TERMS OF REFERENCE – KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY
The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is an African-led and Africa- based international research institute committed to conducting high quality and policy- relevant multidisciplinary research. Our researchers address important development issues and challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa in areas such as education, population, health, aging, urbanization and wellbeing. Our goal is to generate evidence for meaningful action, engage with policy makers in the region to disseminate our research findings, influence policy decisions and improve the quality of life in Africa.
APHRC invites applications for a Knowledge Management Consultant to conduct a scoping review and assessment of the state of data sharing in Africa for a 4-months engagement period.
APHRC has recently launched its new strategic plan. The APHRC 2022-2026 Strategic Plan outlines a bold agenda predicated on four strategic objectives and supported by six guiding principles to enhance our impact in the region. It reflects our ambition to engineer change in policy, practice, program development and delivery, and individual behavior on the continent, as well as the R&D ecosystem in Africa. To allow for more synergy with the research teams, the center introduced four themes under which multiple work streams will be integrated to maximize cross-program fertilization and to concentrate skills from different disciplines within fewer units. The Center’s work in policy engagement and advocacy as well as the West Africa Regional office will be aligned to these priorities.
In the new strategic plan, the Data Science and Evaluation unit activities are broadly categorized into three, which include big data analytics using machine learning and artificial intelligence data science tools, data engineering activities such as creation of software application, data visualizations platforms and of greater importance to this consultancy- creating a data sharing platform which will support the creation of a data repository that serves as a platform for data science, and program evaluation, and lastly program evaluation.
These activities are largely hinged on availability of data and effective data sharing. As has been shown, the advances in the data revolution and big data analytics achieved through the deployment of machine learning and artificial intelligence is highly dependent on three key pillars, which include 1) Availability of data, 2) Effective Data sharing, 3) A functional robust data repository and 4) Capacity for big data analytics using machine learning and artificial intelligence tools.
APHRC through the catalyst project seeks to change the data repositories and sharing ecosystem in Africa. This will expand data use, reuse and sharing of multi-disciplinary data to support implementation research and R&D in Africa.
Need for Data Sharing in Africa
The paradigm of data sharing in Africa has evolved overtime and remains critical for research and scientific advancements as well as economic growth. In many countries, national statistical offices remain the primary custodians of data and central to data sharing for policy formulation and modification. As increasing activities in data use, internet use and digital frameworks evolve in Africa, the availability of robust data collection tools has left multiple sources of data, especially Big data. However, these data remain untapped and not used for effective data analysis and data science related actions. The lack of data sharing is rooted in several structural, historical, economic and cultural barriers that need clear review prior to development of effective data sharing platforms. For example, various data producers are excluded from benefits that the owners of data infrastructures often realize. Furthermore, researchers are often mandated to submit share data at time of scientific publication and this information is often stored in repositories of scientific journals, but remain unused. Therefore, understanding the state of data sharing, the existing initiative and data repositories as well as recommendations for a successful data sharing platform in Africa is timely.
Scope of the Data Sharing Assessment
The successful candidate will lead the scoping review and information gathering on the state of data sharing in Africa. These key questions include, but are not limited to:
- How do African countries approach data storage?
- Do we have data repositories in Africa?
- Where are the data repositories in Africa?
- Who controls the data repositories in Africa?
- How are data repositories in Africa utilized?
- Where do most Africans store their data?
- Is there any framework that regulate data stories and sharing in Africa, and if yes where is it housed, and is it utilized?
- How should data be shared in Africa? These include data from a multi-disciplinary scope including health data, agriculture education, African institutions, research data administrative data and data from implementation science research.
- What type of clinical trial registries and data repositories exist in Africa? Where are they located, how are they funded and what kind of data are stored in these repositories? Is it accessible and sharable?
- What are the challenges of data sharing in Africa? (These include human, infrastructure, soft and hard ware challenges, systems etc.)
- Which approach would enable the development of an African-led data sharing platform?
- Do we have previous data sharing attempts in Africa in the past?
- Are there any lessons learnt from previous data sharing attempt in the past in Africa?
- Are there existing data sharing platforms in Africa?
- If there are existing data sharing platforms in Africa, how are they being utilized?
- What are the basic requirements for a functional and effective platform for the African ecosystem?
- What are the existing countries or institutions specific data sharing agreements or frameworks in Africa? How many countries have data protection policies and data governance and sharing agreements and how can these bests be aligned to support standardization of data policies in Africa?
- What recommendations can be made for effective data sharing in Africa?
- How do African researchers share their data as part of the scientific publication processes and open science forum requirements?
Consultant Roles and Responsibilities
The anticipated roles and responsibilities may include but not limited to:
- Carry out the work to understand the state of data sharing in Africa.
- Conduct desk reviews, surveys and web-searches on existing data sharing platforms, challenges and use of data sharing in Africa.
- Review existing data sharing frameworks and data governance structures in Africa (in research, academic, governments and supra-national institutions)?
- Conduct consultative meetings and interviews with key stake holders on data sharing in Africa.
- Develop guidelines and recommendations for effective data sharing in Africa.
- Recommend a framework for functional data sharing repositories in Africa.
- Provide guidance on effective structures for data integrity in African academic and research institutions.
- Advise on financial sustainability of data sharing in Africa.
Qualifications and Experience
- PhD in Public Health or Statistics, Health Systems Strengthening, Information Technology, Data Science or related field.
- A minimum of 7 years professional experience in the implementation and management of data in the African ecosystem.
- Knowledge of methods of data systems and theories that pertain to data sharing, data use, FAIR principles and data standardization.
- Experience in developing
- Excellent communication (written and spoken) and interpersonal
- Strong organizational and program management
- Ability to take initiative and work both independently and in
If you meet the criteria above and are interested in this opportunity, please send your cover letter, technical and financial proposals to email@example.com and copy firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Knowledge Management Consultancy.” The position will be open until a suitable candidate is identified. APHRC will contact the shortlisted candidates only. Cover letters should be should be addressed to:
The Human Resources Officer
African Population and Health Research Center, Inc
APHRC Campus, Manga Close, off Kirawa Road, Kitisuru
P.O. Box 10787-GPO, Nairobi
APHRC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the protection of vulnerable persons.