Assistant Researcher

Reporting to: Senior Programme Officer

Location: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with frequent trips to Mali

Application closing: Open until position is filled

Fixed-Term Contract:     1 year renewable subject to funding and performance


Interpeace is an international organisation for peacebuilding that strengthens the ability of societies to manage conflict themselves in sustainable and non-violent ways. Interpeace designs and delivers its work tailored to each situation in partnership with local partners and communities, based on extensive consultation and research. Interpeace also ensures that the processes of conflict management and change that it supports are integrated at all levels of society including local communities, civil society, government and the international community (we call it a ‘Track 6’ approach).

Interpeace was originally established by the United Nations and remains its strategic partner. Beyond field-based peacebuilding, Interpeace also assists the international community – particularly the UN – to be more effective in supporting peacebuilding efforts worldwide. This includes contributing innovative thought leadership on peacebuilding policies and practices.

Interpeace is headquartered in Geneva and has offices around the world.

For more information about Interpeace, please visit

Position within the Organization

The Assistant Researcher is a member of the Programme Management Unit, which manages and implements all Interpeace’s active and ongoing programmes around the world. The Programme Management Unit is led from the Headquarters office in Geneva, although team members are based in various locations including in East and Central Africa, West Africa, Europe and the MENA region.

The Assistant Researcher reports to the Senior Programme Officer.

Purpose and General Overview

The Sikasso (Mali) and Hauts-Bassins (Burkina) regions form a complex functioning sub-territory. These areas are of special importance in terms of cross border co-operation which constitutes a force for peace and stability but also for economic and social development in the Sahel region.

Unfortunately, they are also affected by latent conflicts likely to be exploited by armed groups seeking to extend their influence from the North to the South of Mali and from the North to the South of Burkina Faso. Exploitation of natural resources such as land or gold, as well as the situation of cross-border farmers remain poorly regulated and often lead to some severe tensions.

It is in this context that Interpeace, with the support of the PATRIP Foundation, will conduct a dialogue and research process. This process will promote the stabilization of the Burkina-Mali cross-border region through building trust and shared understanding within and between the communities. It will also identify conditions for and facilitate peace-responsive interventions (including infrastructure building and for improved natural resource management) by PATRIP and other international actors through identifying the communities’ development needs in a participatory and inclusive manner.

The Assistant Researcher will support the two main researchers, Interpeace Advisory Team Associate, local and partner teams in conducting the dialogue and research process.

Duties and responsibilities

Technical Tasks

  • Participate in the identification and collection of a literature review of relevant documents/reports/publications;
  • Promote initiatives and activities likely to increase the impact of the program;
  • Prepare and ensure the implementation of field activities according to the priorities and the strategic approach agreed with the principal researcher within the framework of the new project;
  • Participate in the identification and mobilization of key players;
  • Coordinate project implementation with the Programme Managers in Mali and Burkina Faso and with IPAT Associates as required;
  • Assist in organizing focus groups and workshops;
  • Note taking, data collection and processing;
  • Facilitate and/or co-facilitate focus groups;
  • Contribute to the writing of research reports, activity reports and to the production of a documentary film

Administrative and Logistical Support:

  • Data entry in the database;
  • Analysis of the data collected according to the criteria determined by the research;
  • Be the driving force in the classification and archiving of research documents;
  • Compilation of data for the Weekly notes;
  • The distribution of the weekly note internally.


  • The execution of any other task entrusted by the supervisor or the person designated by the supervisor.


Candidates with relevant qualifications, experience, a tertiary degree, and fluent in both French and English, are invited to apply.

Relevant experience and qualifications may include:


  • Tertiary degree in in peace-related studies, social or political sciences or other relevant fields


  • Experience in implementing peacebuilding, political and/or developmental work surrounding social cohesion and reconciliation with increasing responsibility;
  • Previous participation in community dialogue initiatives would be considered as an asset;
  • Experience in facilitating dialogues considered a solid asset;
  • Experience in local conflict sensitive development work, including infrastructure, is an asset.


  • Thorough knowledge of socio-political context of Burkina Faso-Mali and the Sahel region in general;
  • Working knowledge of current thinking on peacebuilding issues and methods as well as development; and demonstrable ability to anticipate emerging needs and integrate them swiftly into priority research setting;
  • Good understanding of the challenges relating to community animation/dialogue, consolidation peace and reconciliation;
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills;
  • Attention to detail and an ability to work independently and under pressure;
  • Open mind, creative, flexible and oriented towards finding solutions when a problem arises pose;
  • Good integrity and strong sensitivity to differences in culture, gender, religion, race, nationality and age;
  • Advanced writing and communications skills in English and French required;
  • Knowledge of local languages considered an asset;
  • Good computer skills, especially Word, Excel and Power Point;

Other qualities

  • Demonstrated interest and experience (e.g. policy brief, analytical publication, academic dissertation, work experience, volunteer engagement) in peacebuilding and development dynamics in West Africa
  • Previous participation in community dialogue initiatives would be considered an asset;
  • Experience in facilitating dialogues seen as a strong asset;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in conflict sensitivity and designing development interventions that contribute to peace desired;
  • Aptitude to adapt to a different context regarding security, culture, climate or health issue

Other Conditions

  • Resident in Burkina Faso or having the possibility to independently obtain a local work permit.

Interpeace Competencies

  • Collaboration and Weaving
  • Communication
  • Drive for results
  • Adaptability and Continuous Learning
  • Respect for Diversity

How to apply?

Qualified candidates are invited to submit a complete curriculum vitae and a letter of interest to  “Assistant Researcher – Burkina Faso” must be included in the subject line of the application email to be considered. The application period is open until the position is filled.

Please note that due to high volume of applications, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Interpeace values diversity among its staff and aims to achieve gender equality both through gender parity at all levels of the organisation and promoting a gender dimension in all its work. We welcome applications from women and men, and those with disabilities.