Career Opportunities

Research Project Coordinator

DATE: 12/2017 JOB TITLE: Research Project Coordinator
JOB CODE: J4DE10 JOB GRADE: R09
FLSA STATUS: Exempt SUPERVISOR TITLE: Associate Professor
SCHOOL/CFU: Brown School DEPARTMENT: Brown School
DEPARTMENT #: 1620    

 

POSITION SUMMARY: 

The research project is funded by The United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development. The project brings together several investigators from different organizations: Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), Afghanistan, Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), National Rural Support Program (NRSP), Pakistan, Brown school, Washington University, USA, Center for Evaluation and Development, Germany, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

Building upon previous research, we will develop, implement and evaluate a social accountability intervention - combined with inclusive education training - engaging parents, teachers and children. We will assess the intervention’s impact on basic cognitive but also psychosocial skills of learners as well as parent’s expectations and engagement, and teachers’ confidence with regards to inclusion of children with disabilities. Two partners, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) and the National Rural Support Programme in Pakistan (NRSP) run Community Based Schools (CBS) in remote areas.

They require knowledge as to the factors that can promote or hinder a meaningful learning experience. We hypothesize that strengthening existing social horizontal accountability mechanisms through a Community Based System Dynamics (CBSD) – a participatory approach promoting local ownership in the process of deciphering and changing complex systems from the feedback perspective of system dynamics - can enhance inclusion and the learning experience of disadvantaged children. Developing an effective role for school management committee (SMCs) members requires careful consideration of context and community dynamics, which CBSD upholds. We will carry out Group Model Building (GMB) sessions with SMCs – a specific CBSD method- to identify insights about social accountability reforms. SMCs supported by SCA/NRSP will implement changes based on these insights in intervention CBSs. A randomised control trial (RCT) will evaluate this intervention. Qualitative methods will validate psychosocial assessment tools and explore stakeholders’ perception of education.

The successful candidate’s major responsibility will be to coordinate the study under the supervision of the principal investigator and the co-investigators. Position requires extensive travel abroad to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

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PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (Essential Functions):

% of time spent

1

  • Learn Systems Dynamic (unless it is already acquired)
  • Participate in a training on CBSD in St Louis USA (or another location) and research qualitative methods;
    • Help validate questionnaires used in the study;
    • Establish material needed for the training on CBSD;
    • Co-train the education facilitation team on CBSD techniques and the protocol for the SMCs members;
    • Assist investigators and SCA/NRSP coordinators in the training of the survey staff

10

2

  • Support SCA/NRSP coordinators in:
    • supervising the operations of the CBSD training
    • maintaining financial records for the training as well as for the facilitation sessions in the 80 intervention schools and for the survey in all 160 schools;
    • managing the deployment of the facilitation teams in the schools assigned to them;
    • managing the deployment of the survey teams to the schools assigned to them;
    • maintaining good working relationships with Provincial government staff in the assigned survey areas to facilitate safe and complete survey operations in each of the regions;
    • monitoring SMCs facilitation operations within the assigned schools to ensure that to ensure that all 40 SMCs in schools in each country have developed a common vision for school management and are implementing a share program to improve the education experience of children in classes 3 to 5;
    • monitoring school survey operations within the assigned areas to ensure that survey coverage goals are met and particularly to ensure that all schools are properly surveyed at baseline and again at endline;
    • carrying out in-depth semi structured interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with a subsample of 50 SMC members (including parents and care-givers) and 50 teachers;
    • ensuring that education facilitation teams receive appropriate and timely logistics, administrative and financial support;
    • ensuring that survey teams receive appropriate and timely logistics, administrative and financial support;
    • establishing for the regions and then execute a Quality Assurance/Quality Control plan to ensure high quality of work of the education facilitation and survey teams;
    • monitoring the security situation in the school areas, assist the teams in maintaining appropriate and up-to-date security plans for field work, advise SCA/NRSP Management Teams on any changes in the security situation; check to ensure that the survey supervisors are working so as to maximize the security of their survey staff;
    • ensuring communications with the SCA/NRSP

75

3

  • Apply study tools with children such as games with picture cards, drawing exercises, a photo-elicitation exercise and a collaborative video process to identify how children perceived their learning experience;
  • Education department and with SCA/NRSP regional management teams;
  • Responsible for CBSD and survey data checking;
  • Supervise the translation in English of qualitative interviews and FGDs;
  • Contribute to writing of reports, policy briefs and scientific articles.

