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Short-term Consultant: Information Ecosystem Analysis Lead Researcher, Zambia

Status: Open

Deadline: Ongoing

Internews seeks to employ a consultant to lead research on the state of Freedom of Expression in Zambia for the USAID-funded INSPIRES project. In coordination with the INSPIRES team, the lead researcher will lead the design and implementation of this research. The ideal candidate should have the flexibility to coordinate certain field research activities online or remotely in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.


Internews is leading a seven-member consortium to implement the Enabling and Protecting Civic Space (EPCS) INSPIRES project. INSPIRES will increase knowledge and capacity to respond to growing restrictions on democratic freedoms of association, assembly, and expression. With civic space rapidly shifting around the globe, faster and more potent interventions are critical for bolstering local civil societies.


The IEA is an Internews methodology based on a multi-phase and human-centered approach to developing a deep understanding of how people and communities in the project’s target geographic areas find, share, value, and trust information in their own local contexts.

The IEA will be geared to:

  • Provide USAID Zambia with granular insight into the state of Freedom of Expression in Zambia;
  •  Identify threats to and constraints on freedom of expression from the vantage point of citizens and media practitioners; and
  • Understand the extent to which the most widely used and best trusted media in the country needs support to hold open the democratic space that freedom of expression creates and sustains.

Three potential areas of focus for this IEA include: 1) Local Information Ecosystem-Sources, Trust and Influence, 2) Harnessing Social Media for Traditional Media Enhancement and 3) Freedom of Expressions – Perceptions and Impact. Specific locations of interest are Lukasa, Kitwe, and two additional locations for a total of four. Final selection of locations will be based on where we see any concentration of media with which USAID already has relationships.

The duration of this IEA is expected to be three months, phased over a supply-side media landscape research phase, and a demand-side field research phase.

The consultant will conduct the research and assemble the local research team. They will review and finalize the research design in collaboration with Internews staff and the consortium members of the INSPIRES project, conduct desk research on the information landscape (supply side), and complement desk research with qualitative field research techniques and case studies. The design of the field-based research will be contingent upon COVID-19 risk. Based on this research, Internews will work with journalists, content providers, scientists, government officials and other stakeholders to develop clear recommendations for project programming.


  • Review Internews’ qualitative research methodology and other documents relevant to the Information Ecosystem Analysis (IEA);
  • Interface with the IEA advising team on methodology training and ongoing guidance;
  • Provide revised qualitative research methodology according to own expertise, incorporating security and access considerations relevant to the Zambian context;
  • Assemble the local research team;
  • Lead and oversee all desk research and field data collection in collaboration with the Internews INSPIRES team and IEA advisors, local partner, and wider INSPIRES consortium project team;
  • Provide preliminary findings of the IEA to Internews and the INSPIRES consortium by agreed deadline;
  • Submit a draft report to INSPIRES Chief of Party and INSPIRES Program Associate for review by agreed deadline and revise the report according to feedback; and
  • Submit final report to INSPIRES Chief of Party and INSPIRES Program Associate by agreed deadline.


  • Based in Zambia OR with extensive network base in Zambia
  • Fluency in English required – final report will be delivered in English
  • Relevant university degree, preferably with a focus on monitoring and evaluation and research studies
  • Experience in quantitative and particularly qualitative data collection/survey design, implementation, and analysis
  • Competent in qualitative methodologies and participatory assessments
  • Competent in MS Excel, word processing, PowerPoint, with experience using statistical programs such as SPSS
  • Experience working in Zambia; familiarity with Zambian freedom of expression issues
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills and cultural sensitivity, including the ability to forge strong relationships and build trust, demonstrated through previous experience
  • Strong team management, presentation, writing and communication skills
  • Ability to manage up, coordinating proactively and efficiently with senior management
  • Report writing experience
  • Ability to work discreetly and securely
  • Understanding of and demonstrated commitment to upholding Internews’ Core Values

Please, apply here.

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