Senior Research and Learning Advisor, USAID Education Support Initiative

  • Posted on 20 August 2019

Job Description

Dexis Consulting Group is recruiting for a Senior Research and Learning Advisor who will be embedded within USAID’s Office of Education (ED), which is a unit of USAID’s Bureau for Education, Environment, and Economic Growth (E3). The USAID Office of Education is responsible for advancing the priorities of the USAID 2018 Education Strategy, which are: a) Children and youth, particularly the most marginalized and vulnerable, have increased access to quality education that is safe, relevant, and promotes social well-being; b) Children and youth gain literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills that are foundational to future learning and success; c) Youth gain the skills they need to lead productive lives, gain employment, and positively contribute to society, and; d) Higher education institutions have the capacity to be central actors in development by conducting and applying research, delivering quality education, and engaging with communities.

USAID’s Reading & Literacy team promotes measurable skills gains for USAID beneficiaries from the pre-primary to secondary levels, with a focus on literacy and numeracy development for the most marginalized, as an integral part of the imperative to provide safe learning spaces and support to social and emotional learning. The team advances USAID’s thought leadership on strengthening students’ literacy and numeracy throughout the educational cycle and guides the implementation of the Office of Education Learning Agenda that addresses questions on student acquisition of basic skills. The team oversees the creation of professional development courses and knowledge management products that enhance programs working to build students’ literacy and numeracy skills. The Reading & Literacy team works closely with the evidence team and also collaborates with Office of Education teams focused on Education in Crisis and Conflict (EiCC), Higher Education and Workforce Development, Engagement, and Cross-cutting themes. Work is performed primarily in Office of Education, (located at USAID headquarters in Washington, DC).

The Senior Advisor sits on USAID’s Reading & Literacy team and is supervised by the Reading & Literacy team lead. The Senior Advisor a) leads the Agency’s work in policy linking for measurement of country progress towards educational self-reliance; b) guides the implementation of the team’s learning agenda in basic skills; c) leads the monitoring and evaluation of Global Book Alliance initiatives, and d) supports the Office of Education’s contributions to inter-agency working groups on measurement of outcomes from development assistance. The Senior Advisor collaborates with the Office of Education’s Evidence team on indicator development, mission support, and tool production for the measurement of literacy and numeracy skills, from pre-primary to secondary levels. The Senior Advisor also works closely as needed with the Office of Education’s EiCC and Youth/Workforce Development teams. The Senior Advisor is expected to participate in assignments that cross organizational lines, including working with USAID’s Regional Bureaus and traveling to support USAID Missions’ learning activities.


Technical Support to Team Activities, Projects, and Field Programs:

  • Provide technical advice and leadership to USAID education colleagues and programs on the development and implementation of literacy and numeracy-related monitoring and evaluation plans and skills assessments (for both children and adults)
  • Provide technical advice and leadership to USAID education colleagues and programs on the use of best practices in literacy and numeracy instruction, as identified through sector literature and through program experience in the field
  • Advance professional development, training, tool production, and technical assistance on research in pre-primary, primary, and secondary literacy and numeracy instruction, both within and beyond the context of bilateral program implementation

Education Policy, Portfolio Management and Reporting:

  • Lead the implementation of USAID’s work in policy linking
  • Lead the implementation of USAID’s learning agenda focused on basic skills (literacy, numeracy, etc.)
  • Leverage established and relevant research findings to clarify and strengthen Agency-wide policies/guidance on programming funds for literacy and numeracy instruction and learning and on using indicator frameworks to monitoring the use of those funds
  • Contribute to Agency-led cross-national comparisons of literacy and numeracy program components and results, and summarize the results for use in the development of agency policy/guidance for achievement of Education Policy priorities
  • Assist colleagues in the Washington and mission offices, including those supporting the development of the Global Book Alliance (GBA), to use cost-benefit analyses to establish literacy and numeracy research priorities and schedules
  • Advise on the development of desk/literature reviews, policy briefs, and a broad range of knowledge products related to improving literacy and numeracy instruction, including those developed through USAID-sponsored communities of practice
  • Contribute to the development of reports, presentations, and products that capture the evolution of the Agency’s impact on literacy and numeracy outcomes

Knowledge Management, Communication and External Engagement:

  • Support the development, with relevant members of management, of strategic external partnerships and alliances that contribute to the improvement of literacy and numeracy skills
  • Collaborate with team colleagues, the GBA staff, the Evidence Team, the Office of Education KM Specialist, and a range of external partners to develop, compile/stage, and promote literacy and numeracy-related evidence and research
  • Liaise with the Office of Education communications specialists to expand internal and external collaborators’ knowledge of the evidence that can enhance and inform the successful implementation of literacy and numeracy programming (through contributions to newsletters, announcements, etc.).
  • Liaise via USAID’s engagement team with international partners (including UIS, UNICEF, UNESCO, academic institutions, bilateral agencies, foundations, the private sector, researchers, and implementing partners) to provide significant contributions to global or regional flagship studies or initiatives on the implementation and measurement of student learning
  • Represent USAID at international conferences and deliver public presentations on a variety of topics related to literacy and numeracy


  • Collaborate continuously and successfully with leaders and members of all office teams
  • Prioritize and promote a strong team spirit that contributes to the efficient functioning and management of the Reading & Literacy team, and to its support of the work of the other office teams.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Reading & Literacy, International Education, Psychometrics, or other related field.
  • 8 years of experience leading, designing and conducting evaluations, assessments, and research in a relevant field.
  • Working knowledge of statistics, (with an emphasis on sample design, power calculations and data analysis), familiarity with utilizing software packages such as Stata, SPSS, or SAS, and experience with systematic review methodologies to evaluate instructional programming.
  • Familiarity with global initiatives, including policy linking, to measure, report, and respond to country-level progress in achieving universal literacy and numeracy.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a USG secret security clearance.

Preferred Requirements:

  • Ph.D. or Ed.D.
  • Experience in literacy and numeracy in the international education sector.
  • Experience supporting USAID programming in evaluating literacy and numeracy programming, particularly in the lower primary grades.
  • Previous experience in teaching about literacy and numeracy program evaluation, in performing course management, in using online educational fora, and in developing content for educational websites.
  • Exceptional skills in writing and editing, as well as excellent interpersonal and communications skills.
  • Working knowledge of at least one language other than English (e.g. French, Arabic, Spanish, African languages, Dari, Pashto, etc.).

About the Organization

Are you looking for a company that offers meaningful program assignments and opportunities to develop professional skills and expertise? At Dexis, staff are empowered to be part of the decision-making process and collaborate with colleagues and management across the company to satisfy our clients. We create transparency in our operations with our clients and employees; and we offer our people opportunities to grow and challenge themselves in meaningful ways. Dexis follows a "find a way or make a way" business directive, and we’re paving the way for innovative management solutions in the global development and security assistance arenas worldwide. As a Dexis employee you will be challenged, empowered, and mentored. That’s how Dexis goes "all in.” How will you?

Dexis is an equal opportunity employer offering employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, citizenship, physical or mental handicap, or status as a disabled or Vietnam Era veteran of the US Armed Forces.

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