Job Opportunity: National Project and Research Consultants in Western Sahel countries – Short Term

Job Opportunity: National Project and Research Consultants (seeking candidates in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria) - Short term

Data-Pop Alliance is looking for Human Development and/or DRG experts based in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria as National Project Consultants to join the project over the period of May 1, 2021 to June 15, 2021 for a total of 10 working days.

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. Learn more about our work by checking out our “Overview and Outlook 2020-2022” report.

Context and background

COVID-19 has had far reaching impacts beyond the immediate health effects presenting socio-economic challenges across the world. The Western Sahel region has already been facing several challenges and vulnerabilities that are compounded by the impacts of the pandemic. 

This study is conducting a comprehensive assessment of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and the role of disaster risk governance (DRG) in seven countries in the Western Sahel and Lake Chad Basin region: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. These countries display both similarities and differences in terms of their levels of human development, fragility, economic and social well-being, political and economic integration, governance and resilience or shock preparedness. Hence, the study focuses on both national-level and regional-level impacts of COVID-19 in order to capture these diverse dynamics, the interplay with COVID-19’s impacts, and the degree of effectiveness of policy decisions, governance and DRG frameworks surrounding the response to the pandemic. The regional analysis draws parallels regarding common trends in impacts and challenges across the countries, as well as capture certain cross-border dimensions of the crisis. 

The study is organized around four main pillars that will be explored at both the national and regional levels: (1) the macroeconomic impacts and implications of COVID-19, (2) the human development and micro-level impact of COVID-19 on communities, households and individuals, (3) the implications of COVID-19 for political governance, peace, security and social cohesion, (4) the implications of the pandemic for disaster risk governance as well as resilience strengthening against future shocks in the region. 

Scope of work

The Consultant will be in charge of the research and data collection activities related to one specific country. These activities can be classified in two main areas of work. 

First, coordinating the interactions between DPA experts and national stakeholders of the project including UNDP’s Country Office, government officials and other representatives considered fundamental to gather information for the project. 

Second, supporting all the stages of qualitative primary data collection of information on vulnerable populations, selected stages of the quantitative primary data collection (phone survey in Niger and Mauritania only) and of literature reviews. 

For the qualitative data collection, the consultant will support the identification of representatives from vulnerable populations, elaborate interview guides, conduct the interviews and/or focus groups, transcribe them, provide synthesis of the transcriptions based on guidance from the team and support the presentation of results internally and externally. 

For the quantitative data collection, the consultant will monitor the progress and support the correct implementation of a survey, which will be deployed by a specialized agency for data collection. The responsibilities related to this task require close monitoring and constant communication between quantitative data collection experts from DPA and the agency and do not require previous knowledge on quantitative methods for data collection (for Niger and Mauritania only). 

The ideal candidate is a qualitative research professional with expertise in human development and/or disaster risk governance and reduction topics based in the project countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal) and an expert problem solver who is flexible and adaptable to changing realities. The candidate should be an analytical thinker with solid communication skills that will enable her/him to  interact effectively with diverse stakeholders, including representatives and members of groups that have been particularly affected by the pandemic (eg. refugee populations IDPs, women, the youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities). 

We are looking for one coordinator in each country. 

Working with DPA’s Project Manager and Team Led, the Consultant will have the following responsibilities: 

  • Act as the focal point for the UNDP Country Office team in the project country, and ensure the link between UNDP CO and DPA’s research team.  
  • Help with organisation of the webinars and information dissemination and consultation sessions. 
Primary data collection activities                  
  • Facilitate and aid in targeting and contacting organizations, national agencies and NGO representatives of the targeted vulnerable groups identified for the project.
  • Ensure quality deployment of all stages of the qualitative primary data collection (leading to interviews/focus groups and analysis of the key effects of COVID-19 on human development and DRG aspects.
  • Facilitate the organization and conduct of focus groups. 
Document review and drafting
  • Read the report drafts and contribute their expertise to the revision of the documents.  
  • Provide comments and inputs to the policy recommendations paper, synthesizing key results and recommendations. 

The applicant for the National expert and data collection consultant position has to meet the following requirements:


The applicant for the National expert and data collection consultant position has to meet the following requirements:

  • At least a Masters degree in statistics, applied mathematics, economics, public policy, international development or other related disciplines. Expertise in human development and/or disaster risk governance and reduction topics and fields is required. 
  • A first degree and 8+ years relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of a higher university degree. Experience working in the fields of global development or crisis management.
  • 3+ years experience in a role related to socio-economic research, quantitative and qualitative data analytics, or monitoring and evaluation in the country of the study. 
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing and conducting primary social science research and data collection activities, including surveys, key informant interviews (KIIs), focus groups (FGDs), etc., including direct implementation.
  • Applied qualitative research experience in a research setting and experience using statistical packages for analysing datasets autonomously. 
  • Experience with qualitative data analysis and either knowledge of or willingness to learn and apply qualitative analysis software such as MaxQDA or NVivo. 
  • Understanding of the culture of the project countries and excellent communications skills in a language that is appropriate and respectful to policymakers and the public in general.
  • Demonstrated experience presenting work to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Full proficiency in French, English (both excellent verbal and written communications skills in both languages) and local languages.
  • Knowledge of Google Suite (Google Docs, Sheets and Slides) and Microsoft Office tools. 

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience working on projects or directly with UN agencies and/or national governments in the project countries. 
  • Gender knowledge and skills, practical experience in gender and economic development, or familiarity with gender coursework. 
  • Ability to stay independently organised and motivated working as part of a remote international team


Competitive compensation based on experience.

Duration, Workload & location

The work shall be carried out from May 1, 2021 to June 15, 2021. 

The selected candidate shall be based in one of the countries of the study – Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Mauritania.

Total number of working days is 10 days (could be adjusted depending on the volume of work to be conducted). 

Reporting & Communication

The Consultant will report to the Program and Research Manager of Data-Pop Alliance. The Consultant will also be supervised by the project’s Team Lead and collaborate closely with other project team members. The Consultant will keep the Organisation informed of progress on the project by e-mail and attending check-in meetings when appropriate.

Recruitment process

Qualified candidates are requested to submit a CV to with the subject line “Project and Research Consultant Western Sahel study” by May 9, 2021. Please include in the body of the email: all languages spoken, current location where you are based, two references and your daily rate.

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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