Research Officer

  • Contract
  • Full Time
  • Lusaka

Development Media International (DMI)

Reports to: Senior Programme Manager

Responsible for: N/A

Start date: 1 May 2024

Term: Full time, initially 24-month contract, with extension dependent on continued project funding.

Based in: Lusaka, Zambia, with regular national travel

Salary: ZMW 320,000 – 375,000 gross per annum (ZMW:GBP fx rate at date of posting), plus gratuity & health insurance.

Application deadline: 23:59 Sunday 24 March 2024

Date of first round interview: Week commencing 2nd April 2024

About DMI 

Development Media International (DMI) delivers media campaigns aimed at changing behaviours, promoting health and saving lives in developing countries. We are the first organisation to scientifically demonstrate that mass media can increase life-saving behaviours (see the results of our RCT that proved our interventions can save thousands of children’s lives, here).

DMI has two priorities: first, to continue to generate ground-breaking research, second, to take our proven strategies to scale, saving as many lives as possible. We work across a range of health issues, including child survival, reproductive health, nutrition, hygiene, and early childhood development. DMI works in close partnership with leading experts in health, including WHO, UNICEF and LSHTM and has been funded by some of the world’s most prestigious organisations including the Wellcome Trust, DFID, Comic Relief, the Global Innovation Fund, Unorthodox Philanthropy, and the Mulago Foundation.

We are an innovative and rapidly growing organisation, working at the nexus between science and creativity. DMI has demonstrated that knowledge is not only a human right but is also the key to saving lives in a cost-effective way. Our intellectual rigour, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn from both our successes and mistakes, makes us distinct. Our ethos is non-hierarchical: all our staff are intellectually high-powered, and we have a “best idea wins” culture. By working at DMI you will have a genuine, measurable impact on improving lives in low-income countries.

DMI has a permanent presence in Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania and also currently works in Mauritania, Uganda, and Zambia. DMI’s headquarters overlooks the Regents Canal near Kings Cross in London and provides the strategic direction for the whole organisation.

DMI is ranked as one of the most cost-effective non-profit organisations in the world by The Life You Can Save.

Find out more on our website.

Job description 

DMI has been established in Zambia since 2019 and works in close partnership with the Ministry of Health to deliver campaigns in support of government priorities. To date we have run national radio, TV and social media campaigns and have delivered discreet pilot and research projects addressing a range of issues including modern contraceptive uptake, Covid-19 prevention and vaccination, and mental health. Over the next two years DMI will be running an ambitious national radio campaign addressing reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, piloting a project evaluating the impact of an SBC radio campaign on reading glasses uptake, and pursuing several new funding opportunities in our pipeline.

The Zambia office is a small team comprising six staff covering all DMI’s core specialisms, including strategy, operations, research, production, and campaign management. The Research Officer will play a critical role within the team, overseeing DMI’s research activities in Zambia and ensuring that our campaign materials are closely informed by the knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviours of the communities they are targeting. Key working relationships include the Senior Programme Manager, the Production Technician, DMI’s UK-based Research team, Ministry of Health representatives and external research consultants.

More specifically, the Research Officer role will include the following responsibilities:

  1. Plan, organise and execute all research activities, including logistics, relating to DMI Zambia projects working closely with the Senior Programme Manager and UK-based technical team.
  1. Conduct qualitative research, usually via Focus Group Discussion (FGD), Key Informant Interview or In depth Interview, on knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviours to inform social and behaviour change communications (SBCC) campaigns on various public health topics.
  1. Work closely with DMI’s UK-based technical staff to help them understand the local context and ensure that all campaign materials accurately represent local culture and address key barriers to behaviour change.
  1. Conduct pre-testing of DMI’s SBCC campaign materials via FGDs, working closely with government officials and project stakeholders, and ensure rich feedback and insights are integrated into the subsequent revision of materials, working closely with the technical teams at DMI UK and the Production Technician.
  1. Establish strong working relationships with relevant government authorities, including Health Promotion personnel at national, Provincial and District levels, to facilitate project delivery.
  1. Prepare research reports in English to inform project design and delivery, including concisely synthesizing data, conducting evidence-based literature reviews, and consolidating qualitative research fieldnotes into summary documents.
  2. Other tasks as required.

Person specification

Required knowledge, skills and experience

  1. Strong intellectual ability as evidenced by tertiary academic qualification in a related field.
  1. Minimum three years professional experience in a similar role relating to public health, social sciences or a related discipline.
  1. Experience conducting qualitative research (Focus Group Discussions, Key Informant Interviews, In Depth Interviews) in Zambia and preparing detailed reports of findings.
  1. Experience working within the health sector in Zambia in a similar role, liaising with government representatives in day-to-day work.
  1. Experience in reviewing literature and writing summaries of key findings.
  1. Professional proficiency in English (written and spoken), proficient in at least one other Zambian language.
  1. Self-motivated with good time-management skills, an ability to plan, manage and prioritise a varied workload, with an eye for detail and a concern for accuracy, together with the ability to keep sight of the broader picture.
  1. Willing and able to travel up to 50% of the time within Zambia.

Desirable knowledge, skills and experience 

  1. Previous experience working on SBCC projects, or on reproductive, maternal or child health projects.
  1. Experience of conducting quantitative research including study design, data collection, piloting survey instruments, managing and training research assistants, analysis and report writing.
  2. Proficiency in several of Zambia’s local languages.

DMI is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnerships.

DMI operates a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and is committed to the protection and safeguarding of vulnerable individuals. Where appropriate, successful candidates will undergo background and reference checks. All DMI employees will be required to self-declare prior issues of sexual or other misconduct, termination of past employment, criminal records, and concerns registered with government authorities regarding contact with children.

To apply for this job please visit developmentmedia.bamboohr.com.

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