Research Advisor, Education

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 3 July 2018

Job Description

Requisition ID: req2244
Job Title: Research Advisor, Education
Sector: Education
Employment Category: Fixed Term
Employment Type: Full-Time
Location: USA-Washington

Job Description

Background/IRC Summary:
The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities that support them, as well as with those who remain within their homes and communities. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.

IRC reaches over a million children annually with education and child protection programs in 25 countries around the world. The Education technical unit defines the vision and strategic priorities for all of IRC’s education a programs. The team provides evidence-based and contextually-relevant technical support to programs, with the goal of ensuring they are technically sound and achieving the outcomes we seek.

The IRC has worked in Pakistan since 1980. It is one of the few countries in the world in which the illiterate population is growing. The bedrock of a high performing education sector is the primary school system, which includes grades one through five in Pakistan. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s net enrollment rate at the primary level is only 66.2 percent, well behind the regional average of 87.1 percent. It is estimated that approximately 7.261 million Pakistani primary school age children are not in school.

In response, in 2014 the IRC with Creative Associates International (Creative), the Institute of Rural Management, and World Learning launched the USAID funded Pakistan Reading Project (PRP) to improve the quality of reading in public and private schools, supporting 1.3 million primary school students to read at a level commensurate with standards at their grade level. The project has three mutually-reinforcing components: teacher education and professional development, systems reform, and civil society engagement. The duration of this project is 7 years, finishing June 2020.

Job Overview/Summary:
This position will be a member of the Research, Evaluation and Learning Unit and work closely with the Education Unit to advance the research on education, with responsabilities that will include analyzing data from impact evaluations, writing reports, providing support for business development proposals, and implementing and publishing high-quality research.

This position will provide technical support to the PRP project research, as part of the Research, Learning and Evaluation team. |

The position includes analyzing quantitative and qualitative data and writing reports for different studies, including:
1) A randomized control trial that aims to identify the cost and effects of different ingredients of a literacy intervention in the KP region of Pakistan, and
2) A quasi-experimental study with data collected from an external evaluator, which we will use to identify the effects of PRP on students’ reading skills using a nationally representative sample.

The role reports to the Senior Researcher for Education in the Evaluation and Learning unit and works closely with the Education Technical Unit.

Major Responsibilities:
1. Work in the analysis and reporting of research conducted as part of DFID’s EiE project in Nigeria
a. Quantitative/ qualitative research to explore the effects of different ingredients of a literacy intervention on the reading skills of students and the instructional practices of teachers in Pakistan.
b. Implementation research to look at how different aspects related to the quality of the implementation affect different outcomes for different types of students.
c. Measurement research to assess the reliability and validity of outcome and quality of implementation tools and establish protocols for improvement
d. Provide technical input for M&E team to ensure that the project obtains high quality data for the purposes of research
2. Assist M&E teams on calculating indicators and setting up processes for high quality data collection
3. Work with an internal team focused on education research moving our education research priorities forward.
4. Contribute to dissemination of research findings by writing blogs, briefs, and publications in academic journals and practitioner-focused outlets;
5. Collaborate with colleagues within the education team, research team and R&D team, and within other IRC departments, in pursuit of the tasks above
6. Other tasks as negotiated

Job Requirements:
* PhD or MA in education, economics or related field
* Knowledge and experience using causal inference methods and conducting program evaluations
* Strong statistical skills (multi-level modeling expected) and knowledge of stata,
* Experience or expertise in qualitative research using qualitative software such as NVivo.
* Minimum five years of progressive experience in education research and/or relevant practice
* Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in a multi-cultural environment and to translate and discuss research findings for practitioners and policy-makers
* Solid organizational skills: the ability to be flexible and work well under pressure, dealing with competing priorities, in a fast-paced team environment;
* Fluency in English required, fluency in Urdu highly desirable.

Working Environment:
* Standard office work environment
* Preference for NY or DC, but negotiable

About the Organization

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 27 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.

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