United Nations Foundation

Manager, Research and Technical Writing, DIAL

Employment Opportunity - Remote - Full Time

Position Overview 

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) aims to advance a more equitable world through a shared vision of a positive digital future. We connect people with evidence on digital tools that work for society through research, demonstrations, and advocacy. We collaborate with others to promote digital systems that hold qualities of inclusion, trust, choice, and human agency, with a particular focus on the themes of effective digital public infrastructure and strong data governance. 

Hosted within the UN Foundation in Washington, DIAL is a partnership among some of the world’s biggest digital development champions, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, among others. 

DIAL seeks an entrepreneurial, result-oriented, and experienced researcher and technical writer with 1) demonstrable expertise related to digital transformation and 2) an exemplary ability to translate technical research into compelling, actionable content.

The Research Manager shall be responsible for conducting original research, managing the quality and tone of research produced by other DIAL staff and partners, and working closely with DIAL’s communications and advocacy teams to ensure all research efforts are aligned with DIAL’s influence strategy. To the end, this role will require an individual with not only strong research skills but also detailed-oriented program management experience and a dynamic approach to communications.

Success in this role will require the Research Manager to be well-informed about trends and emerging practices related specifically to digital public infrastructure and data governance, have a strong grounding in the interplay between technology and its impact on people and society, and an ability to identify and connect with a range of DIAL audiences. This is a role with significant opportunity to work on both the most pressing questions that digital policymakers are grappling with today and frontier issues that will shape digital transformation in the years ahead.

The Research Manager and Technical Writer will report to and be supervised by the Research Director for overall guidance, work planning, and performance reviews. 

This position is based in Washington D.C. or remote.

Essential Functions

Technical Writing (50%)

  • Translate research findings into clear and compelling articles, case studies, guidance documents, and human-interest stories
  • Contribute to research team’s web presence, working closely with the DIAL communications team to ensure the key findings and relevance of each research product are succinctly and effectively communicated in written and visual form
  • Put together relevant articles on topics and issues in support of research products
  • Work with the DIAL Research Director to establish a consistent tone for DIAL’s research and work with multiple researchers/authors to align their work with the organization’s voice, in line with DIAL’s brand
  • Provide editing and technical guidance to other researchers and writers from DIAL and its partners
  • Create and manage the processes for ensuring all DIAL research is aligned with and strengthens the organization’s overall influence strategy, including providing insights and recommendations

Research Management (50%)

  • Manage research projects from initiation to completion, including defining research methodology, leading consultative processes, conducting primary and secondary research, and delivering final research products in various formats
  • Manage DIAL Research Advisors to ensure their work is aligned with DIAL’s research priorities and contributing to a cohesive body of knowledge
  • Support DIAL colleagues across the organization in defining priority lines of inquiry, defining methodology, providing technical guidance, and ensuring quality of final research outputs
  • Strategically engage with the Africa Data Leadership Initiative, GovStack, and other relevant communities of practice managed by DIAL to gather feedback and lessons learned as well as to disseminate research insights
  • Other duties as assigned

Selection Criteria 

  • Bachelor’s degree required and/or significant equivalent work experience
  • 5-7 years of relevant professional experience, with experience working across public, private, and nonprofit sectors
  • Excellent writing skills, with a proven track record of developing content that achieves desired results
  • Demonstrated interest in the interplay between digital technologies and their impact on people and society
  • Experience designing, delivering, and managing research projects
  • Awareness of trends in national digital transformation with extensive knowledge of relevant technical architecture and/or enabling environment issues related to digital public infrastructure and data governance
  • Detail-oriented and results-driven, with an analytical mind and a keenness to make decisions based on data
  • Able to work independently and as a member of a diverse, geographically distributed, cross-functional team
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, presentation, and networking skills
  • Experience working in – and able to travel periodically to -- emerging economies and sensitive to cultural and regional norms
  • Writing samples are required as part of the interview process
  • Ascribe to DIAL’s values of Commitment, Collaboration, Empowerment, Courage, and Thoughtful Action

Benefits & Compensation 

For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

  • a choice between two health plans through UnitedHealthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA)
  • dental insurance
  • vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • health club discounts
  • commuter subsidy
  • back-up care
  • employee assistance program

Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of family leave care.

The United Nations Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative-action employer. The United Nations Foundation provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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