Director of Research at Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)

Position: Director of Research

Location: 50% Nairobi, Kenya / 50% Hargeisa, Somaliland

Contract: 24 months with possibility of extension

Consilient, is a research firm dedicated to delivering localized on the ground insights to the aid and development community. Rather than the traditional remote approach to research, we at Consilient believe the best work is done when a full-time team collaborates together in-country to deliver informed products across topical sectors. As such, Consilient delivers all its research products to the development sector, government, U.N. and donor clients with full-time locally based research teams.

Today, with a team of more than 75, Consilient is engaged in research activities across a multitude of sectors which include: Emergencies & Humanitarian Aid; Education, Food Security & Resilience; Gender Empowerment, Financial Inclusivity, Migration & Displacement; Livelihoods & Economic Growth; Social Protection, Health, Water & Sanitation; and Security, Stabilization, & Countering Violent Extremism.

Job Description: Our ideal candidate is a strong team player who is passionate about primary data collection and producing rigorous research, and who has research interests in development, political economy, or a relevant subfield, and/or regional interest in East Africa, broadly defined. The ideal candidate should be interested in engaging in the entirety of the research process. Our current and past Research Managers and Directors of Research are excellent researchers in their fields, including education in fragile contexts, measurement of food security, gender and access to justice, local conflict dynamics, political and social behavior, and survey methodology, among others. This role provides a unique opportunity to produce high-quality applied research that is actively taken up by policymakers.

Successful applicants will thrive working in a fast-paced environment working on a range of topics and sectoral areas while ensuring we produce high-quality applied research that answers our clients’ specific research questions. The Director of Research has cross-cutting responsibilities across three priority areas:

Research Delivery

The Director of Research supports the research team in delivering high quality research outputs by:

  • Actively leading research (especially research design and analysis) on our more complex and/or challenging projects;
  • Managing and providing quality assurance on projects run by more junior members of the research team;
  • Inputting into methodological design of survey and qualitative questionnaires, sampling, and analytical approaches of research projects;
  • Providing technical support as needed, on all phases of the research cycle – including research/sampling design, survey design and scripting, fieldwork, data cleaning, and analysis;
  • Bringing some topical, thematic, or geographic expertise in one or more areas of relevance to Consilient work; and
  • Managing client relationships throughout the research lifecycle.

Development of the Research Team

The Director of Research will support the skills and capacity development of our research team through:

  • The development of training materials and resources on research methods, analysis, and/or thematic areas;
  • Active participation in the provision of feedback and performance reviews of junior staff;
  • The provision of review and feedback on technical and analytical outputs from junior staff; and
  • Active participation in Consilient’s recruitment of new research staff.

Business Development

The Director of Research will support the link between the research and business development teams by:

  • Providing technical inputs into bids;
  • Participating in technical interviews and partnering discussions related to new projects; and
  • Maintaining positive relationships with clients.

This is a full-time position based in Nairobi, Kenya. The Director of Research is expected to spend 50% time at Consilient HQ in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Additional travel to other Consilient duty stations may be required on a project basis. The Director of Research reports to the Managing Director.

Position Requirements:

  • PhD in relevant field (e.g., development studies, political science, economics, etc.) with prior research experience;
  • Strong background in research methodology, including the design and application of data collection tools, sampling methods, and analytical frameworks;
  • Experience managing quantitative and qualitative fieldwork in complex or challenging environments;
  • Strong Stata or R skills required;
  • Experience managing data collection;
  • Experience collaborating with and managing diverse, multi-cultural teams;
  • Eagerness to engage in research across a multitude of sectoral areas;
  • Ability to produce high-quality work under tight deadlines;
  • Prior experience living and working abroad, preferably in a developing country;
  • Cultural sensitivity;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.


The position offers a competitive salary, health insurance; in-country stipend; accommodation at Consilient guest-house; annual travel allowance; paid time off accrued at 2.5 days per month (30 days annually), plus all national holidays (in country of residence), and an additional 2 weeks over Christmas/New Years.


More Information

  • Job City Kenya, Somalia
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