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Senior Research Manager at Development Media International

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary: 00

Development Media International

Reports to: Country Manager

Responsible for: N/A

Start date: Jan/Feb 2024

Term: Full time, initially 12-month contract, with extension expected but dependent on continued funding being secured

Based in: Lilongwe, Malawi with regular national and occasional international travel

Salary: £22,000-26,000 per annum dependent on experience, plus health insurance

Application deadline: Sunday 3rd December

Date of first round interview:  WB 11th December


About DMI

Development Media International (DMI) delivers media campaigns aimed at changing behaviours, promoting health and saving lives in developing countries. We are the first organisation to scientifically demonstrate that mass media can increase life-saving behaviours (see the results of our RCT that proved our interventions can save thousands of children’s lives, here).


DMI has two priorities: first, to continue to generate ground-breaking research, second, to take our proven strategies to scale, saving as many lives as possible. We work across a range of health issues, including child survival, reproductive health, nutrition, hygiene, and early childhood development. DMI works in close partnership with leading experts in health, including WHO, UNICEF and LSHTM and has been funded by some of the world’s most prestigious organisations including Wellcome, DFID, Comic Relief, the Global Innovation Fund, Unorthodox Philanthropy, and the Mulago Foundation.


We are an innovative and rapidly growing organisation, working at the nexus between science and creativity. DMI has demonstrated that knowledge is not only a human right but is also the key to saving lives in a cost-effective way. Our intellectual rigour, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn from both our successes and mistakes, makes us distinct. Our ethos is non-hierarchical: all our staff are intellectually high-powered, and we have a “best idea wins” culture. By working at DMI you will have a genuine, measurable impact on improving lives in low-income countries.

DMI has a permanent presence in Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania and also currently works in Malawi, Mauritania, Uganda, and Zambia. DMI’s headquarters is in London and provides the strategic direction for the whole organisation.


DMI is ranked as one of the most cost-effective non-profit organisations in the world by The Life You Can Save.


Job Description

DMI is seeking an experienced researcher to join our growing team in Malawi. The Senior Research Manager role will include the following responsibilities:


Conducting qualitative research, usually via focus group discussions, on social and behaviour change communication campaigns (formative research, pretesting campaign materials, and feedback research) in Malawi on various public health topics. For the initial contract period this will likely be limited to early childhood stimulation, but DMI hopes to expand its presence a range of projects in the future. In all cases you will be working in collaboration with relevant technical staff s at DMI UK
Working with DMI’s technical staff to help them understand the local context and ensure that all campaign materials accurately represent local culture and address key barriers to behaviour change
Establishing strong working relationships with relevant government authorities and liaising with them as required, for example for the acquisition of routinely collected data for topics of interest from the Malawian Ministry of Health
Concisely synthesizing data and writing research reports in English, as well as preparing briefing notes on topics related to health behaviours in accordance with evidence-based literature reviews and departmental guidelines and policies
Planning and coordinating research trips under the supervision of the DMI Malawi Country Manager
Other tasks as required


Person specification

Required knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Strong intellectual ability as evidenced by professional experience in applied research (minimum three years) relating to public health, social sciences, or a related discipline.
  • Experience in reviewing literature and writing summaries of key findings.
  • Experience of conducting quantitative research including study design, data collection, piloting survey instruments, managing and training research assistants, analysis and report writing.
  • High capacity for work, shown by the ability to cope with multiple concurrent professional priorities and tight deadlines. This will require strong organisational skills but also the flexibility to understand the pressures, uncertainties, and difficulties of working in an international development context.
  • Professional proficiency in English (written and spoken)
    Willingness and ability to take the initiative to identify problems and propose and implement solutions.
  • Self-motivated with good time-management skills, an ability to plan, manage and prioritise a varied workload, with an eye for detail and a concern for accuracy, together with the ability to keep sight of the broader picture.

Desirable knowledge, skills and experience:

  • PhD or Masters degree in epidemiology, public health, social sciences, or a related discipline.
  • Experience of analysing quantitative data.
  • Previous experience working on SBC projects or with the media, or on projects related to early childhood development

DMI is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnerships.

DMI operates a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and is committed to the protection and safeguarding of vulnerable individuals. Where appropriate, successful candidates will undergo background and reference checks. All DMI employees will be required to self-declare prior issues of sexual or other misconduct, termination of past employment, criminal records, and concerns registered with government authorities regarding contact with children.

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