The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is a leading Africa-based, African-led, international research institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and engaged in multidisciplinary, evidence-informed policy research. Our researchers are contributing to the body of evidence about the critical issues in population health and wellbeing impeding Africa’s development in order to provide strong direction and recommendations to policy- and decision-makers at all levels.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
In launching its 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, APHRC has broadened and deepened its commitment to ensuring that evidence generated by African institutions is used to inform strategic decision-making across sub-Saharan Africa. We have identified signature issues that are cross-cutting and reflect our vision of transforming lives of Africans through research.
The signature issues we have identified are equally key to the development agendas for Africa, from the Sustainable Development Goals to the continent’s own far-reaching Agenda 2063. They also align with the African Union’s push to promote a four-pillared roadmap setting the course for countries to achieve a Demographic Dividend and reap the benefits of an economic boom that could wean them off dependence of foreign assistance.
We are pursuing three objectives to achieve our goal of demonstrating where research evidence can contribute to the decision-making process:
to promote a culture of evidence at all levels of government, improving usage of evidence through innovative sharing of research findings
to nurture strategic relationships and partnerships predicated on evidence
to cultivate greater recognition and visibility of APHRC in the implementation of regional and global development agendas
Understanding the extent, gaps and opportunities in existing policies, therefore, is critical to our ability to provide nuanced support in the policymaking process to government at all levels, including at the agenda-setting level of the African Union and other regional bodies.
SCOPE OF WORK
APHRC is looking to recruit a policy analyst able to quickly engage and understand Africa’s current approach to achieving strategic targets to improve population health and wellbeing, whether it is in domesticating global goals or implementing national strategies.
As part of the Policy Engagement and Communications division, the right candidate will be able to explore the channels of policy at the regional and national level to identify moments, opportunities and gaps in the implementation of existing policies where APHRC research could be brought to bear and be transformative for the lives of Africans.
The role of the policy analyst will also be to provide a landscape of opportunities, key players, existing policies and policy gaps related to the signature issues that anchor the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, cutting across all six Research Units and incorporating APHRC’s commitment to improving research leadership around the continent.
Responsibilities will begin with an understanding the current policy environment from the African Union level down to selected countries, including Kenya, Senegal, Nigeria and Uganda, with respect to the signature issues, to identify and determine what potential entry points could be for engagement, in line with the three-pronged approach articulated in our Strategic Plan:
The More and Better approach: to encourage wider implementation of what already exists by broadening collaboration.
The Revise for Responsiveness approach: to encourage responsiveness to changing contexts and unmet needs.
The Initiate for Impact approach: to encourage the formulation and implementation of new policies to meet emerging needs due to evolving contexts.
This landscaping, combined with an early mapping of stakeholders and existing relationships in the policy sphere that will inform targets and entry points, will lead to the development of an engagement strategy for APHRC to ensure that it seizes opportunities for research evidence to be used in decision-making.
The right candidate will be able not only to carry out rigorous and thoughtful review and analysis of existing policies and where policy implementation has been less than optimal, but to also cascade this skillset to others within the PEC division. Collaboration with APHRC’s research leaders, particularly at the Unit level, will be critical in order to ensure a holistic approach to our mission of generating evidence and engaging policy to inform action on population health and wellbeing.
DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES
Engage with signature issues: Facilitate and contribute to Research Unit understanding of how to integrate their signature issues into the research process, as well as how the research process can inform policy- and decision-making. Working with an array of stakeholders, conduct analysis of existing policies to understand where there might be opportunities to engage around the signature issues. Conduct policy implication analysis of recommendations that emerge from research. Create knowledge translation materials including reports, briefing papers and other creative collateral on policy recommendations and report on implementation and progress.
Generate recommendations as to how achievement of long-term policy goals can be incorporated into research proposal development: Support collaboration among APHRC’s programmatic divisions to ensure that resource mobilization is adequate to achieve longer-term goals for engagement and influence as part of the development of research proposals
Strengthen internal capacity for policy analysis: Support the skills development of other members of the PEC division to be more adept and proficient in review and analysis of policies to further advocacy and engagement efforts.
Support outreach:Support the PEC division’s outreach efforts by leading and/or contributing to campaigns and projects to bring greater awareness to the opportunities availed by evidence-informed approaches to decision-making.
SKILLS and QUALIFICATIONS
All applicants must have knowledge and demonstrable ability to analyze or implement public policies, including a strong foundation in understanding how global targets can and should be integrated into national strategies. First preference will be given to candidates with knowledge of population health and wellbeing gained through academic study and/or work experience. The right candidate will have not only excellent analytical skills and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively but will also be able to transfer those skills to others.
Other qualifications must include:
A PhD in any related field such public policy, health policy, international relations, economics, health sciences, political science OR
At least eight years of post-qualification work experience in policy analysis, landscaping and mapping, strategy development, preferably at an international or research organization
Excellent writing and editing as well as strong presentation skills. Experience in training will also be beneficial
Demonstrable track record in policy engagement, including landscaping, mapping and trend analysis
A resourceful self-starter with analytical, organizational and networking skills
Excellent organizational skills and ability to work independently to fulfill team goals and manage multiple deadlines
Demonstrated interest in issues related to global health and social policy
Experience conducting literature reviews, qualitative research or writing scientific journal articles
Proficiency in French desired
How to Apply
Interested candidates should send a CV including publication record and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your cover letter should include a 600-word writing sample exploring your approach to policy analysis for one of the APHRC signature issues contained in the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, available on the APHRC website.