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25 Jul 2022

Research officer at BBC Media Action

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Job Description

Job title: Research officer

Location: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Reports to: Research manager

Duration: 12 months (with possible extension)
Special requirements: The right to live and work in Tanzania. Fluent in English and Swahili with ability to write reports and scripts in these languages. Ability to travel up to 50% of working time.

BBC Media Action:

BBC Media Action is the BBC’s international development organisation, and we believe in the power of media and communication for good. We work in more than 20 countries around the world, supporting the independent media essential to democracy and development. Each year our projects and programmes reach over 100 million people facing poverty, inequality, and insecurity with information they can trust, helping to improve health, bridge divides, challenge prejudice, and save and change lives. We follow the editorial standards and values of the BBC, but we rely on funding from donors and partners to carry out our work.

Job purpose:

The research officer (RO) will support the research manager in the coordination and implementation of research under the rural radio support project, with a focus on supporting rural radio stations in Tanzania to improve their production capacity, increase their income and develop sustainable approaches to their work. The project aims to help rural stations serve their communities even more effectively, by providing audiences with high-quality, accurate balanced information that supports them to make informed decisions on matters of importance in their lives and realise their social, political and economic rights. The rural radio project builds on the successes and lessons learnt from our capacity-strengthening work with media partners in Tanzania over time and is integrated into the existing Broadcasting for Change project, which targets young women and men in Tanzania with a focus on gender and women’s empowerment.

The RO will liaise with local partners and programme participants to support the design, coordination and implementation of research activities to inform and evaluate the project. The successful candidate will make sure that all activities are implemented in a timely and effective manner. The RO may, at times, be expected to work flexibly across a range of genres and across all media content, irrespective of their own area of specialism, in line with business needs and to enhance their understanding of the wider media development environment. As a member of a global team of research and communication practitioners, the officer will have the opportunity to contribute to the research and learning team on the synthesis and analysis of best practice for BBC Media Action’s projects.

Main duties and responsibilities:

Support in the design of research for training projects and mass media programming, comprising formative research, pre-testing of media materials and impact evaluation.
Support in the commissioning and monitoring of all research (e.g. quantitative surveys, focus group sessions, case studies etc.), working to budget and deadline requirements.
Conduct literature reviews across a range of issues/themes and ethnographic studies in the field.
Conduct fieldwork, including focus group discussions and in-depth interviews.
Conduct pilots and pre-testing of content and media output in the field.
Liaise with in-country agencies working in the field, monitoring quality control and the timely delivery of research projects.
Support the research manager in overseeing quantitative and qualitative research activities.
Support the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and report research findings to a range of internal and external stakeholders.
Support research assistants in delivering research to time, quality and within budget.
Coordinate field work activities, including preparing budgets, recruitment of participants and fieldwork logistics.
Understand and comply with BBC Media Action’s safeguarding policy and the staff code of conduct
Participate in relevant mandatory training on safeguarding and respect at work
Report any safeguarding concerns immediately, either to the Country Director, or using the whistleblowing policy.
Required skills, knowledge, and experience:

University degree in social sciences, development, media studies or any other related field of study.
Fluent in English and Swahili with ability to write reports and scripts in these languages.
At least three years of experience working for an international development organisation and/or in the field of research.
Demonstrable experience designing, implementing and reporting qualitative research (focus groups, interviews etc.) and/or quantitative (surveys) research techniques.
Demonstrable experience managing fieldwork logistics in Tanzania including; ensuring ethics are upheld, monitoring of staff, recruitment of participants and liaison with officials.
Demonstrate a command of statistical software especially SPSS with the ability to understand the dataset and run some average analysis and reporting.
Practical IT skills including MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Ability to communicate clearly and appropriately both to senior internal and external stakeholders and to research participants.
Excellent attention to detail and the ability to work speedily and accurately under pressure.
Ability to think logically, take an analytical approach, critically evaluate ideas and interpret information from different sources.
Ability to build and maintain relationships with partner organisations.
Ability to establish good working relationships with colleagues and work as a member of a team, demonstrating good interpersonal skills.
Self-motivated and willing to learn using own initiative, demonstrating a proactive approach and ability to deliver on time and brief without close supervision.
Excellent organisational and administrative skills: responding flexibly to rapidly changing priorities, planning and prioritizing activities and tailoring outputs effectively taking into account deadlines and resources.
Excellent diplomatic skills: ability to conduct business at high levels, at times representing BBC Media Action, in the fields of government and media.
Ability to operate effectively in a challenging environment including travelling to remote areas, at times working with strenuous participants and making tough decisions while in the field.
Ability to travel up to 50% of working time.


An understanding of, or enthusiasm to learn about communication strategies, media formats and journalism.
Strong and varied research background, with the ability to distil complex information into simple and actionable recommendations.
Experience of working closely with a media production team in applying research findings to media formats and outputs.
Closing date: 7 August 2022

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Method of Application

Candidates should send their CV and a cover letter (in English, PDF or Microsoft Word format) which outlines their experience and suitability for the role by email to: [email protected] – please include the title of the position applied for in the subject line and send by 5pm on 7 August 2022.

Only applicants with separate cover letter will be considered. Please do not send certificates or other attachments. Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

The role may involve working with groups of vulnerable children and adults. For the successful candidate, mandatory training will be provided on BBC Media Action’s safeguarding policy and staff code of conduct. A police background check may form part of the recruitment process. BBC Media Action operates a zero-tolerance policy concerning all forms of abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people.

BBC Media Action has zero tolerance for fraud and exploitation. If you have any concerns, please share with us through [email protected].

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