Head Of Knowledge And Evidence in Lagos, Nigeria

Financial Services
Consulting/Business Strategy & Planning
Minimum Qualification
Master's Degree
Required Experience
10 - 15 years
Employment Type
Full Time
Male or Female

Job Description

Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) is a financial sector development organisation working to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria. Established in late 2007, EFInA's vision is to be the leader in facilitating an all-inclusive and growth-promoting financial system. EFInA is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

EFInA is seeking to recruit dynamic, strategic, and committed individuals to newly defined roles to build on its current achievements and accelerate the impact of financial inclusion in Nigeria. EFInA is a rapidly growing organisation with considerable influence in the financial sector. Employment with EFInA offers an exceptional and challenging opportunity for the right candidate.


The Role
The Head of Knowledge and Evidence will provide accurate, credible and relevant market information on the Nigerian financial sector by leading the implementation of EFInA’s research activities and the interpretation of research results. In accordance with EFInA’s five year strategy, the Head of Knowledge and Evidence will ensure the successful delivery of all strategic research goals across EFInA’s core programme areas, thereby sustaining EFInA’s leadership at the cutting-edge of financial sector development in Nigeria. This will include overseeing the production and dissemination of new research; showcasing innovation; and supporting a wide range of knowledge-sharing activities in-country, regionally and internationally. It will also involve building market capacity to access and use data to spur both commercial innovation and policy reform, and bringing rigour to methods of measuring the impact of financial sector programmes.

The role demands a highly analytical and strategic thinker who is able to articulate the role of data in deepening financial inclusion. He/she will have very strong experience and capability in undertaking both qualitative and quantitative research, and will be familiar with current research trends in financial sector development. The Head of Knowledge and Evidence will draw on this background to establish, implement and continuously improve research systems and use them to effectively measure, monitor and communicate the impact of EFInA’s work.

Working closely with the Head of Programmes and Head of Innovation Funding, the Head of Knowledge and Evidence will generate and use research to identify the challenges faced by Nigeria’s unbanked and under-banked population, including any short comings in financial education; the obstacles to innovation, including regulatory hurdles; and financial institutions’ lack of capacity or capability. He/she will use these research findings to drive and support EFInA’s programme activities, stimulate product innovation in the financial sector, and provide evidence for policy reforms.

The Head of Knowledge and Evidence will be responsible for disseminating EFInA’s research to a wide audience and will ideally possess a good knowledge of EFInA’s programme areas and financial inclusion in Nigeria. He/she will have the ability and curiosity to rapidly digest new information and identify and contribute to new and emerging thinking about ways to deepen financial inclusion. He/she will use this intellectual depth to engage meaningfully with senior academics to ensure effective linkages between EFInA and the wider research community. He/she must also demonstrate the ability to present EFInA’s research data articulately and compellingly. He/she will have the gravitas, credibility and ability to proactively build and maintain both existing and new relationships with key stakeholders in academia and to manage relationships with market research firms and industry associations working on access to finance related initiatives.

The successful applicant will have a strong strategic focus, be results driven, and committed to high standards of performance. They must be comfortable with negotiating change, taking responsibility and making complex strategic and operational decisions. Highly adaptable, creative, and used to delivering results in a dynamic and fluid working environment, the Head of Knowledge and Evidence will rapidly assume a wide range of responsibilities and make decisive and tangible contributions to EFInA as soon as he/she joins the organisation.

