Data Scientist/Statistician - Food and Nutrition Systems


Welcome to Scofield Associates, your premier research partner in the Horn of Africa. With a steadfast commitment to excellence, we have established ourselves as a leading research firm operating across nine countries in this dynamic and diverse region. Our extensive presence allows us to provide unparalleled insights and comprehensive analysis, tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients. Our expertise spans various sectors, including governance, development, security, and public policy. We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality, evidence-based research that informs decision-making and fosters positive change.

Operating in nine countries across the Horn of Africa, Scofield Associates is strategically positioned to capture the region’s complex realities. Our extensive network and local knowledge enable us to conduct thorough research and provide valuable insights that reflect the nuanced contexts of each country. This broad reach ensures that we remain at the forefront of developments in the region, offering our clients the most relevant and up-to-date information.

At Scofield Associates, we offer a wide range of research services designed to meet the diverse needs of our clients. These include Qualitative and Quantitative Research, Policy Analysis and Development, Program Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Organization Capacity Assessment, and Big Data Analytics. We employ robust methodologies to gather and analyze data, assist policymakers with evidence-based recommendations, assess the impact and effectiveness of development initiatives, provide training and support to local institutions, and harness the power of big data for comprehensive insights.

Scofield Associates will be submitting a proposal as an evaluation partner for the Food Security and Nutrition Needs Program. The evaluation partner will play the role of a thought partner, through the life of the programme (4-5 years), providing leadership on best practices for rigorous evaluations of complex multi-country projects while considering the evaluation approaches, contextual realities, and programmatic experiences in the upcoming program. The program’s goal will be:

To improve food security and contribute to the reduction of malnutrition of at least 5 million women of reproductive age and children in Benin, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Mozambique.

The program will also include two strategic objectives:

  1. increase access to and consumption of healthy diets.
  2. increase the resilience of nutritional situations to price and climate change-related shocks and stresses of household members across the six countries, with a focus on women of reproductive age and children.

To this end, Scofield Associates is looking for International Consultants with specialities in data science, statistics and analytics. Some experience working with food and nutrition systems in the horn of Africa will be an added advantage. These consultants should have worked in either Benin, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, or Mozambique.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Consultant will support Scofield Associates as the research partner of the program throughout the life of the program. This will include the assessments and evaluations for program impact on food security and nutrition in the six (Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, & Uganda) countries identified for the project.

Scope of Work:

The Food and Nutrition Security Consultant will work closely and report Scofield Associates Director. In detail, the Consultant, with the support of the Director, will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Statistical analysis and predictive modelling. Own process end-to-end: implement statistical methods and build, train, and deploy predictive models to solve problems in cash delivery utilizing code (e.g., Python, R). Current priorities:
  • Targeting. Implement and improve existing machine learning algorithms predicting food security gaps and levels from call-detail records (CDR) and geospatial data. (Additional data areas will also be analysed during the period of the project).
  • Risk prediction. Develop new risk prediction models that help in program cause correction and design to ensure that target recipients and communities are safe.
  • Support data quality assurance. Work with the Senior Data Architect to design processes that ensure key metrics, models, and analysis are built on high-quality data during the program evaluation period.
  • Communication. Collaborate with leaders throughout the organization to define data product requirements, educate them about solutions, and make recommendations.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling international values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of Scofield Associates.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Technical Competencies:

  • Analytic capacity and demonstrated ability to process, analyze and synthesize complex technical information.
  • Ability to summarize complex information.
  • Proven experience in the developing country context and working in different cultural settings.


  • Communicate effectively in writing to a varied and broad audience in a simple and concise manner.


  • Capable of working in a high-pressure environment with sharp and frequent deadlines, managing many tasks simultaneously.
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills.
  • Frame a testable question from ambiguous requirements.
  • Gather, clean, and manipulate the required data.
  • Deliver answers that directly inform important decisions.


  • Projects a positive image and is ready to take on a wide range of tasks.
  • Focuses on results for the client.
  • Welcomes constructive feedback.


  • Bachelor’s degree in a STEM or other quantitative field
  • Advanced degree in a STEM or other quantitative field
  • Experience analysing, geospatial (e.g., ArcGIS or Python geospatial stack), and/or social network data
  • Experience developing an end-to-end machine learning pipeline with a scalable ML framework (TensorFlow, Torch, H2O, Spark MLib, sci-kit-learn)
  • Familiarity with cloud-based solutions (AWS, GCP etc.) and setting up on-prem solutions for storing and processing large, terabyte-scale, datasets
  • Familiarity with poverty measurement methodologies – e.g., geographic poverty, poverty proxies, common administrative data sources, household survey data
  • Experience building dashboards and visualizations, preferably in Tableau
  • Experience mentoring and developing teams of Data Scientists.

Required Skills and Experience:


  • Minimum 5 years of experience in development issues and projects in Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, & Uganda.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in evaluation, research, writing, communication, and developing communication products, especially project proposal.
  • 5+ years experience working with data querying languages (e.g., SQL) and statistical modelling software (e.g., Python, R)
  • 5+ years experience as a Data Scientist or related position applying statistical and/or machine learning (ML) techniques, with a deep understanding of the key parameters that affect their performance
  • Deep understanding of ML algorithms – ability to apply the appropriate methods, as well as benchmark and diagnose predictions to rapidly improve performance
  • Proficient in spark, dask, and/or other packages for distributed computing
  • Ability to travel and deploy to international, on-premises locations for up to 1 month at a time
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in working with international organizations and national governments in the horn of Africa.
  • Strong evaluation, research, communications and writing skills.
  • Experience in communication and developing communication products is essential.
  • Experience in evaluation research and report and partnership with international organizations and national governments.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Knowledge of French is an added advantage.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants must submit the following to [email protected]

  • Curriculum vitae that includes references and publication list
  • Cover letter (2 pages max explanation on how to deliver on this task).
  • Daily rate payment expectations in USD.

The deadline for submission of the application is on December 1st, 2022, at 1700 hrs GMT+3.