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Job Opening: Technical Coordinator


Job Title: Technical Coordinator
Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Organisation: International Growth Centre (IGC) and Local Government Revenue Initiative (LoGRI)
Reporting to: Sierra Leone Project Lead and Technical Lead

We are looking to recruit a technical coordinator focused on leading property tax reform programmes in Sierra Leone. The successful applicant will join programs that have been widely celebrated internationally as a model for effective property tax reform, with an opportunity to contribute to, and learn from, those innovative programs.

The technical coordinator will join an existing team supporting property tax reforms in the capital of Freetown and other municipalities in Sierra Leone. In Freetown and Kenema City, the work involves guiding the sustainability of reforms that have already been implemented. The work also includes introducing similar reforms focused on fairness and accountability in other municipalities in Sierra Leone.

The technical coordinator will be the in-country technical point person for projects involving property identification, valuation, property database creation, and IT tools used by the reform team. The coordinator will also provide technical training and coordinate technical support to the local councils and relevant government offices. The role will report to the Project Lead in Sierra Leone; to the Technical Lead for the project, based internationally; and to leadership of the IGC in Sierra Leone.

More specifically, the technical coordinator will devote the bulk of their time to:

  • Coordinating a city-wide property mapping and property data collection exercise in a city in Sierra Leone. The goal is to build a comprehensive GIS database with the location and rooftop area of all properties in the city using aerial imagery. The coordinator will also lead enumerators in a field collection of property features.
  • Work with local valuers to collect sample data on property values, which will be used with property features to create a model for estimating property values.
  • Work closely with the broader team in Sierra Leone to collaborate with local councils to help them to independently print and deliver tax bills, maintain an appeals system, monitor their database for inappropriate behaviour, and analyse payment data.
  • While technical ability is important, a successful applicant will also be an effective manager who can plan and manage logistics.

The position is expected to last at least until March 2025, with a high likelihood of extension in Sierra Leone, or opportunities for similar work elsewhere in Africa.

About LoGRI
Cities in the Global South need significant revenue to build infrastructure and provide local services. However, efforts to collect taxes, particularly on property, are often ineffective and inequitable.

  • LoGRI supports governments in raising local revenue more fairly and in ways that promote trust, transparency, and accountability. We do this by
  • Partnering with governments to provide hands-on support and advice
  • Conducting collaborative, applied research to inform reform projects
  • Developing operational tools, including technology solutions
  • Delivering skills training to develop local capacity

We also engage with regional and international stakeholders on local revenue issues, to share insights and shape policy.

About the IGC
We are a global research centre with a network of world-leading researchers, country teams across Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East, and a set of global policy initiatives. Based at LSE and in partnership with the University of Oxford, we are majority funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The aim of the IGC’s cities research is to harness the positive aspects of density, such as innovation and interaction between people and firms, while reducing its downsides of pollution, traffic, and disease. Within cities, the IGC works in firms and employment; housing, crime, and urban public services; municipal finance and urban governance; and urban land and transport. The first area of research is answering whether cities actually improve the productivity and welfare of people, particularly poor residents, and what can be done to increase economic opportunities for the poor. Our second area of research is on how city policies can effectively combat city-specific negative outcomes, such as traffic congestion, low housing supply, and disease. Finally, we provide quantitative and spatial models of cities to inform land use and transportation policy in developing cities.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Organise and lead large-scale data collection, with large (80+) teams of enumerators and >50,000 individual property surveys
  • Develop and implement data quality assurance measures to ensure the accuracy and completeness of data
  • Collect, analyse, and interpret data from various sources, including surveys, geospatial data, administrative data, and other relevant sources.
  • Advise policymakers and reform processes directly with data-driven evidence
  • Perform data modelling to support program and policy development
  • Prepare data visualisations, reports, and presentations to communicate findings to stakeholders
  • Support the development of research proposals and project evaluation plans, including the selection of appropriate data collection methods and sampling strategies
  • Maintain data management systems and ensure that data is properly stored and secured, in line with ethical standards and data privacy regulations
  • Design digital surveys carried out on mobile devices
  • Support capacity building efforts related to data analysis and management
  • Strengthen key aspects of reformed property tax systems, including registering and valuing new properties, continued updating of the IT system and developing technical guidelines and resources to support sustainability
  • Supervise GIS technicians measuring property dimensions
  • Support the technical lead in building valuation models based on the data collected

Qualifications, Experience and Skills

The successful candidate will have:

  • An MA/MSc/MPA/MPP degree in fields relating to economics, public administration, public financial management, taxation, or public policy, with a focus on lower-income countries. An acceptable equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.
  • At least 1 year of experience living and/or working in lower-income countries (particularly Africa and/or South Asia).
  • Open to candidates of all nationalities
  • Experience managing programmes and projects in collaboration with local partners and stakeholders.
  • Experience with data collection software (e.g., ODK, SurveyCTO)
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Proficiency in statistical software (e.g., Stata, R) and data visualisation tools (e.g., Tableau, Power BI)
  • Experience with GIS software (e.g., QGIS, ArcGIS)
  • Experience with data cleaning, manipulation, and merging
  • Additional useful skills: Database management (e.g., SQL) and code collaboration tools (e.g., GitHub)
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team environment, including under pressure
  • Experience engaging with policymakers and civil servants
  • “Big picture” thinking and looking for opportunities
  • Welcomes complex challenges
  • Fluent in English
  • Clear communication with the broader national and international teams about the project, progress and priorities
  • Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, able to work diplomatically in governmental settings and able to manage sensitive relationships with partners and government authorities.
  • Able to travel for periods of time (weeks) in various cities in Sierra Leone

To apply, please email your CV, cover letter, and an example of work in Stata or R (optional) to evan.trowbridge@utoronto.ca. Please include the name of the position in the subject line of your email. The application deadline is June 3, 2024.