Job Vacancy at DAI: Research Support Specialist (Fixer)

Description

Scope of Work

Research Support Specialist (Fixer)

Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA)

USAID Tanzania

NAME: POSITION TITLE:    Research Support Specialist (Fixer)  TOTAL LEVEL OEFFORT: 15 days

AGREEMENT NAME: Digital Frontiers

Activities: Digital Strategy

AGREEMENT NO: AID-OAA-A-17-00033

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: April 18, 2022 – September 30, 2022

EVALUATOR: Susannah Horton

SUMMARY

Digital Frontiers is a $75 million buy-in mechanism available to USAID Bureaus and Missions from 2017-2022. DAI implements the Digital Frontiers project, which works closely with USAID’s Development, Democracy, and Innovations (DDI) Bureau; the Technology Unit within the Innovations, Technology, and Research Hub (ITR/T); USAID missions; the private sector; civil society organizations; and international and local development organizations to identify successful and sustainable digital development approaches and scale their impact globally.

USAID missions and other operating units can “buy-in” to Digital Frontiers and essentially fund the Digital Frontiers team to design and implement digital development projects. Digital Frontiers currently implements over 25 of these buy-in projects; each with a unique scope and client within USAID.

Digital Frontiers has played a key role in supporting the development and launch of the Digital Strategy and will continue to play an integral role in the implementation of the Digital Strategy. With ITR/T leading the process, Digital Frontiers will work closely with the ITR/T team to ensure a thorough, thoughtful, and consensus‐led process for the implementation of the various Digital Strategy initiatives.

BACKGROUND

The USAID Digital Strategy 2020–2024 charts an agency-wide vision for development and humanitarian assistance in the world’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

The Strategy’s goal is to achieve and sustain open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystems that contribute to broad-based, measurable development, and humanitarian assistance outcomes in emerging market countries.

USAID’s Digital Strategy has two core, mutually reinforcing objectives: 1) improve measurable development and humanitarian assistance outcomes through the responsible use of digital technology in USAID’s programming and 2) strengthen the openness, inclusiveness, and security of country-level digital ecosystems.

The DECA, a flagship initiative of the Digital Strategy, informs the development, design, and implementation of USAID’s strategies, projects, and activities.

The DECA looks at three pillars of a nation’s digital ecosystem: (1) digital infrastructure and adoption; (2) digital society, rights, and governance; and (3) the digital economy. The DECA aims to inform how USAID Missions can understand, work with, and strengthen the country’s digital ecosystem.

Digital Infrastructure and Adoption: Digital infrastructure and adoption refers to the resources that make digital systems possible and how individuals and organizations access and use these resources.

Digital infrastructure includes geographic network coverage, network performance, internet bandwidth, and spectrum allocation as well as telecom market dynamics around security, interoperability and competitiveness.

This pillar also examines behavioral, social, and physical barriers and opportunities for equitable adoption (digital divides, affordability, and digital literacy) — who uses and does not use digital technologies and why.

Digital Society, Rights, and Governance: Digital society, rights, and governance focuses on how digital technology intersects with government, civil society, and the media. This pillar is divided into three sub-sections: Internet Freedom; Civil Society and Media; and Digital Government.

Internet Freedom explores factors that enable or constrain the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms online. This includes individual rights to freedom of speech, privacy, and free assembly, and the abuse of these rights through digital repression.

Civil Society and Media identifies key institutions and how they report on, advocate around, and influence online freedoms. Digital Government looks at the government’s efforts to manage internal IT processes and systems, deliver citizen- and business-facing e-services, and engage with the public through digital channels.

Digital Economy: Digital economy explores the role digital technology plays in increasing economic opportunity and efficiency, trade and competitiveness, and global economic integration.

Areas of inquiry include digital financial services (credit or debit cards, payment apps, mobile money, and digital savings and loan products), financial inclusion, regulation of digital finance, digital trade, e-commerce, and the financial technology (FinTech) enabling environment.

This pillar also assesses strengths and weaknesses in the local digital talent pool and the tech startup environment; a healthy digital economy requires a supply of ICT skills that matches the demand and an ecosystem that promotes technological innovation.

Note that the following topics are cross-cutting and affect all three pillars in a DECA:

Inclusion: Equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized. This topic goes beyond digital divides in connectivity access to include things like the unique impacts of digital repression on marginalized populations and barriers to full participation in the digital workforce.

Cybersecurity : How people, systems, and technology protect information kept in digital formats from being taken, damaged, modified, or exploited. This topic also includes an exploration of cyber harms that exist in a country, who is responsible for harms, and who is targeted.

Emerging technologies : including artificial intelligence and machine learning, Internet of Things, drones, robotics, and blockchain.

Geopolitical positioning: How the country’s digital evolution is being shaped by international relationships, particularly the global spread of technology-enabled authoritarianism.

OBJECTIVE

The USAID Digital Strategy team has been leading efforts related to the roll out and implementation of the Digital Strategy. Digital Frontiers is providing support to this team during the first and second years for rollout activities including the development and piloting of the Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA).

Digital Frontiers is recruiting a Research Support Specialist (Fixer)  to provide logistical and operational support to support a DECA to be conducted in partnership with USAID/Tanzania

The ideal candidate should be based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and have demonstrated experience supporting interview and local travel logistics for a team of up to five. This includes experience scheduling meetings, organizing domestic travel and lodging, and coordinating local transportation.

The individual should have strong English and Swahili language skills (reading, speaking, writing). Strong preference for a candidate with digital development experience and experience with USAID, but not necessary.  (See qualifications at the end of this document for detailed requirements)

TASKS

The DECA is approximately a 6-to-7-month engagement (dependent on country context, time zone considerations) that contains three phases:

1) desk research and planning,

2) interviews (in-person and/or virtual), and

3) analysis and report writing.

