Principal – Research At Kounkuey Design Initiative

Job Title: Principal – Research
Job Type: Full-Time
Organisation: Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI)
Office Location: Kenyatta Market, Nairobi, Kenya
Job Location: Kenya and International
Application Closing Date: 31 January 2022
Proposed Start Date: 01 March 2022

Kounkuey Design Initiative is looking for an exceptional individual to fill the role of Principal – Research in our Kenya office. This is a leadership role in a highly innovative, dynamic, and impactful organisation. The Principal – Research will join our very committed and innovative research team in the Nairobi office and will manage a portfolio of multiple existing research projects in public space, resilience, and climate change adaptation with the mandate to develop new research-focused work. The ideal candidate will be passionate about justice in the built environment, flexible in approach, and excited to take on the challenge of developing this position and the growth of the research capacity of the overall organisation in Kenya and internationally.
The research projects that we are currently undertaking in Kenya include partnerships with academic and research institutions such as the African Research and Impact Network (ARIN), Technical University of Kenya, University of Nairobi, MIT, King’s College London, University of Birmingham, Karachi Urban Lab, Stockholm Resilience Centre, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, African Centre for Technology Studies, Global Disability Innovation Hub, Adaptation Research Alliance, and the University of Nottingham. Our research work supports grounded action in the communities we work in and is delivered and designed by resident and community partners as well as producing learning and policy lessons for local and national authorities, and international actors around risk management, adaptation planning, and inclusive and integrated infrastructure design.
Our strategic aim in the next three years is to further leverage our built environment practice and research into policy impact at scale both in the US and Kenya and in the broader discourse on justice in the built environment, slum upgrading, community engaged design, and socio-ecological resilience. The Principal – Research will be central to this process.
Roles and Responsibilities:
A summary of the general roles and responsibilities for the position is given below:

· Oversee and direct projects, jobs, and tasks for KDI Kenya’s research related projects and programmes, including research design and delivery;

· Ensure research project adherence to research design, sample selection, data management and general research protocols, ethics and overall project management timelines;

· Oversee project financial management, including creation and monitoring of project budgets;

· Liaise with Project Leaders and Project Directors to support work planning, resourcing, and budgeting across Departments;

· Manage communications and reporting to KDI project and funding partners for projects and programs relevant to the department;

· Lead engagement with KDI’s community partners for research projects and programs in collaboration with the Community team;

· Work with research team and field staff to ensure sound human resource and operational management of projects;

· Serve on KDI Program and Governance Councils to support management of the overall organization;

· Contribute to KDI Kenya’s fundraising and meeting with funders and prospective funders;

· Contribute to media, social media, and org. communications as related to research activities;

· Be available for regional and international travel as required for project and strategic engagements;

· Be an advocate for responsive design, planning, research and community development in Nairobi and further afield.

Specific responsibilities would include:

· Coordinating survey design and delivery.

· Training and managing enumeration teams working on KDI research related work in Kibera and other neighbourhoods.

· Managing data collection and analysis for KDI projects.

· Support GIS and Mapping (skills in ArcGIS or QGIS preferred).

· Providing spatial planning and spatial data analysis support as required.

· Preparing various written outputs e.g. sections of reports, analysis, presentations.

· Leading and contributing to the production of high quality research outputs such as academic papers, publications and conference inputs.

· Participating in stakeholder meetings as required.

· Supporting project adherence to research and planning protocols including design, data management, protocols, ethics and overall timelines and deadlines.

· Providing technical inputs to community related work as appropriate to professional background and skills.

· Lead the design, facilitation and creation of engaging community workshops, focus group discussions and training.

· Lead data recording and input management for community workshops including taking detailed minutes, report writing, photo documentation, etc.

· Support the dissemination of results via presentations and reports to academic and nonacademic audiences, nationally and internationally including the co-authorship of academic papers.

Qualifications & Desired Profile:

· Minimum of 8+ years of relevant experience in the non-profit, international development, design, planning, or research sectors.

· Minimum a completed Masters degree and ideally a doctorate degree (PhD) in one of the following fields: urban design, civil engineering, landscape architecture, spatial planning, environmental sciences, water management, urban anthropology, human geography, or a relevant social sciences field;

· A track record that demonstrates qualitative or quantitative research delivery expertise in one or more of the following topics: urban resilience, adaption planning, justice in the built environment, urban nature, infrastructure planning, mobility, inclusive design, evidenced by a strong project experience and ideally a strong publication list;

· Significant project and team management skills and experience required;

· Clear affinity with and preferably experience in inter and transdisciplinary research;

· Evidence of engagement with multiple stakeholders, including international and local academic researchers, NGO partners, and community participants;

· Preferably significant experience delivering research in Kenyan (or African) cities;

· Swahili language skills are preferred;

· Advanced skills in ArcGIS or QGIS preferred;

· Experience and affinity with the mission of KDI to work towards justice in the built environment.

How to apply

How to Apply:
Interested candidates should submit a) cover letter, b) CV (including full list of publications), and c) publication or portfolio to the Senior Management Team at by the end of Monday 31st January 2022.

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