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Team Leader, African Cities

Posted at
13. Jul, 12:53
Company Industry
Work Type
Full time
Job Level
Senior level
Minimum Qualification
Years Experience
5 years
Application Deadline
Nairobi CBD Nairobi

RTI's Learning, Energy, and Environment for Development (LEED) Division pursues innovative approaches and builds on best practices to create the foundation for and to promote technical innovation and operational excellence in energy, environment and adult learning research and technical assistance. Working alongside global partners, public institutions, the private sector, and civil society, we help build more effective, accountable, and responsive institutions and policies at the national, regional, and local levels of government.

The LEED Division is currently accepting applications for Team Leader for an anticipated DFID-funded African Cities Research Programme in Africa. The research programme proposed will look across sectors and policy areas in any city to enable multi-sectoral understanding, planning, and disaster and risk management. The African Cities research programme aims to move away from research in specialised sector areas to looking at cities as concentrated, complicated and integrated systems. A key feature of the research in a city will be how the “political settlement”- ie the balance or distribution of power between contending social or interest groups within a city or even beyond - applies to linked problems within and across sectors. The overall goal of the programme is to generate robust new evidence on African “cities as systems” to influence policies and programmes aimed at more effective economic development and poverty reduction.

The Team Leader will be responsible for overall leadership and management of all aspects of the project’s performance, providing technical direction to the entire program, and representing the project’s activities as a whole to external audiences. She/he will ensure an integrated vision among different components and actors. This is a full-time position with residency in Africa – city to be determined.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for leading the strategic planning for the programme; ensure close coordination with DFID, and programme partners and stakeholders including government entities within the chosen African cities.
  • Responsible for ensuring quality control and overall responsiveness of technical assistance provided under the programme, including harmonization and effective coordination across components.
  • Foster and maintain effective, professional relations with a broad range of government counterparts and the sector stakeholders.
  • Serve as primary liaison with DFID, government counterparts, and RTI home office. Confer with DFID on administrative and technical matters; adjust programme operations to ensure flexibility and responsiveness with technical direction.
  • Oversee project management, technical work, scheduling, and deadlines associated with the project. Ability to assign specific tasks and duties as necessary to fulfil deliverables.
  • Ensure all activities conform to the terms and conditions of project requirements, including cost, schedule and quality parameters. Identify issues and risks to implementation in a timely manner; recommend appropriate course corrections and solutions.
  • Ensure the timely and quality completion of all program deliverables and reports in accordance with DFID guidelines.
  • Responsible for the day-to-day operational oversight and administration of the project.
  • Directly supervise and mentor project staff.


  • A minimum of a master’s degree in political science, economics, international studies, urban planning, or a relevant field, with 12 years of experience in technical and management roles on governance, development / economic growth, urbanization, poverty and vulnerability, and research programmes analyzing complex, multi-sector problems.
  • At least 5 years of experience managing large-scale, donor-funded research consortium programmes in the region, preferably DFID-funded.
  • Ideal candidates will have experience leading and managing complex research programmes that cut across multiple technical sectors related to urbanization and how cities function, grow and develop, while considering the political economy and how government and private sector functioning influences these sectors. Demonstrated experience in research that led to actionable outcomes that were readily operationalized is desired.
  • While expertise in any number of individual technical areas mentioned here is desired, more important is the ability to drive research that will identify priority, underlying problems - political or technical - that may cut across multiple sectors.
  • Experience designing and implementing solutions to address priority problems related to urbanization, growth and development also desired.
  • Experience with stakeholder engagement and capacity building in the region preferred.
  • Verbal and written fluency in the English languages along with strong communications, interpersonal, and presentation skills. Fluency in French and / or local languages a plus.
  • Demonstrated leader and team-player with effective cross-cultural interpersonal skills; able to develop and communicate a common vision among diverse partners and lead multidisciplinary teams.
  • Ability to resolve sensitive and complicated work issues with senior high-level country counterparts, donor representative and senior-level staff.
  • Position is contingent upon award and funding.

Applications are invited from qualified persons for the above vacant position.

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