Research institution and system strengthening (SRIA) technical advisor | Kenya | 2021

Closing date:

Chemonics seeks a research institution and system strengthening (SRIA) technical advisor. The Research and Information Systems in Africa (RISA) Fund programme is a multi-country project funded by the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) focusing on strengthening research and innovation systems in target countries, combining the fund manager requirements of two current funds under the RISA umbrella: Strengthening Research Institutions in Africa (SRIA) and African Technology and Innovation Partnerships (ATIP). RISA seeks to strengthen research and innovation systems by developing a portfolio of well-designed, evidence-based sub-projects in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The RISA programme has three objectives:

  1. Research institution and system strengthening (SRIA). To support research organisations to have the capabilities necessary to produce relevant, high-quality research and to create an enabling environment for researchers and research organisations.
  2. Innovation system strengthening (ATIP). To strengthen the enablers for the scaling of new and emerging technologies with the high potential for poverty reduction and inclusive growth.
  3. Strengthening synergies between research and innovation systems (SRIA and ATIP). To identify and support linkages between research and innovation systems that will improve their integration and coordination.

RISA will focus on identifying Research and/or Innovation system strengthening priorities in each of the focus African countries; procuring appropriate suppliers to deliver Research and Innovation system strengthening projects; and managing the overall Research and Innovation systems strengthening fund portfolio. The project is a funds management programme, to issue grants and funding awards to local institutions and partners in Africa.

Position Description

The SRIA technical advisor will be a member of the SRIA Fund Advisory Unit and will be responsible for providing advice and support to the RISA Senior Management Team across RISA programme objectives as relevant, but particularly related to SRIA work on research systems strengthening, capacity development, and partnership facilitation. The SRIA technical advisor is a full-time position through March 31, 2022. There is a possibility of extension after this period that will be contingent upon project donor approval. The (SRIA) technical advisor reports to the RISA Team Lead (in coordination with SRIA Fund Lead) or delegate as appointed by Chemonics. We are looking for individuals who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of people around the world.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Fund management and leadership coordination
    • Coordinate with Senior Management Team to proactively build partnerships and engage them in the RISA programme
    • Work cross functionally, especially with the SRIA Fund Advisory Unit and ATIP Fund Advisor Unit, and with stakeholders and providers to ensure that key outcomes are being delivered
    • Provide guidance and support to projects/funds applicants and participants
  • Stakeholder engagement
    • Conduct stakeholder mapping, engagement, and outreach work to existing and new innovation and research networks within the RISA priority countries, with the British Government, other donors and the private sector, and across the East and West African regions
    • Coordinate with RISA colleagues to conduct and manage the selection, induction, mentorship and provision of ongoing technical support for RISA Country Technical Leads (CTLs) and additional downstream projects and partners as relevant
  • Monitoring, evaluation, research and learning
    • Coordinate with SRIA and ATIP Fund Leads to conduct needs assessments and applied political economy assessments (PEAs) in selected RISA focus countries and regionally
    • Facilitate support for gender and inclusion assessments, communications strategy, and programme reporting requirements
  • Travel between multiple locations as required per programme work planning and determined reasonable considering COVID-19 safety measures**
  • Any other relevant responsibilities as agreed-upon with Chemonics supervisor**

Experience, Skills and Qualifications

  • Degree or relevant professional experience in international development, economics, business management, entrepreneurship, innovation, or similar field
  • Experience working with UK government-funded programmes would be positive
  • Demonstrable experience of working in Africa, across multiple locations preferred. Culturally sensitive and aware of African counties, customs and ways of working.
  • Previous experience working as a Project Manager, Technical Adviser, Management Consultant or similar roles related to the technical focus areas for RISA would be desirable
  • Demonstrated leadership, versatility, and integrity
  • Fluency in English is required, and an additional language spoken within the region would be advantageous but not necessary

How to apply

Application Instructions

Please send an email with your CV and cover letter attached and “SRIA Technical Advisor” in the subject line to no later than November 19, 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis so please apply at your earliest ability. No telephone inquiries, please. Chemonics will contact finalists.

Chemonics is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, or other legally protected characteristics. Military veterans, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply.

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