Field Analyst – West Africa

Conflict Armament Research
  • Location
    (Remote) London, Brussels, Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 02

Position description

ONFLICT ARMAMENT RESEARCH | CAR is the world’s only organisation to specialise in tracking the supply of weapons into conflict-affected areas and fragile states. CAR is, moreover, the only UK-based organisation to focus exclusively on weapon management and control.

CAR generates information that is otherwise unavailable. CAR specialises in tracking the illicit supply of conventional weapons, ammunition, and related materiel into armed conflicts. CAR partners with governments, international, regional, and non- governmental organisations to conduct in-field investigations. By documenting weapons in situ, CAR provides policy makers with the dynamic and quantifiable information required to understand weapon transfers in detail and, thereby, develop effective, evidence-based arms control policy.

CAR has consistently innovated in a range of high-threat operations, including in the development of complex GPS mapping systems, such as the iTrace system, which enables CAR to trace the full chain of custody and identify entities involved in the supply of illicit weapons, ammunition, and IED components. CAR also supports national governments to enhance their institutional capacity for effective weapon and ammunition identification and tracing, with a view to reinforce the ability of national judiciary systems to tackle armed-violence and terrorist threats.

CAR investigates to understand, to support, and ultimately, provide tools for change. CAR provides dynamic, quantified data necessary to generate effective weapon management and control policy. CAR is committed to working towards understanding the landscape of illicit weapon flows and to mitigating the supply of conventional arms to unauthorised users, including insurgent and terrorist forces.

PURPOSE | To support field operations in conflict-affected areas in West Africa and the Sahel region, including Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

RESPONSIBILITIES | In support of CAR’s field teams, Field Analysts will be deployed on field missions to conflict, post-conflict, and hostile environments to document recovered military materiel. Responsibilities include: 

  •   Conduct 6-8 field documentation missions a year;

  •   Establish and maintain partnerships with key national interlocutors;

  •   Support on-the-ground logistics of field investigations, including access, transport, accommodation and personnel;§  Conduct field documentation of weapons, ammunition, and related military materiel;

  •   Assist the Technical Support Unit with capacity building, mentoring, and support activities;

  •   Present findings to various stakeholders, including donors;

  •   Populate the iTrace website and database;

  •   Support drafting of outputs for each field mission, including publications;

  •   Report field activity in staff meetings;

  •   Support CAR's Tracing and Analytics Units in determining materiel chains of custody;

  •   Support regional heads in the drafting of confidential and non-confidential publications;

  •   Represent CAR at relevant regional and international fora on weapon control, disarmament and other related subjects. 



  •   Minimum of 3 years conducting field work in developing countries and hostile environments;

  •   Demonstrable engagement with geopolitical dynamics in West Africa and/or the Sahel region is essential;

  •   Establishing working relationships with security and political authorities in the West Africa / Sahel region;

  •   Working with armed groups, militias, and non-state actors is an advantage;

  •   Presenting, facilitating, training, and capacity building is an advantage;

  •   Workingwithteammembersindifficultandphysicallystrenuouscircumstances.


  •   Post-graduate degree in international relations, conflict/peace studies, investigative journalism, or a similar discipline or equivalent professional experience;

  •   Current knowledge of geopolitical dynamics in West Africa and the Sahel region;

  •   Understandingofregionalandinternationaldisarmamentmechanisms,peace and security systems, as well as familiarity with UN Peacekeeping Missions, arms embargoes, regional organisations, and civil society organisations;

  •   Technical capacity to identify various makes of weapons and ammunition is an advantage;

  •   Knowledge in the fields of conflict drivers, stabilisation, DDR, and terrorism/extremism would be an advantage. 


  •   Rigorous analytical skills, a keen eye for detail, experience in exhaustive research, and a proven ability to write papers, briefings, and reports;

  •   Professional technical fluency in written and spoken French and English is essential; fluency in additional UN languages (particularly Arabic) is a distinct advantage;

  •   IT competency in standard Microsoft Office applications and experience in maintaining databases is an advantage.


  •   Willingness to travel overseas, to hostile environments, typically for 1-3 weeks at a time regularly throughout the year, often at short notice;

  •   Can be trusted to work remotely without constant direct oversight;

  •   The ability to show initiative and solve complex (often sensitive) problems, in high intensity, potentially hostile, environments. 

Application instructions

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