Research Manager for Knowledge and Learning Job


Well Told Story is a socially-oriented media research and production company based in Kenya and focused on creating social and economic value for young people in Africa.

Since we were established in 2009, Well Told Story has developed a set of interlinked and evolving proprietary media all intended to reach and engage young people with important ideas that can benefit their lives.

This is centered on Shujaaz, an on-going multi-media communications platform encompassing monthly comic books, daily syndicated radio shows, SMS, online, video, national TV and activations that has reached more than 69% of Kenyans aged 15-24, won two International Emmy Awards, and has recently launched across Tanzania.

Our success comes from deep, insightful research informing brilliant media.

Our in-house research team provides a deep understanding of our audience and clear strategies to address what hinders and motivates them.

The same team designs and applies a set of highly innovative parallel research activities to track, understand and document the effects that our media help to create.

Well Told Story is a hybrid sitting between commerce and international development.

Our media is all free to the audience and financed by a combination of corporations and development agencies who share our aim to transform the lives of young people for the better.

 Partners presently include Coca-Cola, Vodafone, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK’s Department for International Development, The World Bank, and others.

Knowledge & Learning at Well Told Story

The task fields for the K&L department are:

  • K&L Innovation Lab: generating continuous new insights and developing appropriate cutting edge methodologies and interventions for Well Told Story’s GroundTruth formative research, Media Production and Monitoring, and Measuring & Evaluation;
  • Generating deep qualitative information and insights, and maintaining profound understanding of the target audiences as part of strategy development, GroundTruth & Monitoring & Evaluation;
  • Generating deep quantitative insight and analysis as part of strategy development, Monitoring & Evaluation;
  • Co-creating, along with Creative Director, the creative strategies that inform WTS media outputs;
  • Ensuring the timely and effective sharing of insights, information, ideas and reports with relevant teams within WTS;
  • Ensuring the timely and effective sharing of insights, information, ideas and reports with WTS partners.

Key Tasks of a Research Manager, Knowledge & Learning

K&L Research Manager ensures that K&L team adheres to the department procedures and timelines, it is progressing along key milestones as a team and is linked to other department through timely and purposeful communication.

K&L HoD and RM co-management strategy:

  • There are two levels of K&L staff reporting: strategic and project-related.
  • The strategic level includes K&L strategy, methodological issues, K&L annual budget and HR/administrative issues (performance reviews, KPIs, and grading). At this level, the entire team reports to HoD.
  • The project-related level includes coordination of specific MEL strands and partner-specific projects, including but not limited to milestones, budgets, and reporting. At this level, team members report to HoD at the stages of the Concept Note development, data analysis, reporting and dissemination. The team reports to RM at the stages of timeline/activity planning, fieldwork, post-field follow-ups, quality-control issues and data cleaning/processing.
  • Regardless of the reporting line, the emails on major project milestones have to have both RM and HoD on copy.
  • Reviews and approvals of the documents: budgets, time plans, project teams and reports should be done by a project lead, reviewed by RM and signed-off by HoD.
Leadership and management:
In collaboration with HoD, RM supervises all full- and part-time K&L teams in Kenya, Tanzania & elsewhere, including the following:
  • Manages K&L projects financial efficiency through close tracking of K&L project budgets and activity plans; sets up monthly reviews of the budget with HoD and Finance team;
  • Ensures K&L team follows operational plans and planning processes: for each project each team member creates all required management/tracking documents (as per the Fieldwork check list) and have all the documents reviewed by RM and approved by HoD at least 10 working days before the start of the fieldwork.
  • Ensures there is a kick-off meeting for each single research activity at which RC convenes the project team to talk about methodology, participants/recruitment, timelines, etc. The project plan resulting from the meeting should document project milestones and team responsibilities; the project plan then serves as a guide for the remainder of the project life-cycle; all changes should be agreed on by the team, project timeline should be updated within 2 days and all project staff should be updated within 1 day after the change was made.
  • Ensures the team understands all project management procedures. Holds a refresher/review of all K&L procedures as necessary or at least twice a year.
  • Champions innovative approach and excellence of internal working practices, including project management practices and tools (e.g., K&L dropbox) and rigorous quality control routines.
  • Supports efforts in effective recruitment, retention and training of K&L staff;
  • Manages the time and deliverables for K&L interns and temporary staff.
Communication and planning:
  • Pro-active engagement in K&L activity planning through regular meetings with HoD;
  • Daily check-ins with K&L team members on where they stand on various tasks against timelines and quality standards, what are the challenges in delivering against timelines/QC standards, and how additional value can be delivered on various client projects whether research or production related; discusses challenges and opportunities with HoD during scheduled meetings or convenes emergency meetings if necessary.
  • For every in-person or phone with a client (e.g., monthly round tables, partner quarterly updates, etc.), puts together detailed notes go inform project teams and HoD on client concerns, follow up questions, program changes, etc.
  • Immediately updates HoD on any changes in deadlines or format for deliverables.
Support to other WTS team and partners / clients:
  • Supports client relationships team by negotiating terms of relevant third party contracts as related to K&L activities;
  • Serves as a point-person for collecting WTS teams’ input for regular/progress client reports, including quarterly updates, mid-term and annual reports and program-end reports. Communicates to all teams when their input is required, the content and format of the input, reviews the input and requests additional information if necessary to deliver higher value to the client; compiles a draft report to be finalized by HoD;
  • For each deliverable, ensures all clients’ questions/concerns were addressed before forwarding for the final approval for HoD, proactively suggests ways to improve deliverables;
  • In collaboration with HoD and client services, follows up on deliverables to explore feedback and requests for additional information from the clients.
  • Collaborates with HoD and strategy team members to create and share with internal teams and clients/partners on-going learning narratives to document the insights and discoveries emerging from K&L;
Additional responsibilities
  • Collaborates with HoD on building reputation for Well Told Story as a trailblazer in understanding and engaging youths in East Africa by assisting in organizing WTS events, identifying venues for presenting WTS research (round tables, conferences, and similar research, academia and/or media gatherings);
  • Keeps well-informed on the topics of strategic relevance to WTS, such as media, youth, digital informational resources, etc.;
  • Might be directly assigned a Project Lead role on some projects depending on their complexity and/or urgency.
Minimum Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience required for this Role
  • Master’s Degree in political or social sciences, market research, media or education with a minimum of 3 years of experience executing research in social sciences, media audience research or market research at a senior level positions;
  • Exemplary project management skills with a proven track-record of successful delivery on client projects;
  • Natural leadership skills with the ability to guide, mentor, educate and support direct reports;
  • A good team player and a problem solver with the ability to recognize and mitigate internal conflicts and curate relationships with external partners and clients;
  • Innovative thinker with strong analytical skills, curiosity and an interest in expanding his/her knowledge in the areas relevant for WTS success.
  • Detail oriented, values quality and excellence;
  • Excellent writing and presenting skills, a confident communicator.


   How to Apply


Want to join our team?
Tell us why you would make a great addition by emailing your application together with your CV to [email protected] by 21st July 2016.
Please note only successful applicants will be contacted.