To catalyze the Kenyan tech community’s growth.

JOBS

Africa Project Lead1

  • Company: mySociety
  • Deadline: Monday 11th April 2011
  • Location: Nairobi
Job Description

Are you a keen follower of political developments in Kenya or Nigeria? Are you also passionate about transparency, and interested in the possible role of digital technologies in enhancing it in these countries?  If so, you might be just the person to run mySociety’s Africa Project.

mySociety is a project of registered charity UK Citizens Online Democracy, currently running award-winning civic and democratic websites within the UK, includingTheyWorkForYou.com and FixMyStreet.com.

We have recently received funding from the Omidyar Network to mentor transparency organisations in Kenya and Nigeria about how mySociety assesses value in technology, and how it goes about delivering projects.  We’re looking to recruit an Africa Project Lead who will be responsible for shaping and running the project.

The role will be for 12 months in the first instance, with possibility of extension.  The salary is competitive, and reflects the skills and experience we are seeking. Reasonable travel expenses will be fully paid, however no relocation expenses are available.

 

Organisational Context

mySociety has ten full time staff, and a wider community of energetic and creative volunteers, all but one currently based in the UK. We are a very techy organisation, made up of people who care passionately about using technology to make services that are not just popular, but which offer their users some sort of tangible, offline benefit.

Running the Africa Project successfully will involve using the expertise of mySociety to enable Kenyan and Nigerian transparency organisations to become more effective. Whilst doing this, the Africa Lead will also be scoping for future opportunities where Omidyar Network and mySociety would be able to make meaningful contributions to the transparency and accountability sector in Africa.

Whilst we have good, knowledgeable friends who have helped us scope this project, mySociety’s current staff and volunteers have only limited knowledge of Kenya and Nigeria, and of the technical or political circumstances within them. The Africa Project Lead will enable the rest of the organisation in learning what is needed to deliver projects that are of value.

 

Key Responsibilities and Deliverables

  1. Build relationships with two partner organisations in Kenya and Nigeria and, with them, deliver specific digital services (or measurable improvements to existing digital services) which are appropriate to their national settings, utilising expertise from the mySociety team.
  2. Develop an in-depth understanding of the role of transparency in a number of key African countries, which can be shared with the mySociety core team and the wider mySociety network.
  3. Demonstrate through presentations how mySociety has built successful services in the UK and develop relationships with organisations and individuals with which we or Omidyar Network may work in the future.
  4. Towards the end of the first year of the Africa Project, the Africa Project Lead will run an ideas generation process to identify further organisations worth partnering with, and specific projects worth building.
  5. Help our Internationalisation Developer to understand how to successfully deliver technological contributions in conjunction with our partners.

Person Specification

Must have:

  • At least 12 months prior knowledge of the role of transparency and accountability organisations in at least one African country, preferably working directly with such groups, in country.
  • Strong mentoring skills
  • At least 12 months working either professionally or voluntarily with developers of internet technologies.
  • Graduate level spoken and written English
  • A willingness to travel on a regular basis
  • Prior experience of working independently with limited or no direct supervision, required because in this position your line management will be light touch and physically remote
  • Desirable:
  • Prior familiarity with digital transparency projects
  • A high level of technical literacy
  • A preexisting social network in either the local web technology community, or the transparency and accountability community

Location

We are looking for a candidate to be based in or near Nairobi’s iHub . However, this job will entail considerable travel, including several weeks a month working with one of our partners in Abuja. The successful candidate must be able to travel between Kenya and Nigeria without undue restriction.

 

Closing date for applications – 8th April 2011 and interviews will be taking place in Nairobi April 12th, 13th 14th and in the UK on April 16th, 17th.

How to apply

To apply please send an email to hello@mysociety.org with the tag msjob9 in the subject line. Your application must consist of a covering letter, a CV and a 250-300 word written piece on “The similarities and differences between classic transparency projects and digital transparency projects”. The covering letter should be in body of the email itself, but the CV and written piece should be submitted as URLs within the email, not as attachments (password protection is fine).