Democratic Backsliding Specialist

  • Mid-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 11 May 2021

Job Description

The Cloudburst Group is conducting a Retrospective of USAID Response to Pandemic-Related Democratic Backsliding. The goal of the study is to derive lessons learned from adapting to pandemic- enabled democratic backsliding by authoritarian actors. These include lessons both about the process of adapting and about achieving outcomes of countering pandemic-related democratic backsliding. Dissemination and post-retrospective activities will aim to ensure that those lessons learned inform USAID’s backsliding response more generally. The retrospective team will use a mixed-methods approach to explore USAID adaptation processes to confront democratic backsliding from the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 through to the present, including: a survey of relevant Missions, analysis of secondary data (e.g. V-Dem), general key informant interviews, and case studies for in-depth analysis.

The democratic backsliding specialist will bring expertise on democratic backsliding and advise on the retrospective and will also participate in retrospective activities and may be assigned specific tasks by the Team Leader as appropriate, to include designing and conducting surveys and key informant interviews and guides.

Minimum Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated quantitative and qualitative evaluation/research skills and strong analysis and writing skills.
  • Strong understanding of data collection and analysis methodologies.
  • Experience designing and conducting comparative retrospectives/evaluations is desirable.
  • Experience independently conducting qualitative fieldwork, including key informant interviews.
  • Must have experience in drafting high quality reports.
  • Minimum postgraduate degree in political science or related field.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English.

The work that Cloudburst engages in is guided by a mission to improve economic, social, and environmental resilience. To this end, many of the populations and communities we work with focus on addressing structural and institutional racism that disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Cloudburst believes that effective services and solutions are created with communities historically impacted by the systems we are attempting to transform. We strongly encourage applications from people who are representative of the culturally and ethnically diverse communities we work with.

About the Organization


The Cloudburst Group is a small consulting business with its main office in Landover, MD. Cloudburst is considered a leader in optimizing the effectiveness and sustainability of public/private programs that target underserved populations and support communities domestically and internationally. Our services include research, evaluation, planning, management consulting and technical assistance, communications and performance measurement.

The Cloudburst Group is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, disability or genetics, or any other protected class. Cloudburst will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled

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