Construction Specialist — Malawi AMAA

  • Senior-level, Long-term consulting assignment
  • Posted on 13 February 2020

Job Description

Project Description

Apatseni Mwayi Atsikana Aphunzire (AMAA) is supported by USAID’s Let Girls Learn Challenge Funds awarded by the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (E3/GenDev) to Save the Children, Inc. in December 2016. The audiences for this evaluation comprise USAID Operating Units (OU), notably, USAID/Malawi, the Africa Bureau, E3/GenDev, the E3/Education Office; and the E3/ Energy and Infrastructure Office.

This AMAA evaluation focuses on the construction of 11 secondary schools implemented in two districts, Machinga and Balaka, in Malawi.

The objectives of the AMAA evaluation are to:

  • Evaluate and report on the effects of the AMAA new Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) construction relating to the completion of primary education by girls and boys, the transition of girls and boys from upper primary to the new AMAA CDSSs, and attendance and retention of girls and boys in the new AMAA CDSSs.
  • Examine the effects of AMAA new CDSS construction on perceptions of safety by girls and boys. The evaluation will also assess whether girls, boys, teachers, parents, and community members are satisfied with the school construction design and facilities.
  • Assess the USAID and AMAA approach to constructing new CDSSs.

Position Description

NORC is seeking a construction specialist with experience in Malawi to assess the planning, development, and building of 11 Community Day Secondary Schools, with anticipated travel to the Machinga and Balaka districts. The construction specialist will evaluate school construction proposal(s), work-plan(s) and budgets, Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) records and site-specific Environmental Monitoring and Mitigation Plans (EMMP), the AMAA progress reports to USAID, documentation relating to procurement, school construction designs (drawings and specifications) and contractor/community plans as appropriate. The construction specialist must assess the quality and functioning of new school buildings and any associated facilities, such as teacher housing, school playgrounds, and others as appropriate.

The construction specialist will gather information from USAID and non-USAID stakeholders to help answer the following questions for our analysis:

  • How were challenges in school construction overcome?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of the school construction experience?
  • What are the promising practices and lessons for USAID and its partners?

The USAID stakeholders include the Malawi Mission, the Africa Bureau, E3/GenDev, E3/Education, E3/Environment offices, E3/Energy and Infrastructure, E3/Water. The non-USAID stakeholders include Save the Children and AMAA staff, key personnel from Malawi’s Ministry for Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), and other Malawi government agencies supporting school construction; community members and donors engaged in secondary school construction in Malawi.


Required qualifications include:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in civil engineering, urban planning, architecture, or a related field.
  • Professional architect/engineer qualifications with knowledge of USAID’s construction standards
  • Extensive school construction experience;
  • At least 5 years of experience evaluating infrastructure projects in a development context.
  • Fluency in English is required

Strongly preferred qualifications include

  • Previous experience working on education infrastructure projects with USAID
  • Previous experience working with the Government of Malawi and the Ministry of Education.
  • Previous consulting experience with international NGOs or bi-/multi-lateral donor contracts, including contributing to and reviewing evaluation reports and other deliverables.

To apply, please send a Cover Letter and CV to

Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

About the Organization

About NORC

A Tradition of Excellence

As one of the oldest not-for-profit, academic research organizations in the United States, and through its affiliation with the University of Chicago, NORC maintains the highest standard of professional excellence and scientific rigor, and is committed to broad dissemination of its findings.

A Passion for Innovation

NORC’s subject matter experts and survey professionals develop and employ innovative study designs, research methods, and technical applications to derive meaningful and accurate results.

A Commitment to Collegiality

NORC cultivates an interdisciplinary culture of achievement in which senior investigators from diverse fields and professional backgrounds collaborate with the next generation of researchers in an open, collegial environment.

NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. NORC evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally- protected characteristics.

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