Job Opportunity: Data Scientist – Computational Social Scientist (SSA / MENA region)

Job Opportunity: Data Scientist - Computational Social Scientist (Sub-Saharan Africa / MENA region)

Data-Pop Alliance is looking for a Data Scientist- Computational Social Scientist with skills in data science and development policy analysis. We are an international nonprofit created in 2013 out of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), the MIT Media Lab and ODI. We bring together researchers, experts, practitioners, and activists to change the world with data through three pillars of work: diagnosing local realities and human problems with data and AI; mobilizing capacities, communities, and ideas towards more data literate societies, and transforming the systems and processes that underpin our societies and countries. 

Dates: Immediate start. 3-month trial period with longer-term contract to follow, based on performance. 

Location: Remote work; based in Tunisia, Senegal, or MENA region, preferred.

The Data Scientist – Computational Social Scientist will report and work closely with the Research Director and execute data science research projects.

As a Computational Social Scientist you will:

                                  Research (50%)
  • Use and test state of the art methodologies for collecting, processing, and analysing data on topics relevant to the development and humanitarian sectors, including inequalities, crime and violence, socioeconomic data, gender data, etc.

  • Proposing and/or creating methodologies that leverage non-traditional data sources to understand humanitarian and development problems

  • Perform econometric analysis of macroeconomic data, household survey data, agriculture and livelihoods data, among others.

  • Contribute to the data science teams throughout project cycles by:

    • Understanding context and needs of stakeholders

    • Creating analysis/research questions

    • Assessing and quantifying limitations and uncertainty of outputs

    • Participating in developing technical grant proposals

    • Ensuring high quality data project implementation

    • Contributing to strengthening DPA’s data science and research expertise 

  • Collaborate with the Thematic Group in developing key research lines and questions and identifying research topics of interest.

Programming (50%) 
  •  Perform data engineering tasks including (non-exhaustive list):
    • Gathering and effectively communicating data requirements by project
    • Creating organizational data infrastructures to support the processing and analysis of data for projects
    • Maintaining metadata and ensuring data security and governance
    • Preparing data for processing
  •  Perform data analytics tasks including descriptive and predictive analytics
  • Develop machine learning models, including natural language processing algorithms and others
  • Develop algorithms of the indicators required for current projects mainly in the MENA region, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Global South. 
  • Create simple interactive maps and visualizations summarizing the key findings for the projects.


  • MSc/MA in Computer Science, Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Data Science, or any other related field is required. A Bachelor’s degree in computer science, statistics, or related field is a plus.
  • Highly proficient and experienced in programming languages and statistical computing skills, that is, fluency in Python or R, amongst others.
  • Strong knowledge of quantitative and qualitative impact evaluation methods and techniques
  • Proven experience with natural language processing algorithms.
  • Bilingual proficiency in English and French is requisite (able to write and deliver conferences, reports, etc in both languages). Arabic or Spanish are highly desirable.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A self-starter, disciplined, driven, eager to learn, grow, and make an impact. 
  • Successful experience working in a multicultural environment with partners and people of different backgrounds and levels of seniority.
  • Availability to travel (only if necessary and according to the current COVID-19 situation).
  • Working experience applying data science to social science research and/or development field is highly desirable.
  • Experience working with public, international agencies / donors, and/or non-profit is desirable, with a focus on “data for social good” initiatives and projects.


Competitive and based on experience. 

Recruitment process

Qualified candidates are requested to submit a CV and a Cover Letter to with the subject line “Computational Social Scientist Application” by August 6, at 6:00pm EST. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis so early application is strongly advised. Please include in the body of the email: 

  • 3 references.
  • Salary expectation.

Please be aware that any submission that does not comply with the requirements will not be considered. Also, rename each document you’ll submit with your name, the position and the type of document you are submitting. Ie. FIRSTNAMELASTNAME_Computational Social Scientist_CV

Equal opportunity

Data-Pop Alliance employs personnel without regard to race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, language, citizenship, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, physical and/or mental handicap or financial ability. While remaining alert and sensitive to the issue of fair and equitable treatment for all, Data-Pop Alliance has a special concern with the participation and advancement of members of four designated groups that have traditionally been disadvantaged in employment: women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities.


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