10

4

Other duties as assigned

5

 

MINIMUM EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:

  • Master’s in public health, social work, social sciences, public policy, economics, education, or similar degree
  • Understanding and knowledge of evaluation and research methods
  • Experience analyzing data (qualitative/quantitative)

PREFERRED EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:

  • Knowledge and experience using Systems Dynamic;
  • Knowledge in education (including inclusive education)
  • Practical experience with data collection and management;
  • Experience using SAS, STATA, or similar software packages to work on quantitative social science projects;
  • Knowledge of focus group discussions and other qualitative methodologies;
  • Proficient in the design and use of quantitative methods of research, particularly monitoring and evaluation;
  • Experience in developing countries, preferably in Central Asia and/or Islamic contexts;
  • Good understanding of gender issues and power structures at the community level;
  • Objectivity and ability to operate systematically with minimal supervision;
  • Result-oriented and committed to respecting deadlines;
  •  Urdu, Dari and Pashto is appreciated.

CRITICAL SKILLS AND EXPERTISE:

  • Strong project management and supervision skills
  • Experience with  evaluation designs and methods
  • Experience in collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data
  • Demonstrated superior writing and editing skills are required.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication (oral and written) skills
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks in a complex organizational environment
  • Ability to manage the projects budget and resources
  • Strong analytic and problem solving skills and ability to think strategically and programmatically
  • Proficient computer skills, experience with Microsoft Office required
  • Highly dependable and organized
  • Ability to work independently and exercise outstanding judgement

REQUIRED LICENSURE/CERTIFICATION/REGISTRATION:

None

DECISION MAKING AND IMPACT:

Decision- Individual will oversee the research to meet the deliverables of the funded project to meet funder deadlines. This includes supervising evaluation, data collection, and writing work of other staff. Individual will also manage the internal and external review and editing process of all project deliverables and reports. Impact – Others within the same work unit and others outside of the university

Decision- Individual will lead and coordinate team meetings and provide direction to the project staff regarding specific tasks to complete. Impact- Others within the same work unit.

Decision- Individual will manage client relationships and ensure completion of project deliverables. Impact- Others outside of the evaluation center.

Decision- Individual will make decisions regarding project timeline and deliverables, including data collection phases, writing assignments, and scheduling participants. Impact- Others within the same work unit.

FINANCIAL / OPERATIONAL IMPACT:

This position would not have financial responsibilities on a day to day basis, however s/he would work closely with the appropriate budget personnel to keep track of project-related spending and provide input on the development of project-related budgets as necessary.

CONTACTS:

Internal: (Describe the nature, purpose, and frequency of typical contacts within the University.)

The coordinator will have internal contact with other project staff, Center leadership, other evaluation center and university staff. Daily to weekly contact is anticipated in-person or via phone or email.

External: (Describe the nature, purpose, and frequency of typical contacts outside the University.)

Coordinator will have contact with project partners, other institutions/organizations, and project funders on a weekly basis via phone, email, and in-person meetings. Position will be expected to represent the center/department/school/university on calls with the clients and funders.

SUPERVISION:

Given:  (List the number and level of employees this position supervises both directly and indirectly through other employees)
Supervise research assistants, data analysts, and graduate student workers and local Afghan and Pakistani education facilitation and survey teams.

Received: (Describe the frequency and types of interaction between the employee and the supervisor.)
Supervision received from Principal Investigator of the project. Review of their work would be conducted on a regular basis in person or via email. Written feedback may also be given on documents or other materials.

CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION:

Does this position have regular exposure to confidential information? (If yes, describe the nature of the materials and specify if patient information is involved))
Coordinator may/will have access to private information of study participants collected during data collection phases of the project.

WORKING CONDITIONS / EQUIPMENT:

Primary work conducted in an office setting with travel internationally to Pakistan and Afghanistan rural areas several months a year for training of local teams, school facilitation GMB sessions, data collection and dissemination.

 

Applicant Special Instructions:

Interested candidates should send a CV, cover letter, and brief writing sample to:

Jean-Francois Trani
Associate Professor
Brown School
jtrani@wustl.edu
[o] 314.935.9277 [c] 314.412.0077

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Questions can be directed to the above email address or phone.