Primary Relationships
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Department: Research
Directly supervises: Research Officers, Communications Officer
Manages external relationships with: Academics, Market Research Firms, Research Partners, Consultants, National Bureau of Statistics

Principal Responsibilities and Accountabilities
The role will include, but not be limited to the following responsibilities and accountabilities:

Management of Research Projects and Market Research Firms

  • Conceptualise and manage knowledge-based projects in line with EFInA’s strategic objectives, to maintain EFInA’s leadership at the cutting-edge of financial sector development in Nigeria
  • Establish, implement and continuously improve monitoring and evaluation systems and use them to effectively measure and communicate the impact of EFInA’s work
  • Contribute to EFInA’s ongoing strategic planning by generating and using research to identify the challenges faced by Nigeria’s unbanked and under-banked population
  • Work closely with the Head of Programmes and Head of Innovation Funding to provide relevant market information to support the development of EFInA’s programmes and strengthen the pipeline for grants
  • Prepare Terms of Reference for all research commissioned, for the CEO’s approval
  • Evaluate proposals for all research commissioned, in conjunction with the relevant Programme Manager, and make recommendations to the CEO
  • Ensure that any market research firm appointed to conduct EFInA’s research is technically competent
  • Collaborate with the Chief Operating Officer to prepare all relevant engagement contracts with appointed research firms and consultants, for the CEO’s signoff
  • Manage the relationships with appointed market research firms, research partners and relevant consultants
  • Ensure all market research firms appointed adhere to research protocols, maintain high quality standards, and meet agreed objectives within the deadlines specified
  • Monitor and provide monthly progress reports on research projects against agreed timelines and milestones
  • Actively liaise with market research firms, conduct quality assurance of their fieldwork, and ensure adherence to agreed data collection methodology
  • On completion of each research project, review and finalise the report (prepared by the Research Officer) on the assessment of the market research firm. The report should cover the entire research cycle – i.e. evaluation of the methodology used, the data collection process, quality control issues, data processing, data management and the quality of the report
  • Ensure that all procurement, management and evaluation of research contracts is carried out in compliance with EFInA’s related policies and procedures
  • Review and finalise the quarterly progress reports prepared by the Research Team

Management and Coordination of EFInA’s Specialised Surveys and Scoping Studies

  • Lead the implementation of all EFInA’s specialised surveys and studies in line with the organisation’s five year strategy
  • Manage and approve desk research and literature reviews conducted by Research Officers
  • Approve the methodology for any qualitative and quantitative research
  • Prioritise and manage EFInA’s various research projects, ensuring that they are delivered to high quality standards by the specified deadline

Data Interpretation

  • Provide robust analysis of the data/results of EFInA surveys and scoping studies conducted, ensuring interpretation is accurate
  • Manage Research Officers to ensure that reports received from market research firms are finalised and are compelling
  • Synthesise learnings from research findings of EFInA surveys and scoping studies conducted and draw implications and/or conclusions that are actionable, impactful and accessible to stakeholders, in the form of policy/strategy/technical notes
  • Review and finalise the reports (prepared by the Research Officers) for all customised requests received for analysis on the data from the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria surveys
  • Provide insightful and meaningful data to the Head of Programmes and Head of Innovation Funding to support the evaluation of proposals received

Dissemination of EFInA’s Research

  • Ensure effective thought leadership and dissemination of all research undertaken by EFInA
  • Represent EFInA at public events and in public communications, as directed by the CEO
  • Lead the Communications Officer in developing and successfully implementing an imaginative communications strategy, in line with EFInA’s five year strategy, to distil and disseminate EFInA’s primary research to relevant stakeholders and a wider audience. This will include proposing the appropriate dissemination strategy for all research commissioned and presenting research findings in a compelling and informative manner, e.g. writing reports, producing brochures, contributing to research publications, etc., for the CEO’s sign-off

Develop and Maintain Linkages to the Wider Research Community

  • Continuously cultivate and maintain active relationships with external stakeholders including academia, market research firms and industry associations working on access to finance related initiatives
  • Maintain relationships with major research players in financial sector development and keep abreast of access to finance related research in Nigeria as well as in other relevant jurisdictions
  • Contribute to the development of the financial sector and EFInA’s position as a thought leader within it, by writing and publishing papers on key programme areas

Staff Development
For all staff directly reporting to this position:

