Seeking Leaders for Global Change

Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) - Research Director

The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) seeks to strengthen social policy and governance research responsive to policy needs in Africa. As Research Director, you will lead the organisation’s research agenda and engage with policy actors and think tanks, research institutes, governmental and non-governmental organizations in Africa and internationally. You are well-published in social science research and able to interact comfortably with peers and associates in African and international academic communities.

About Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR)

The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) is a non-profit organisation based in Nairobi, Kenya, that seeks to increase the capacity of African academic institutions and researchers to produce research that can inform social policy and governance.

PASGR strengthens research capacity by providing opportunities for professional development of teaching staff and researchers, supporting collaborative initiatives aimed at strengthening graduate education in research for public policy, financing research and providing technical as well as policy outreach and communication support. 

To achieve these objectives, PASGR is organised around three core programmes: 

  • A Research Programme with a structure and supporting apparatus appropriate for social policy and governance research responsive to policy needs in the region. Its policy component generates interest and demand for research evidence within the African policy community.
  • A Higher Education Programme involving African universities working in formal partnership towards master’s and possible doctoral level programmes focused on social science research for public policy. 
  • A Professional Development and Training Programme that supports the Research Programme, the Higher Education Programme and the broader African research community.

About the Role

The Research Director provides the intellectual leadership and guidance for PASGR’s Research Programme and ensures that PASGR is vibrant in research activities and reach. The Research Director ensures that research activities are highly profiled and visible and are of exceptional quality and relevant to the policy and governance needs of Africa. In this respect, the Research Director actively directs all research capacity building and research project activities of the organisation to align with PASGR’s vision and mission.  

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides strategic and operational leadership of the Research Programme through management of all programme activities, ensuring that they contribute effectively to strengthening African social science research capacity to support policy and governance needs in the region. 
  • Plans and guides activities aimed at improving the quality and policy utility of African social and governance research through individual, organisational and institutional capacity building, taking into account the differing needs and challenges facing researchers in different regions and countries.  
  • Monitors trends in conceptual, theoretical and methodological approaches to research globally, with attention to the implications for African research generally and PASGR research activities specifically.  
  • Spearheads innovative resource mobilisation strategies and activities to diversify and deepen the funding base of PASGR research activities. 
  • Monitors the policy environment in Africa to identify trends in social policy and governance to inform PASGR’s research programme and identify opportunities for regional and international partnership on research and research capacity building.  
  • Provides the “face” of PASGR research in regional and international workshops, seminars, conferences and media events. 
  • Facilitates development of and contributes to formal and informal networks involving African and non-African researchers and academics as well as national, regional, and international policy research institutions. 
  • Serves as Secretary to PASGR’s independent Research Committee and, with the committee’s guidance, facilitates activities such as the scoping and selection of research projects, review of research proposals, monitoring the quality of research outputs supported by PASGR and the process of publication and dissemination.   
  • With the Executive Director and senior management team, ensures that monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment activities specific to research are appropriately designed and executed and that PASGR can effectively demonstrate the value of its supported research, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of programme activities.
  • Provides day-to-day coordination and management of the Research Programme activities including associated staff and budget. 
  • Assists the Executive Director and senior management team with programme design and development, organisational management and fund-raising activities.  
  • Coordinates with other programmes to ensure coherence in delivery of programmes and alignment with the vision of PASGR.
  • Exercises managerial responsibilities and other duties as may be assigned or delegated from time to time by the Executive Director.

Skills and Experience

  • Education/qualifications:  A PhD in a domain of social sciences relevant to PASGR’s focus on social policy and governance and an exemplary record of research, including research expressly focused on policy actors in Africa.  Experience in graduate teaching in social sciences in Africa or internationally would be advantageous. 
  • Experience:  At least five years’ relevant experience (beyond that associated with time spent in graduate work), including management roles in comparable organisations (i.e. a research bureau, think tank, regional or national organisations).  A track record in the design and management of research programmes involving competitive research grants to organisations, teams or individual researchers would be attractive.      
  • Skills:  Demonstrated leadership, management, team and interpersonal skills; ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines; ability and willingness to travel widely; exceptional writing and presentation skills including a high level of comfort with information technology; demonstrated experience in resource mobilisation; proficiency in French and/or Portuguese would be an added advantage.

PASGR is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, nationality, tribe, race, colour, religion, marital status, disability, HIV/AIDS status, political views or sexual orientation. The Research Director is expected to lead by example, to ensure staff work collaboratively, and in an environment where the work of others is valued and respected. Women who are citizens of an African country are especially encouraged to apply.