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  • Job Opportunity at ES Africa

  • Posted on: 21 October, 2015 Deadline: Not Specified
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    Our client is a leading non-profit financial sector development organisation working to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria. Client seeks to recruit a dynamic, strategic, and committed individual to help build on its current achievements and accelerate the impact of financial inclusion in Nigeria.

    Head of Research (Financial Development Firm)


    Manages external relationships with: Academics, Market Research Firms, Research Partners, Consultants, National Bureau of Statistics, Media Organisations and Communication Companies.


    The Head of Research will provide accurate, credible and relevant market information on the Nigerian financial sector by leading the implementation of the organisation's research activities and the interpretation of research results. S/he will ensure the successful delivery of all strategic research goals across core programme areas; thereby sustaining organisation’s leadership at the cutting-edge of financial sector development in Nigeria. This will include overseeing the production and dissemination of new research; and supporting a wide range of knowledge-sharing in financial inclusion in-country, regionally and internationally. It will also involve building market capacity to use data to spur both commercial innovation and policy reforms. 


    Principal Responsibilities and Accountabilities

    The role will include, but not be limited to the following responsibilities and accountabilities:

    Research Role

    • Management of Research Projects and Market Research Firms
    • Conceptualise and manage research related projects in line with organisation’s strategic objectives, to maintain organisation’s leadership at the cutting-edge of financial sector development in Nigeria
    • Contribute to organisation’s on-going strategic activities by generating and using research to identify the challenges faced by Nigeria’s unbanked and under-banked population
    • Work closely with the Programme Managers and Head of Innovation Funding to provide relevant market information to support the development of organisation’s programmes and strengthen the pipeline for grants
    • Prepare Terms of Reference for all research commissioned
    • Evaluate proposals for all research commissioned, in conjunction with the relevant Programme Manager, and make recommendations to the CEO
    • Ensure that any market research firm appointed to conduct organisation’s research is technically competent
    • Collaborate with the Chief Operating Officer to prepare all relevant engagement contracts with appointed research firms and consultants, for the CEO’s signoff
    • Manage the relationships with appointed market research firms, research partners and relevant consultants
    • Ensure all market research firms appointed adhere to research protocols specified in their contracts, maintain high quality standards, and meet agreed objectives within the deadlines specified
    • Monitor and review monthly progress reports (prepared by the Research Officer), on research projects against agreed timelines and milestones
    • Actively liaise with market research firms, conduct quality assurance of their fieldwork, and ensure adherence to agreed data collection methodology
    • On completion of each research project, review and finalise the report (prepared by the Research Officer) on the assessment of the market research firm. The report should cover the entire research cycle – i.e., evaluation of the methodology used, the data collection process, quality control issues, data processing, data management and the quality of the report
    • Ensure that all procurement, management and evaluation of research contracts is carried out in compliance with organisation related policies and procedures
    • Review and finalise the quarterly progress reports prepared by the Research team
    • Management and Coordination of Organisation’s Specialised Surveys and Scoping Studies
    • Lead the implementation of all organisation’s specialised surveys and studies in line with the organisation’s annual business plan
    • Manage and approve desk research and literature reviews conducted by Research Officers
    • Approve the methodology for any qualitative and quantitative research
    • Prioritise and manage organisation’s various research projects, ensuring that they are delivered to high quality standards by the specified deadline

    Data Interpretation

    • With support from the Research Officers, provide robust analysis of the data/results of organisation surveys and scoping studies conducted, ensuring interpretation is accurate
    • Manage Research Officers to ensure that reports received from market research firms are finalised and compelling
    • Synthesise lessons learned from research findings of organisation surveys and scoping studies conducted and draw implications and/or conclusions that are actionable, impactful and accessible to stakeholders, in the form of policy/strategy/technical notes
    • Review and finalise the reports (prepared by the Research Officers) for all customised requests received for analysis on the data from the organisation's Access to Financial Services in Nigeria surveys
    • Provide insightful and meaningful data to the Programmes Team and Head of Innovation Funding to support the evaluation of proposals received
    • Develop and Maintain Linkages to the Wider Research Community
    • Continuously cultivate and maintain active relationships with external stakeholders including academia, market research firms and industry associations working on access to finance related initiatives
    • Maintain relationships with major research firms in financial sector development and keep abreast of access to finance related research in Nigeria as well as in other relevant jurisdictions
    • Contribute to the development of the financial sector and organisation’s position as a thought leader within it, by writing and publishing papers on key programme areas

    Managerial Role

    Staff Development

    • For all staff directly reporting to this position:
    • Lead, coach, and mentor the Research team to ensure customer focus and high standards of delivery
    • Ensure that any output from the Research team meets organisation’s high standards of delivery
    • Develop a learning culture by sharing best practices and successes between the Research Department and different parts of the organisation
    • Identify and provide on-going formal/informal capacity development opportunities
    • Monitor, manage and report on the performance including setting monthly performance objectives and timelines, as reflected in their annual job plan
    • Conduct monthly reviews
    • Conduct annual performance appraisals and ensure that their annual job plans are complete

     Additional Responsibilities

    • Take responsibility for own continuous professional development by proactively identifying and participating in formal/informal learning opportunities
    • Create an environment in which all team members are committed to maintaining high standards of work in every aspect of organisation’s operations
    • Identify and take actions to mitigate any risks associated with the Research function
    • Perform any other duties as may be assigned by the CEO



    • Master’s degree in Statistics, Economics, Marketing, Anthropology, International Development, Public Policy, or related field, from a reputable institution
    • Minimum of 10 years’ work experience at a senior level in the private sector, social sector or academic research environment
    • Minimum of 7 years’ experience in undertaking social research and managing research firms or departments, and the ability to conduct statistical modelling
    • Prior experience working in communications role in a fast-paced organisation
    • Experience communicating large amounts of data in a compelling and innovative way
    • Experience in implementing or leading large national surveys and research projects and knowledge of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods with extensive experience in:
    • Conducting fieldwork such as in-depth interviews and focus group discussions
    • Designing research guides, survey tools and questionnaires
    • Developing analysis frameworks
    • Research and survey administration, data management and data analysis
    • Track record of publishing papers and articles
    • Strong knowledge and understanding of research trends in financial sector development
    • Demonstrated experience in a complex or pioneering environment and of managing or facilitating change
    • Supervision and leadership experience
    • Strong relationship management experience with the ability to effectively engage with a diverse range of senior stakeholders, both in the private and public sectors


    • Knowledge/experience in the financial sector and/or financial inclusion
    • Familiarity with major Nigerian players in financial sector development research (research institutions, funders, etc.)
    • Project management experience with relevant certification
    • Knowledge of and experience using a wide range of dissemination tools
    • Ability to use data to prepare presentations that effectively communicate key messages
    • Strong public speaking skills
    • Effective influencing and relationship building skills, including at senior levels
    • Strong competency in using statistical software such as SPSS, Stata, etc.
    • Advanced level competency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Acces 

    COMPENSATION: Highly Attractive 

    Key Skills            

    Strong Primary Research Background, Qualitative and Quantitative Research, Cost Planning, Report Writing & Presentation

    Method of Application

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