Research Assistant (Person Specification) - Debt for Nature Swaps (D4N) in Africa


March 25, 2024

Research Assistant Person Specification

Position Title: Research Assistant

Project Focus: Debt for Nature Swaps (D4N) in Africa


The Research Assistant will work closely with the supervising senior academic (Consultant) to conduct data collection and analysis for a project examining the landscape of D4N in Africa.

The project aims to critically assess the socio-ecological and economic impacts, push and pull factors, as well as the effects on debt profiles resulting from D4N initiatives in Africa. The Research Assistant will play a key role in conducting both quantitative and qualitative research, including designing and administering questionnaires to select African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in D4N.

Qualifications and Experience:

  1.  Background: Preference will be given to candidates, resident in a sub-Saharan African country and of African descent, currently pursuing or holding a Master's or doctoral degree in a relevant field such as Environmental Studies, Development Studies, Economics, or related disciplines.
  2. Research Skills: Demonstrated experience in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies is essential. Candidates should possess the ability to design and peer-review questionnaires, as well as interpret and synthesize responses effectively.
  3. Knowledge of Debt for Nature Swaps (D4N): Familiarity with the concept of D4N and an understanding of its socio-economic and environmental implications, particularly within the African context, is highly desirable.
  4. Data Collection and Analysis: Proficiency in data collection techniques, including identifying and contacting potential respondents, disseminating questionnaires, and collecting responses in a timely manner is necessary. Experience in analyzing and synthesizing qualitative and quantitative data is advantageous.
  5. Communication Skills: Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required. The candidate should be able to draft clear and concise reports, as well as communicate effectively with stakeholders such as CSOs, NGOs, and supervising academic staff.
  6. Time Management: The ability to adhere to project timelines and deliverables is crucial. Candidates should demonstrate effective time management skills and the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  7. Collaborative Approach: A willingness to work collaboratively with the supervising senior academic and other team members is essential. The Research Assistant should be receptive to feedback and open to learning from the supervising academic.


  • Conduct literature review on Debt for Nature (D4N) swaps.
  • Design and peer-review questionnaires for data collection.
  • Identify and contact potential respondents (NGOs and CSOs) involved in D4N initiatives in Africa.
  • Disseminate questionnaires and collect responses from selected respondents.
  • Interpret and synthesize responses to incorporate findings into the project's framework.
  • Draft the report's introduction and skeletal framework.
  • Collect, interpret, and synthesize responses from questionnaires.
  • Provide drafting and research support, and other relevant assistance to the supervising senior academic throughout the project.

Remuneration and Learning Opportunities:

The Research Assistant will receive remuneration for their work on the project. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to learn from the supervising senior academic, gaining valuable insights into research methodologies, data analysis techniques, and the field of environmental and development studies.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should e-mail application package (cover letter, resume, and writing sample) to  before 11:59 GMT+3, Friday, April 5, 2024.