Employment Opportunity - dLab Senior Data Science Advisor

Job Title: dLab Senior Data Science Advisor

Contract: Flexible

Reports to: dLab Managing Director

Duration: 1 Year renewable contingent on funding

Location: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; the position is open for Tanzanian nationals only

Direct reports: Data Science Team

Project Background

The Data Collaboratives for Local Impact (DCLI) program was launched in April 2015 with funding from President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), with oversight by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). DCLI projects are strengthening the availability and use of data to improve lives and empower citizens to hold governments and donors more accountable for results. The program aligns with broader U.S. government efforts to maximize the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance and with the Global Data Partnership’s efforts to promote data collaboration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Tanzania Data Lab (dLab) is the first of three projects underway in Tanzania, and is the first of its kind in Tanzania. The dLab project is being implemented by the University of Dar es Salaam University Computing Centre (UDSM UCC), in partnership with international experts from SBC4D of France, Open Data Institute of UK, and IntraHealth of USA.

The dLab is an innovative centre of data-driven activity and an open, collaborative working space, connecting the data revolution to Tanzanian priorities, global development commitments, and diverse programs and investments.  It serves as an anchor for the DCLI program, enabling data analysis and use to become more prominent in decision making in Tanzania.

dLab activities include training in data literacy and analysis, focused content-area data analytics, and the development of “use cases” to showcase how data can be used to improve lives. The dLab is supporting the development of a national data roadmap, assisting the country to monitor progress toward meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the National Five Year Plan.

Senior Data Science Advisor Position Description

The dLab is looking for a dynamic, innovative and seasoned data scientist who can transcend the boundaries that exist between statistics and stories. We are looking for an advisor who can direct activities and raise awareness nationally, regionally and globally on how data / open data is making an impact and assist the team at dLab in publishing data related stories, surface emerging impacts and drive engagement with other stakeholders who are making use of data for local impact. 

As the senior data science advisor, you will be responsible for the strategic steering and engagement of the data science team within the lab and will also act as a primary source for identifying and establishing partnerships and alliances with other partners working on data / open data projects and products in Tanzania.. You will support and guide the team in the design and implementation of a range of data and innovation projects in Tanzania.  As an advisor, you will be expected to represent the lab at key forums and ensure that the data science team is informed about the new developments in this space. You should be comfortable working in a start-up environment and develop a rapid understanding of the activities of the individual program pillars. The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following key attributes:

  • Ability to be part of an organizational culture that values innovation, collaboration, accountability, and excellence.
  • Drive and capacity to inspire a team of highly talented and diverse professionals working on projects across sectors and ambitious goals with an aim of producing world class products with long-term outcomes.
  • Outstanding communication skills, and ability to convey vision successfully to technical and non-technical audiences alike.
  • Curiosity, and a drive to improve the lives of others through meaningful data analysis in diverse fields such as health, economic growth, and other areas.
  • Strong data science, mathematics, statistics, computer science, or engineering background and project management experience.

Key Activities:

  • Ensure effective implementation of the dLab data science workplan in line with the project objectives while adhering to strict delivery timelines. Guide and supervise staff on the design, implementation and evaluation of projects. Discuss and take on suggestions from project stakeholders on a regular basis in coordination with the management team.
  • Set clear objectives and proactively identify and address project requirements in coordination with the dLab Managing Director. Assist, or if necessary take the lead, in the identification, development and implementation of projects.
  • Identify key areas of improvement and ensure that the team is adequately equipped to deliver the project outputs, and if need be rapidly developing capacity within – or source from outside to ensure timely delivery.
  • Attend and contribute to external and internal team meetings, calls and other related team communication both at the programme and organizational level. Represent dLab at meetings, conferences and events and in the media [if required].
  • Mentor young professionals and produce state of the art data products that may include visualizations, analytical reports, briefing papers, project reports etc. as required.


  • At least 5 years of experience in the data science field with established credentials and proof of design and management of complex projects and coordination of multiple stakeholders with diverse priorities and interest. Ability to engage and interact with a range of partners & to build and translate requirements for the data science team. Experience in using Web­based tools for creating, sharing, and collaborating on work. Experience in facilitating workshops and trainings, ensure that the team produces high quality data products. Lead discovery processes with stakeholders to identify the product requirements and the expected outcome.
  • Plan, develop, and apply leading-edge analytic and quantitative tools and modeling techniques to help the internal team as well as external partners gain insights and improve decision-making.
  • Review internal and external analytical techniques, identify what data is available and relevant, source the necessary data. Processing, cleansing, and verifying the integrity of data used for analysis. Collaborate with the Data Science team and other team members from DCLI to develop experiments and deploy solutions.
  • Minimum 5 years relevant professional with a proven track record of leveraging analytics and large amounts of data to drive significant impact. Solid knowledge of statistical techniques. Proficiency in statistical modeling tools like SAS and R. Modeling / mining large data sets using Hadoop MapReduce, Apache Spark, is highly preferred.
  • Experience using machine learning algorithms and strong algorithmic thinking. Software development experience with Java, JSON, Python, Scala. Creation / deployment of models & algorithm to analyse unstructured data.

Education: Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, or similar quantitative discipline.

Application Process: To apply submit your CV and a cover letter of no more than one page to recruitment@dlab.or.tz including the subject line “dLab Senior Data Science Advisor” in your email. Applications sent to this email address only will be accepted. No applications sent by post will be considered.

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Important: This position is open to Tanzanian nationals only.

Application closing date: 24/02/2017