Head of Research Strengthening And Knowledge Mobilization


We have entered a very exciting time at the Foundation as we scale up our operations across Africa to realize our Young Africa Works strategy. Our role at the Mastercard Foundation is to be a catalyst. Our Young Africa Works strategy focuses on working with others to spur systemic change so young people have the opportunity to find work that is dignified and fulfilling.

The Foundation has opened offices in Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda, building a broader leadership presence in Africa to develop specific strategies that support youth employment.  Within a country, we work with governments, the private sector, educators and other funders to improve the quality of education and vocational training, prepare young people for the work force, expand access to financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and connect job seekers to dignified and fulfilling work.

We are ambitious and driven. Our values transcend and rise above everything else as our guide. We encourage you to bring your bold ideas, curiosity, and expertise to your work. We laugh at ourselves and with each other. We are a team. Our journey together makes our impact even more meaningful.

If you are an experienced Research Strengthening and Knowledge mobilization professional looking to increase your impact, read on!


Reporting to the Head of Research, The Head of Research Strengthening and Knowledge Mobilization under the guidance of Head of Research will drive the research and institutional strengthening and knowledge mobilization objectives of the Foundation with particular emphasis on young researchers and research institutions in Africa & the indigenous communities of Canada. S/he will lead capacity building/knowledge accompaniment programs & co-develop sustainable and viable institutional strengthening strategies. They will co-lead the development of knowledge mobilization and knowledge products to advance Foundation’s programs and the Young Africa Works Strategy. They will, working with the Head of Research and the team deliver the five-year research and knowledge development agenda and respond to immediate research strengthening, knowledge mobilization and products demands and needs of the enterprise.

The successful candidate will be based in Canada or any of our listed offices in Africa (Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria)


Work with team to deliver the design of research. systems/processes/protocols to ensure high-quality research design, implementation, and analysis.
Collaborate with S &L, Impact & Programs teams to identify and address research and institutional strengthening issues to enhance effectiveness of programs and partnerships and alignment to the YAW strategy, eleV and other functional programs.
Contribute to building a culture that encourages evidence-informed decision making.
Work with team to lead, collate, commission, and synthesize research on programmatic, strategic, Scholars & other programs’ knowledge building including the understanding of country and regional contexts to support program co-design, implementation & review processes.
Work with team to develop and ensure quality control of internal & externally commissioned research strengthening initiatives for young researchers in Africa and indigenous communities in Canada and allied institutions.
Work with Head of Research and team to develop Research Strategy & build research agenda and knowledge expertise to address long-term research and institutional strengthening initiatives in country, regional and other enterprise programs.
Seek and provide access to best-in-class external research and knowledge mobilization opportunities and initiatives.
Co-Commission research projects and other knowledge products for Foundation’s knowledge products, thought leadership and to enhance the international development field.
Work with the team to write, publish and disseminate learnings and insights on the Foundations programs to influence best practice internally and externally.
Lead the co-design and delivery of Foundation’s flagship and other knowledge products such as the Youth Voices Series and the State of Young Africa Works Reports.
Continuously explore sharing opportunities for the Foundation’s program work across all relevant audiences and stakeholders. Lead team to partner with the Programs team on proposal development and review to provide technical input into proposals.
Work with Research Team to build and strengthen the capacity of others to deliver high quality research, analysis, publications and documentation.
Work with team to provide subject matter expertise for Foundation research work.

A Master’s/MBA in global development, education, public policy or another related field is an asset.
10 to 12 years of leadership experience in social science, higher education, development and/or public policy research in non-profit organizations, international NGO’s and/or learning institutions. Experience with producing wide range of multi-media and other knowledge products.
Deep understanding of research methodologies and approaches to capacity-building and research strengthening initiatives for young researchers especially in public policy, social sciences and development in Africa.
Proven experience of effectively engaging with technical experts and institutions to build communities of practice.
Experience working with and managing research or knowledge development teams. Ability to plan and prioritize multiple enterprise-wide initiatives with varying timelines.
Demonstrated success in building and managing high performing teams with proven success.
Excellent research skills with the ability to translate findings to technical and non-technical teams.
Fluency in other languages relevant to the work; French would be desirable.
Excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
Inquisitive and enthusiastic about pursuing new avenues of knowledge mobilization &research. Open to the ideas of others and shares knowledge and insight from a place of humility.
Ability to communicate effectively with and relate to a broad range of internal stakeholders, including other senior team members, staff, and board members.
Client service mindset, always seeking ways to create impact for program teams. Commitment to the value of co-creation, employing deep listening and authentically inclusive approach.
Energetic, independent and self-motivated individual with a solution-based approach while demonstrating innovation, integrity, quality, creativity, flexibility and resilience.
Innovative and entrepreneurial individual who can develop new or creative approaches to problems while inspiring others on the team.


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About Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper.

All people, no matter where their starting point in life, should have an equal chance to succeed. We believe that with access to education, financial services, and skills training, people can have that chance.