  • Lead, coach, and mentor the Research and Communications team to ensure customer focus and high standards of delivery
  • Ensure that any output from the Research and Communications team meets EFInA’s high standards of delivery
  • Develop a learning culture by sharing best practices and successes between the Research Department and different parts of the organisation
  • Identify and provide ongoing formal/informal capacity development opportunities
  • Monitor, manage and report on the performance including setting monthly performance objectives and timelines, as reflected in their annual job plan
  • Conduct monthly reviews
  • Conduct annual performance appraisals and ensure that their annual job plans are complete

Additional Responsibilities

  • Take responsibility for own continuous professional development by proactively identifying and participating in formal/informal learning opportunities
  • Ensure that EFInA’s Total Quality Management systems are embedded across all activities undertaken in the Research Department, to create an environment in which all team members are committed to maintaining high standards of work in every aspect of EFInA’s operations
  • Identify and take actions to mitigate any risks associated with the Research function
  • Perform any other duties as may be assigned by the CEO


Job Competencies and Capabilities
Qualifications & Experience


  • Master's degree in Statistics, Economics, Anthropology, International Development, Public Policy or related field, from a reputable institution
  • Minimum of ten years’ work experience at a senior level in a large private sector or academic research environment
  • Minimum of seven years’ experience in undertaking social research and managing research firms or departments, and the ability to conduct statistical modelling
  • Strong experience/capability in directing large national surveys and research projects and knowledge of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods with extensive experience in:
    • Conducting fieldwork such as in-depth interviews and focus group discussions
    • Designing research guides, survey tools and questionnaires
    • Developing analysis frameworks
    • Research and survey administration, data management and data analysis
  • Track record of publishing papers and articles
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of research trends in financial sector development
  • Strong understanding of the different approaches for measuring and evaluating impact
  • Demonstrated experience in a complex or pioneering environment and of managing or facilitating change
  • Supervision and leadership experience
  • Strong relationship management experience with the ability to effectively engage with a diverse range of senior stakeholders, both in the private and public sectors


  • Knowledge/experience in the financial sector and/or financial inclusion
  • Familiarity with major Nigerian players in financial sector development research (research institutions, funders, etc.)
  • Project management experience with relevant certification
  • Knowledge of and experience using a wide range of dissemination tools
  • Experience in one or more of EFInA’s strategic areas


  • Inspires and leads teams to achieve results and high standards of excellence
  • Demonstrated ability to drive continuous improvement in processes and systems
  • Works well independently and as part of a team
  • Highly numerate, with excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Proven ability to produce concise, well-structured and very high quality reports and presentations
  • Ability to interpret and analyse large amounts of information and data
  • Very high level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to use data to prepare presentations that effectively communicate key messages
  • Strong public speaking skills
  • Effective influencing and relationship building skills, including at senior levels
  • Strong competency in using statistical software such as SPSS, Stata, etc.
  • Advanced level competency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Access
  • Fluency in other languages desirable

Personal Qualities

  • Commitment to the financial inclusion agenda
  • Energetic leader with a strong vision and passionate commitment for EFInA’s strategic objectives, who will drive sectorial changes
  • Strategic thinker who keeps abreast of international trends in research
  • Gravitas, credibility and ability to initiate and develop strategic partnerships and alliances
  • Driven and a self-starter
  • Highly organised and efficient; able to multi-task effectively and prioritise work based on minimal direction and multiple competing priorities
  • Works well under pressure and meets deadlines
  • Can-do approach
  • Innovative
  • Committed to delivering high quality results, with cost-effective use of resources
  • Proactive with high levels of initiative
  • Enterprising attitude that is quick to search out alternative solutions to needs or problems
  • Positive, flexible, supportive attitude to work
  • Exhibits a helpful behaviour beyond strict job requirements
  • Discreet and respects confidentiality
  • Integrity and high personal ethical standards
  • Confident
  • Resilient

Remuneration: Competitive

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