Digital and Data Manager

Job type: Initially one year fixed contract, from June 2020
Location: London, UK or Accra, Ghana (other countries in sub-Saharan Africa considered)
Salary: Competitive
Hours of work: Full time
Travel: 25%
Reporting to: Head of Research and Insight
Direct Reports: None

ESSA Job offer: Digital and Data Manager

Job details

Please note the deadline for this role has been extended from 30th March to 6th April, and the first round interviews will now be held during the first week of May.

ESSA - Education Sub Saharan Africa is a charity established in May 2016. Our vision is to transform education: increasing employment for young people in sub-Saharan Africa.

We bring together a network of young people, educators and decision-makers. Together we use evidence to improve the tertiary education system, equipping millions of young people in sub-Saharan Africa with the skills for work.

Our team is small but driven, working remotely in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. To find out more about our work, read our Impact Report.

The Digital and Data Manager is an exciting new position within the ESSA team, leading on the creation of a digital platform and digital solutions that will bring research to life and connect virtual communities of policy-makers, funders, employers, young people and educators.

The platform will ensure that data and evidence are used to support the needs of those seeking to improve tertiary education in sub-Saharan Africa. Reporting to the Head of Research, the successful applicant will work alongside the Communications Manager to deliver on the digital elements of the communications and research strategies.

Main Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the Communications Manager to undertake user research to design a digital platform that enables the effective use of data and evidence and incorporates ESSA’s existing digital assets (including ESSA' African Education Research Database and African Scholarships Hub, which is an online database matching students in sub-Saharan Africa with scholarship opportunities launching in the coming months). 

  • Using data insights and user research, identify digital product requirements and oversee the development and rollout in collaboration with digital agencies, taking a minimum viable product approach.

  • Oversee and coordinate the development of the ESSA website, ensuring work is well planned, carried out on time and on budget, and considers the long-term health and development of the website (SEO, CMS, hosting, some technical support, etc).

  • Manage all day-to-day development for the website, working with the Communications Manager to upload relevant content for our audiences and ensure it is used across our digital channels.

  • Lead the development of any new functions or digital products that may arise.

  • Carry out user testing of digital tools to ensure they meet the needs and expectations of the audience.

  • Ensure all digital platforms, products and solutions fit into ESSA’s communications strategy, led by the Communications Manager.

  • Using ESSA’s existing data from historic research projects to produce relevant data-driven content for the platform.

  • Contribute data analysis and visualisation for new ESSA projects.

Person Specification


  • Able to understand diverse needs: significant experience of researching, designing and delivering successful user-focused digital products and web platforms for a project or organisation.

  • Strong understanding and relevant experience of user-testing for digital products.

  • Significant experience of working with an organisation, programme or project, involving multiple partners and stakeholders.

  • Ability to design digital solutions to meet the needs of different audiences, particularly policy audiences.

  • Experience of managing and analysing data sets.

  • Ability to produce compelling data visualisations.

  • Excellent knowledge of social media, digital platforms, web content best practice and writing for the web.

  • Adept at using analytic tools to monitor and improve digital performance.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills including the ability to liaise and communicate with colleagues at all levels of seniority and from different cultures.

  • Strong communication, able to act as the interface between technical developers ad the rest of the team.

  • Experience of briefing and managing relationships with external agencies and freelancers.

  • Strong organisational skills and the ability to manage and prioritise tasks under pressure.

  • Ability to quickly pick up new software and tools; a willingness to learn new skills.

  • Strong IT skills, with excellent knowledge and experience of Microsoft Office applications.

  • Fluent written and spoken English.

  • Most importantly as a representative of ESSA, the person should be a team player with the ability to strike conversations and be respectful of diversities. You should be independent, creative, sincere and possess a powerful drive to pursue responsible data management systems.


  • Previous experience as a digital service owner accountable for multiple products and channels.

  • Understanding of/interest in technology in education and international development.

  • Familiarity, interest and some understanding of agile programmes and adaptive management.

  • Experience of using Office 365 for collaborative working.

  • Experience working in (or working with partners in) a low-income country.

  • Experience of working in the non-profit sector.



This position is on a one-year fixed contract with the option to be renewed. The contract of employment will be based on the requirements of Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. There will be a probationary period of three months.

Reporting and communication lines

The position reports to the Head of Research, working in a unit with the Communications Manager with interaction with the entire ESSA team, including Board members.

Where is the workplace?

ESSA currently operates from a collaborative working space in London. In other locations, staff members work from home, from other collaborative working spaces, or are hosted by a partnering institution. Communication relies on telephone, video conferencing and e-mail, supplemented by physical meetings as required.

ESSA will provide all essential devices such as a laptop. Depending on the personal situation of the person appointed there is the option to use their own devices, with reimbursement of expenditure. ESSA will reimburse all reasonable expenses on a pre-agreed basis. Details will be agreed on appointment.

Start date

June 2020.

Recruitment process

Candidates will be informed if their interest is being progressed. 

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a cover letter explaining your suitability for the role along with a CV by 9 am GMT on 6th April 2020 to:

First round interviews will be held weeks commencing April 13th and April 20th

Please note the deadline for this role has been extended from 30th March to 6th April.

You can also download a PDF file of the job description here:

Digital and Data Manager Job Description