The Research Support Specialist (Fixer) will work closely with the DECA Research Team members during the desk research and planning and the interview phases to plan, coordinate, schedule, and support the stakeholder interviews.

The DECA is a highly collaborative process, the Research Team will be staffed with the following roles:

  • Senior DECA Manager (Digital Frontiers, DAI)
  • Technical Researcher: Pillar 1 (DAI external consultant)
  • Technical Researcher: Pillar 2 (DAI external consultant)
  • Technical Researcher: Pillar 3 (DAI external consultant)
  • Research Support Specialist/Fixer (DAI  external consultant)

Note : The Tanzania DECA interviews may be conducted in-person and may require travel for research team members based outside of Tanzania.

Project Kick-off (2 weeks)

  • Review the planning components of the DECA Toolkit, which provides the necessary templates, information, and a step-by-step guide to implementing the DECA.
  • Participate in at least one orientation meeting prior to project kick-off. The orientation meeting is intended to provide guidance on the DECA Toolkit and processes.
  • Participate in a kick-off meeting with the DECA Research Team and Mission DECA Team to set expectations, identify Mission priorities, and confirm project timeline.
  • Adapt DECA interview outreach email template for the Tanzania context including translation from English to Swahili of the outreach email template.
  • Throughout the DECA, provide critical local context knowledge and insights.
  • As needed, participate in weekly Research Team meetings, including learning discussions focused on DECA iterations.
  • As needed, participate in biweekly meetings throughout the project with the DECA Research Team and the Mission DECA Team to ensure regular feedback and open communication and to cultivate Mission ownership of the DECA.
  • As needed, support the Senior DECA Manager to ensure clear and consistent communication with the Mission, all communication with the Mission and with other relevant U.S. Government (USG) personnel throughout the project managed by the Senior DECA Manager.
  • Deliverables: recognition of responsibilities and deadlines in the project work plan and onboarding documents (detailing process, timeline, tasks, and agreed-upon deadlines), thorough review of DECA Toolkit and associated documents, adapted interview outreach email template.

Phase 1: Desk Research and Planning/Pre-interviews (4 weeks)

The goal of this phase is to prepare with the knowledge needed to enter the interview phase well-informed about the country’s context and what gaps need to be filled .

To ensure a smooth interview phase, interview identification and initial scheduling, as well as travel and in-person logistics, will occur during the desk research phase. Key tasks include:

  • Identify interviewees for the Tanzania DECA, validate any identified stakeholders with the DECA Research Team
  • Coordinate with the DECA Research Team to designate interviewees as in-person or virtual
  • Start to schedule meetings (in-person and virtual) with the list of target stakeholders identified in collaboration with the DECA Research Team
  • Update the DECA Interview Tracker and Scheduling calendar regularly
  • Identify and coordinate with a driver and translator, support the procurement processes as needed
  • Procure local mobile phones and/or SIM cards for non-local DECA Research Team members as needed
  • Develop or collect communications and interview materials as requested by the DECA Research Team
  • Support travel logistics as needed (arranging airport pick up/drop off, providing hotel recommendations/quotations)
  • Manage logistics for site visits and in-country travel, as needed
  • Coordinate with the USAID/Tanzania Mission on logistics as needed, with guidance from the Senior DECA Manager
  • Provide other logistical support as requested by the DECA Research Team

Deliverables

The table below summarizes all project deliverables and estimated due dates. Due dates are subject to change depending on length of the interview phase, whether in-person interviews will be conducted, and any other unforeseen adjustments. The contract length and LOE accounts for these potential adjustments.

DELIVERABLE                                                                                                         TIMEFRAME

Project kick-off: review and agree on project work plan and tasks                                 Week 1

Adapted interview outreach email for Tanzania context including translation to Swahili Week 3-6

Interviewee list and contact information                                                                         Week 3-6

Travel and pre-interview logistics tasks completed and verified                                         Week 3-6

Procurement support provided as needed (for example driver, translation services, SIMcards,)       Week 3-6

Meeting invites sent/tracked and meeting schedule drafted and updated daily                     Week 3-11

Interview interpretation, as needed                                                                                      Week 7-10

Translated interview notes, as needed                                                                                    Week 7-11

Interview recordings                                                                                                             Week 7-10

Post-interview Presentation/workshop logistics managed, and workshop completed             Week 11

Final interview tracker and scheduling spreadsheet including all interviewee contact information                Weeks 11

Follow up with vendors, final invoices                                                                                    Week 12-14

Attendance at regular team meetings Throughout, as needed

Provide inputs as requested/relevant Throughout, ad needed

REPORTING

The consultant will report to Digital Frontiers Digital Strategy Senior DECA Manager, Susannah Horton.

The consultant should invoice hours used in regular, monthly intervals.

TIMEFRAME AND LOE 

The LOE (level of effort) for this SOW is 15 days. The period of performance for this work is April 18, 2022 – September 30, 2022

QUALIFICATIONS 

Required

  • Strong project management and knowledge management skills
  • Highly organized and great attention to detail
  • Experience supporting logistics and travel coordination
  • Based locally in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Excellent English written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent Swahili written and oral communication skills
  • Available to meet during Eastern Standard Time (EST) working hours as needed
  • Available to meet during USAID/Tanzania working hours – Eastern African Time (EAT)

Preferred

  • Demonstrated experience as Swahili to English interpreter and translator
  • Experience interacting with a range of stakeholders including high-level government and private sector actors
  • Experience working with USAID or familiarity with USAID programs and policies
  • Experience with digital development
  • Experience supporting research assessments

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