Job opportunity: Research Programme Manager for Futures Programme

SAIIA seeks to appoint a Research Programme Manager for the SAIIA Futures Programme.

The SAIIA Futures Programme builds African foresight and innovation capacity to anticipate and prepare for major political, economic, social, security, technological and environmental disruptors facing the SADC region by discovering new possibilities for systemic innovation and anticipatory governance; and by assisting policymakers, the business community and civil society to deal with strategic risks and leverage emerging opportunities for meeting development goals. This position is based in Cape Town; however, regular regional and international travel is anticipated.

Research Programme Manager – Futures Programme (RPMSFP0621) Cape Town (Oneyear contract) R360k-R500k p.a.


  • Managing day-to-day activities from stakeholder engagement and project implementation to providing key contextual insights to ensure overall programme success.
  • Supporting lead researchers with review of research outputs, verifying evidence-based research practice and research methodologies to ensure knowledge management and learning.
  • Lead on research programme development, and manage the development of plans, systems, processes and procedures for the efficient implementation of research.
  • Create synergy and collaboration between the Futures Programme and the work of other SAIIA programmes at the national, continental and international levels.
  • Manage budgeting and finances for the Research Programme in collaboration with the SAIIA Finance Team and Office Manager.
  • Oversee timely implementation of projects and regularly ensure the feedback of results, impacts and learning through several reporting mechanisms including (internal and external reporting) covering overall progress, progress against outputs, main activities and outputs for the next period, budget, spend and forecast, and risks.
  • Creating and developing commissioning contracts and periodically reviewing agreements with project and consortium partners.
  • Representing SAIIA in relevant stakeholder networks, technical working groups, and SAIIA’s Research Focus and delivering evidence–based policy messages.
  • Developing and coordinating grant funding applications through proposal writing, business pursuit, resourcing and leading on funder engagement to ensure SAIIA is aware of, and well-placed to apply for funding opportunities.
  • Manage learning, monitoring and evaluation (LME) and the mainstreaming of gender and social inclusion (GESI) within the research programme.
  • Supporting research programme output coordination with SAIIA publications, events and communications teams to design impactful dissemination of research that inform innovative interventions, generate knowledge, shape public discourse, influence policy, hold states and institutions accountable. Developing Stakeholder Engagement and Communication Plans according to funder requirements and the SAIIA Futures Thematic Research Areas, or areas of policy influence.


  • Content expertise relating to SAIIA Futures Programme research themes: strategic foresight, systems change and systemic innovation, anticipatory governance applied to climate change/green economy/ sustainability transitions, development, economic diplomacy, foreign policy and governance.
  • At least a master’s degree in sustainable development, economics, environmental studies, futures studies, international and community development, business development, a related field, or equivalent.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in working in related development projects, of which at least 2 years in a managing role.
  • 3 years’ research programme and project management experience: planning, leading, and managing people, risk management, monitoring. reporting and control.
  • Experience in fundraising and financial management of budgets, with strong MS Word and Excel Skills.

Candidates for this position should submit a cover letter stating why they are the best choice for this position and quoting clearly the reference number of the position that they are applying for. They should include a comprehensive CV together with the names of three referees with their contact details and forward these to Shannon Gard:

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview. For more information on SAIIA and its research agenda, please visit Applications close on Monday, 12 July 2021. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Preference will be given to South African Citizens and Employment Equity candidates. SAIIA reserves the right not to make an appointment