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External vacancy: Data quality officer – Institute for Development Studies

11 Sep 2023
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External vacancy

Applications are invited for the following position:


Organizational Overview

Established in 1965, the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi, is the oldest out of 20 such institutes in the world. It is the premier multi-disciplinary and multi-purpose development research institute in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. IDS carries out full-time research on high-priority areas of social-economic development in Kenya, Africa and the world in general.

Afrobarometer (AB) is a pan-African, nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, the economy, quality of life, and society in Africa. Guided by the vision of a world in which Africa’s development is anchored in the realities and aspirations of its people, AB provides high-quality data and analysis on citizens’ evaluations and experiences of democratic governance and quality of life. These outputs are provided as a public benefit and are freely available to policymakers, policy advocates, civil society organizations, academics, news media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.

For the Afrobarometer Project, IDS serves both as a core partner for the East African region as well as a national partner responsible for implementing the Kenya survey. Afrobarometer works with core partners across the continent who in turn are charged with coordinating national partners. Within the East African region, IDS coordinates national partners from nine (9) countries.

Launched in 1999 in 12 countries, Afrobarometer has now completed more than 300,000 interviews in survey rounds in up to 42 countries. Round 9 surveys, which commenced in October 2021 and concluded in July 2023, will cover 39 countries. AB conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples. Effective analysis and communication of survey findings, as well as capacity building for survey research, analysis, and communications skills, are integral parts of Afrobarometer’s work.

Among Afrobarometer’s key achievements are proving that public attitudes research can be conducted even in fragile, post-conflict, and closed political environments in Africa; legitimating public opinion as a pillar of African democracy, governance and development decision-making; and building a network of researchers that has earned the reputation as the go-to source for reliable data on what Africans are thinking.

Afrobarometer’s institutional values are independence, excellence, collaboration, and commitment. Afrobarometer individual values are integrity, respect, responsiveness, cooperation, and fairness. Funders and other stakeholders are treated as partners in the advancement of Afrobarometer’s mission. Relationships, non-partisanship, trust, and accountability are at the core of our work. Afrobarometer staff and network members appreciate benefiting from colleagues’ creativity, diligence, and enterprise, and value the ability to work individually and as part of a team. The qualities of leadership, initiative, and excellence are nurtured and rewarded. In pursuance of these values, all staff are required to abide by the Afrobarometer Statement of Personal and Professional Standards of Conduct.


Role Overview

The Afrobarometer Data Quality Officer (DQO) will provide support to the surveys/data team, contributing in essential ways to ensuring the integrity of Afrobarometer data collection and the high quality of Afrobarometer data and other outputs. The DQO may contribute both during the pre-fieldwork preparation stages, as well as post-fieldwork data cleaning and finalization.

Responsibilities assigned by the Head of Data Management (HDM) may include: programming of questionnaires and other support to survey preparations; participation in training of field teams; monitoring fieldwork implementation; data set review/cleaning; data weighting; and survey/data documentation. Note that in general, Afrobarometer staff are expected not just to perform their duties independently, but also to focus wherever possible on building capacity among Afrobarometer’s National Partners to perform these tasks independently. The DQO is also considered a part of the Afrobarometer analysis team, and as time permits, may be asked to participate in analysis and publication of findings.


Essential Duties

A. Survey Operations and Network Management

●  Assist in questionnaire review and finalization;

●  Ensure questionnaires are programmed (currently using SurveyToGo software) in national and local languages;

●  Support other survey preparations, including reviewing and programming samples, setting up and testing tablets, and related tasks;

●  Conduct real-time monitoring of data capture and uploading of interviews, identify and troubleshoot any problems occurring during fieldwork, alert National Partners and coordinate early interventions to improve data quality

●  Produce and/or review necessary data documentation, including Sampling Reports, Summaries of Results, Codebooks, and Technical Information Forms;

●  Assist HDM in monitoring survey activities and preparing reports as required by the Monitoring and Evaluation team.


B. Data Management Training and Technical Assistance

●  Provide field technical assistance (both in-country and remotely) to fieldworker training workshops and during fieldwork;

●  Ensuring that fieldwork training meets Network protocols and standards.

●  Ensuring adherence to all Afrobarometer fieldwork protocols.


C. Data Management

●  Review and finalize data sets, working with National Partners to ensure that all cleaning rules are implemented and data quality standards are met.

●  Ensure data set reviews are completed as quickly as possible to facilitate earlier release of results.

●  Assist the HDM in weighting country datasets, including confirming sample implementation, collaborating with National Partners to ensure correct final sample and population data is available, and producing weights and integrating them into data sets.

●  Ensure maximization of data quality by collaborating with other members of the surveys/fieldwork and surveys/data teams to continuously develop and upgrade appropriate training, programming, fieldwork and data cleaning protocols;

●  Contribute to the development, review, and/or finalization of AB phone survey protocols and the phone survey manual that is currently being developed by an AB consultant.

●  Assist the HDM with the production of within-round and cross-round merged data sets and documentation.


D. Communication

●  Assist the Director of Survey and Project Director in planning dissemination activities with the Communication team, e.g. CP/Communications Coordinator, and assist in reviewing dissemination products.

●  As time allows, contribute to the intellectual and analytical output of the project, including participating in the review of bulletins, briefs, presentations and other documents for the release of results.

●  Participate in the promotion of awareness and use of AB findings during dissemination and other outreach activities.


E. Other

The successful candidate shall be assigned other duties as deemed fit by the Head of Data Management (HDM) and or Director at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS)


Job Specifications (Qualifications/Minimum Requirements)

●  Bachelor’s degree in social science, statistics, or information sciences. A Master’s degree is a strong added advantage.

●  Minimum of five years of experience in large-scale data collection and management, including fieldwork preparations, training and monitoring, preferably in an African or multinational context.

●  Proficiency with data processing and management as well as statistical analysis software packages, preferably SPSS, although familiarity with Stata or other packages is acceptable

●  Possess at least an intermediate level of competency in using social statistics, be familiar with data weighting, and demonstrate proficiency in using Excel.

●  Minimum of two years of experience with electronic data capture systems; familiarity with SurveyToGo and other survey programming software is an added advantage

●  Exhibit demonstrated analytical skills and the capacity to generate well-written activity reports, along with proficiency in conducting basic data analyses.

●  Demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural, multinational environment

●  Strong organizational, leadership and people management skills, as well as the ability to work independently with minimum supervision

●  Teaching/training skills and experience, including introducing beginners to new software and technologies

●  A high level of attention to detail is essential

●  Proficiency in English is required. Knowledge of French or Portuguese is a major advantage.

●  Flexibility and willingness to work during odd hours, including holidays and weekends on a wide range of tasks



Afrobarometer will offer a competitive salary based on the skills and experience of the successful candidate.

The successful candidate shall be assigned other duties as deemed fit by the Head of Data Management (HDM) and or Director at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS)



  • Applicants should email their application letters, certified copies of certificates and curriculum vitae (CV) giving details of their qualifications, experience and three (3) referees, as well as indicating their telephone and e-mail contacts.
  • Applications and related documents should be forwarded addressed to the Director, Human Resource, University of Nairobi.
  • Applicants should state their current designations, salaries and other benefits attached to those designations.
  • The application letter must bear the reference code indicated in the advertisement.
  • Late applications will not be considered.
  • Applications should be emailed as one file in PDF to: