Senior Researcher & Project Coordinator


The ISS is an African non-profit organisation with offices in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Senegal. Our work covers transnational crimes, migration, maritime security and development, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, crime prevention and criminal justice, and the analysis of conflict and governance.

The ISS is seeking an experienced Senior Researcher & Project Coordinator to coordinate the ENACT project’s contribution to the OCWAR-T project. The latter project supports the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to enhance analytical capacity and evidence-based research on organised crime and illicit trafficking in West Africa, with an emphasis on supporting local and regional institutions and civil society organisations.

The position will be based in Abuja and will be supported through the ISS ENACT’s Regional Organised Crime Observatory for West Africa, in Dakar.

The ENACT project at the ISS aims to enhance Africa’s response to transnational organised crime. ENACT is helping to implement the Organised Crime: West African Response to Trafficking (OCWAR-T) project commissioned by the German Federal Foreign Office and co-funded by the EU.

ENACT’s OCWAR-T work is jointly implemented by the ISS and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC).

Overview of duties:

Coordinate the establishment and maintenance of a network of organised crime research organisations for West Africa that include intergovernmental institutions, civil society, academic and research institutions
Establish good working relationships with the ECOWAS Commission and national government agencies of ECOWAS member states
Coordinate evidence-based research on the illicit markets of common concern at regional and national levels
Coordinate regular, timeous engagements with key regional and national entities to promote the combating of transnational organised crime in the region
Contribute to capacity building activities with key institutions in West Africa
Engage proactively with the media
Monitor and report on key elements of the programme
Work as an integral part of the ISS and GI-TOC implementation team
Contribute to the effective implementation of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the ISS and ECOWAS

Overview of requirements:

A Master’s degree or higher qualification in political science, international relations, law, or any other relevant discipline
At least 7 years relevant work experience in research and policy, with at least 3 years producing outputs on transnational organised crime, crime and security, customs, and corruption
Track record of establishing and working with networks, preferably regional or multi-national
Proficiency with online platforms for networking and maintaining engagements
Demonstrable written and policy engagement related directly to transnational organised crime in West Africa
Experience of working with high-level decision makers in regional and international institutions
High proficiency in French and English, with demonstrated experience in both spoken and written outputs in both languages
Strong communications track record with media and research organisations in West Africa (more than 3 countries, preferably Franco- and Anglophone)
A demonstrable track record of engagement in security policy issues in West Africa, including access to relevant networks with regional institutions
Experience and understanding of the political integration and the policy-making issues and processes (national and regional) in West Africa
Ability and experience to work independently and remotely and be able to deliver on multiple priorities
Track record of innovative problem solving in complex regional contexts to ensure programme delivery
This position involves extensive travel. The contract will be for a period of 18 months, and may be renewed subject to funding and satisfactory performance.

Email your application to Rekha Valabh at [email protected] Applicants must provide a cover letter, detailed CV with listed publications, including at least three contactable referees. Preference will be given to Abuja and ECOWAS female nationals. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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