gui²deand Georgetown University at relevant networking and business development events, and foster relationships with potential partners and donors

Team Leadership

  • Manage and coach between 8-12 full-time staff to ensure their growth, development, and satisfaction, and high-quality contributions to gui²de-East Africa’s work
  • Provide regular performance reviews and develop work plans as necessary
  • Communicate staff updates, assessments, and needs to gui²de leadership
  • Oversee the recruitment, training, deployment, and management of up to 60 temporary employees (enumerators) who are hired periodically to implement project work


  • Education: Master’s degree in international development, business, public policy, economics, or a related field;
  • Experience: at least 5-7 years of relevant professional experience with progressively increasing responsibility, including at least 2 years in a leadership and/or managerial position;
  • Thorough understanding of research techniques and methodologies as applied in the social and behavioral sciences, especially with respect to randomized control trials (RCTs) and other experimental methods;
  • Experience with survey design and data collection, and commitment to maintaining high levels of scientific integrity;
  • Experience with budgets and financial management, and understanding of basic accounting principles;
  • Ability to anticipate and respond to challenges, and to build a trusting, cooperative, and collaborative team;
  • Experience living in a developing country is strongly preferred.
  • Work permit may be required depending on citizenship status.

How to Apply

CLICK HERE to complete the J-PAL/IPA common application.

After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, and select the position “East Africa Director of Research and Strategy – gui²de.”

Include resume and cover letter.

Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Economics and Statistics, NGO and UN
Updated: January 15, 2019 — 7:51 pm