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14 Oct 2021

Research officer at BBC Media Action

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Job Description

Job title: Research officer

Location: Tanzania

Reports to: Research manager

Duration: 6 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.

Closing date: 31 October 2021

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

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 130 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 coordinator and research manager in the coordination and implementation of research under the project ‘A National Conversation’, that will focus on a range of issues including good governance, climate change and gender equality. The RO will liaise with the production and capacity strengthening teams, local partners and programme participants to support the design, coordination and implementation of research activities to inform and evaluate the project. He/she will make sure that all activities are implemented in a timely and effective manner.

At times, the RO may be expected to work flexibly across a range of genres and across all media, irrespective of their own area of specialism, in line with business needs and to positively develop 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 group’s work on the synthesis and analysis of best practice for Media Action’s projects.

Main duties and responsibilities:

To manage all research activities under the project
To develop the research and learning approach and plan
To develop the research designs for each study to be undertaken
To support in the design of research for training projects and mass media programming, comprising formative research, pre-testing of media materials, and impact evaluation
To support in the commissioning and monitoring of all research inputs (e.g., quantitative surveys, focus group sessions, case studies, etc.), working to budget and deadline requirements
To conduct literature reviews across a range of issues/ themes and ethnographic studies in the field
To conduct fieldwork, including focus group discussions and in-depth interviews in the field
To conduct pilots and pre-testing of content and media output in the field
Liaise with in-country field agencies monitoring quality control and the timely delivery of research projects
To support the research coordinator and research manager in overseeing quantitative and qualitative research activities
To support the analyses of qualitative and quantitative data and report research findings to a range of internal and external stakeholders
To support research assistants in delivering research to time, quality and within budget
To 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 and knowledge:

University Degree in social sciences, development, or any other related field of studies
Fluent in English and Swahili with ability to write reports and scripts in these languages
At least three years of experience in 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, monitoring of staff, recruitment of participants, and liaison with officials
Demonstrate a command of statistical software especially SPSS with the ability 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 prioritising activities and tailoring outputs effectively taking into account deadlines and resources
Excellent diplomatic skills: ability to conduct business at high levels of government and media
Ability to operate effectively in a difficult environment
Ability to travel up to 50% of 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.

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Method of Application

Interested qualified candidates should submit their CV with 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 31 October 2021.

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.

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