Senior Manager For Research

Dakar, Senegal

Duration of the mission : Until December 2025 with possibility for extension

Country : Senegal

City : Dakar


About Speak Up Africa

Speak Up Africa (SUA) is a Policy and Advocacy Action Tank dedicated to catalyzing leadership, enabling policy change, and increasing awareness for sustainable development in Africa Through our platforms and relationships and with the help of our partners, we ensure that policy makers meet implementers; that solutions are showcased and that every sector– from individual citizens and civil society groups to global donors and business leaders  — contributes critically to the dialogue and strives to form the blueprints for concrete action for public health and sustainable development.

Summary of the Project

The Ouagadougou Partnership’s purpose is to accelerate the use of family planning services in nine countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. In December 2012, the Partnership created a Coordination Unit based in Dakar, Senegal to help the Partnership reach its goals. In 2020, the Partnership hired Speak Up Africa to serve as host for the Coordination Unit in Dakar and to help the Partnership increase the number of women using modern contraceptives by at least 6.5 million in OP countries between 2020 and 2030.

The mission of the Coordination Unit is to: (1) Facilitate Partnership processes; (2) Help countries complete and regularly review and renew their Costed Implementation Plans (CIPs); (3) Assist countries with plan implementation and advocacy to mobilize resources for their CIPs; (4) Track progress against objectives; and (5) Share information inside and outside the Partnership.

Background on Research Network

The Senior Research Manager (SRM) of the Ouagadougou Partnership will be a member of the senior leadership team of the Coordination Unit (OPCU), responsible for directing the OP Research Agenda and related projects. The OP Research Agenda is an ambitious new effort, generously supported by the OPCU’s fiscal sponsors, to focus research dollars and attention on key policy-relevant research questions holding back family planning progress in OP countries. Indeed, while research institutions and researchers have long provided important input to the OP, the advice has been informal, periodic, and not always timely for current policy debates. The OP’s new strategy calls for the OPCU to link local and regional research communities more tightly to the OP’s policy agenda and to help increase local research capacity.

Specifically, the Network will be designed to:

  • Undertake and publicize important policy-relevant family planning research as requested by policymakers in various OP countries
  • Provide opportunities for West African researchers to build skills and find employment using their work to advise on West African health policies

The OP Coordination Unit (OPCU) has been serving as the initial hub for this new institution, with the SRM serving as its first leader, with formal guidance and direction from an OP Research Advisory Council of involved donors, governments, researchers, advocates, and family planning users. The core of this effort will be supported by pooled funding provided initially by the OPCU core supporters ($1.1M currently allocated for regranting in 2023 and 2024 combined) and complemented by additional parallel funding from donors.

Roles and Responsibilities

Summary of Role

The SRM will lead all activities associated with the Network, including in 2023 and 2024 working with a variety of stakeholders to identify priority research needs and gaps, recruiting and assisting the OP Research Advisory Council, soliciting donor contributions to the pooled fund or parallel funding, finalizing project selection, and managing all grants funded by pooled resources. The SRM will also work closely with OPCU staff and other OP stakeholders to align other OP activities with the Network, including by capitalizing on the OP Annual Meeting to solicit ideas and share results; aligning Network regrants with existing Coordination, Learning, and Exchange Fund (CELF) grants; and otherwise generate leverage from and for Network outcomes. In addition, the SRM will work with the OPCU capable communications team to promote the Network and requests for proposals (RFPs), solicit contributions, publicize results, and contribute to associated advocacy efforts.

While specific goals, work plans, and timelines for the SRM will be developed in partnership with the OPCU Director, the Senior Technical and Operations Manager and with the OP Research Advisory Council, two outcomes are central to the SRM’s work in 2023 and beyond:

  • Assist and consult with the already established regional OP Research Advisory Council and hold semi-annual meetings to guide the OP Research Network.The SRM will work directly with the Advisory Council to establish research needs, vet and select proposals for pooled funding, advise on parallel research funding, and work with grantees to manage OPCU-funded projects for desired outcomes.
  • Use research grant funding to undertake and publicize important policy-relevant family planning research as requested by policymakers in OP countries. The SRM will use the OPCU platform and relationships to help policymakers in OP countries identify common and crucial FP research and policy needs, working closely with its many stakeholders and the Advisory Council described above. The SRM will work with the Advisory Council to establish policy-relevant objectives and specific criteria for selected projects, and then deliver funding against those priorities.The SRM will work with grantees to agree on policy outcomes and identify metrics to assess progress

Under this timeline, the SRM would regrant $1.1M across 5-10 projects, to be used over the course of 2023. In 2024, the SRM would turn attention to direct management of these regrants and also re-embark on the steps described above to launch a similar round of RFPs by the end of the year. Note that developments in 2023, including other donors’ interest and funding, may cause plans for 2024 to be revisited.

Essential Functions

Technical leadership

  • Identify priority policy-relevant research questions that the OP Network can help answer to spur faster or better implementation of FP projects and programs
  • Assess local and regional research institutions for their current and potential capacity to lead timely, policy-relevant FP research projects
  • Work closely with OP country government decision-makers to tailor OP research Network goals and operations to best serve those constituencies
  • Lead regranting processes, including on RFPs, selection, tracking of results, and publicization of results among OP stakeholders

Process leadership

  • Build relationships with local and regional research institutions to refine OP Research Network requests and processes to help countries as-rapidly-as-possible meet their additional users of modern contraception goals
Safeguarding & Ethics

Speak Up Africa is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Speak Up Africa’s code of conduct and values at all times.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

Assessment Process

Our remuneration package

We offer an exciting role with a great team and the following remuneration package:

  • Duration : until December 2025 with possibility for extension
  • Insurance: Health (()5) and life insurance
  • flights: for staff and family to Dakar and back to home country upon the end of the contract

Please send your applications to and, including a cover letter, your CV and 3 references.

The closing date for applications is July 30, 2023. Kindly specify the title of the position in the email subject line.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Interested in this opportunity ?

Apply online :

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  • Taille max. des fichiers : 64 MB.
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Apply online :

  • Taille max. des fichiers : 64 MB.
  • Taille max. des fichiers : 64 MB.
  • Ce champ n’est utilisé qu’à des fins de validation et devrait rester inchangé.