Junior Data Consultant (1 year)

November 2019

Station: South African Revenue Service, Pretoria, South Africa

UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to contribute to the SA-TIED programme.

The Junior Data Consultant will be responsible for providing technical support to ensure the integrity of the administrative tax data. This will also include assistance in the process of extracting data from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to be used at the National Treasury Secure Data Facility (NT-SDF). The position is under the Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) programme and is based at the premises of SARS in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) programme, implemented over the period 2017-2020, looks at ways to support policy-making for inclusive growth and economic transformation in the Southern Africa region, through original research conceived and produced in collaboration between United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), National Treasury, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and many other governmental and research organizations in South Africa and the sub-region. A key aspect of the programme is to encourage networking and discussion amongst people involved in policy processes across the participating organizations and civil society aiming to bridge the gap between research and policy-making.

Duties and responsibilities

Under the supervision of a UNU-WIDER Research Associate based in Pretoria, the Junior Data Consultant will perform the following duties:

  • Work with colleagues at SARS on the SQL database.
  • Produce metadata for the various databases at SARS.
  • Ensure the timely delivery of data extractions from SARS to the NT.
  • Write up and update data description documents linked to extractions.
  • Seek, within SARS, answers to data anomalies raised by researchers.
  • Work with the UNU-WIDER data team based at the NT to upload the data in the NT-SDF.
  • Consider new databases at SARS that can be useful for policy-relevant research.
  • Subject to the approval of SARS, actively explore new microdata sources of relevance to SA-TIED researchers that can be matched with the existing firm and individual panel datasets (e.g. a dataset of higher education results or wealth tax data).
  • Participate in data projects that involve the comparison of data from tax records with data from other sources.
  • Work with the SARS team to develop and implement the SARS secure research data centre and develop and train SARS employees to adequately run a secure centre.
  • Assist the Senior Data Consultant and SARS team to produce metadata on the tax data at SARS.

Required qualifications and experience

  • M.Com degree in economics, statistics, data science or equivalent with at least two years of relevant work experience. Enrolment in a PhD programme would be an asset.
  • Knowledge of SQL, SAS and Stata are required
  • Basic knowledge of R and other statistical software packages would be an asset
  • An attention to detail in the data is a key requirement
  • Excellent analytical and drafting skills
  • Strong ability to establish priorities, multi-task and work within tight timelines
  • Ability to work under minimal supervision and with high level of resilience
  • Possess a valid work permit for South Africa

This is a locally-recruited position and no relocation allowance applies. The position is limited to persons residing in South Africa, including persons holding a valid work permit.

The Junior Data Consultant will receive a monthly income of ZAR39,500 for the contract period to supplement living expenses while stationed in Pretoria, South Africa. No extra payments for housing or living expenses will be made. Project-related travel costs will, however, be covered by the project.

Application procedure
Interested applicants should submit their applications online using this form by 17 December 2019 and must upload the following:

  • A cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position (max. 1 page)
  • An up-to-date CV (max. 2 pages)
  • A copy of the highest educational degree obtained
  • A sample of originally written SQL script or Stata Do-file.

Apply here 

Further questions should be addressed to