Research Programme Coordinator – ERICC at the International Rescue Committee (IRC)

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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 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Research Programme Coordinator – Education Research in Conflict and Protracted Crisis (ERICC)

Requisition ID: req19157
Location: Abuja (FCT)
Sector: Research & Development
Employment Category: Fixed Term
Employment Type: Full-Time
Open to Expatriates: Not Applicable

Job Description

  • This opportunity is global with flexibility on IRC office locations based off of business need. Flexible locations include Nairobi, Kenya; Abuja, Nigeria; Amman, Jordan; Beirut, Lebanon; London, UK; New York or Washington, DC.
  • The IRC invests in research in humanitarian contexts to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of policies and practices in these settings. Our Research and Innovation Department works in partnership with our Education Technical Unit and Country Program teams to achieve these aims by:
    • Generating robust and actionable evidence across crisis-affected contexts,
    • Gathering and synthesizing the evidence base on what works, and
    • Analyzing the cost efficiency and cost effectiveness of humanitarian programming
  • The IRC aims to generate and share evidence on the most cost-effective models for designing and delivering quality, safe education.

Programme Scope

  • To date, a record number of people are displaced from their homes due to conflict and protracted crises. Two billion people live in countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence. Of the estimated 75 million children whose education is affected by conflict and protracted crises, nearly half of them – 37 million – are out of school at the primary and lower secondary level. It is hard to track how much those who are in school are learning, but the data we have indicates that they are learning far less than they could be as the quality of schooling is so low. With the average length of displacement now lasting 17 years, generations of children risk missing out on education and its long term benefit. Although there is growing international momentum and action to tackle this crisis, there is a critical lack of evidence on ‘what works’ for education in these contexts to ensure quality education for all. The lack of evidence impedes global efforts to delivery education programmes, especially those in conflict and crisis settings.
  • The Education Research in Conflict and Protracted Crisis (ERICC) is The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) new, three year, £15.8 million research programme to carry out rigorous and operationally relevant research on the most effective approaches to education delivery in conflict and protracted crisis contexts.
  • The programme will have four components: (1) Research on the most effective approaches to education delivery in conflict and protracted crisis; (2) Ensuring country level impact; (3) Promoting research uptake across FCDO and the international community; and (4) Knowledge systems strengthening.  The IRC will be leading the ERICC research consortium in component 1 (research in effective delivery) and component 2 (country-level impact), working in partnership with a consortium of esteemed research and educational institutions, including NYU Global TIES for Children.
  • This programme will be carried out in six FCDO countries (currently: Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Sudan and Myanmar).
  • The objective of this contract is to deliver, and maximise uptake of evidence on the most effective approaches to education delivery in conflict and protracted crisis contexts.
  • The desired impact of the programme is stronger evidence based policies and better value for money programmes in conflict and protracted crisis.

The research will concentrate on six research questions:

  • How to embed education in emergency programming from the start and move from emergency to recovery and sustainable provision, including getting the balance right between improving access and ensuring quality?
  • How to design and implement education programmes that maximise value for money?
  • How to protect children and provide psychosocial support to ensure that children can learn?
  • How to sustain an effective teaching workforce?
  • How to reach the most marginalised, especially girls and those with disabilities?
  • How to support conflict and crisis affected populations to reintegrate into education systems when the crisis has passed?

Major Responsibilities

  • The Research Program Coordinator leads project management across the entire program, working closely with the ERICC Programme Director, the ERICC Research Director, and the rest of the ERICC team to deliver an ambitious program of research and research uptake activities. The role involves liaising across multiple research and program specialist units within IRC, academic consortium partners, IRC country offices, and FCDO to deliver the project in a high-quality, effective, and efficient manner. A significant focus of the position is to ensure that the project meets the high standards and requirements of FCDO.

Project Management and Monitoring & Evaluation (45%):

  • Work with the project team to develop project plans, including full logical frameworks
  • Support the ERICC Programme Director to implement adjustments to account for any gaps in reporting/data collection and work closely with field and address them
  • Coordinate with the Finance and Contract Manager to ensure the budget reflects current activity plans
  • Support the ERICC Programme Director to communicate needs for project monitoring tool development and strategies/templates to address them
  • Assist and coordinate technical staff, partners and field offices to implement project tracking tools
  • Maintain an in-depth knowledge on donor and government policies and support colleagues to ensure that Partners’ responsibilities are tracked and evaluated, and that updates on their contract management performance are communicated in a timely and professional manner to appropriate stakeholders
  • Maintain comprehensive and standardized knowledge management files for the project, including key decisions and actions, and ensure project team and partners have access to relevant records
  • Facilitate project coordination, information-sharing and guidance on donor rules to IRC and Partner’s project staff
  • Supervise and complete special projects as assigned by the ERICC Programme Director that may fall outside of this job description.

Partner Coordination & Communications (25%):

  • In coordination with the project team, work with partners’ staff to develop project documents including monitoring plans, contracts and activity plans;
  • Ensure coordination with the ERICC Research Director when changes are proposed to research study envelops (as per the budget roles & responsibilities matrix);
  • Supervise and coordinate partnership processes;
  • Ensure that Partners’ responsibilities for donor compliance are tracked and evaluated;
  • Ensure that updates on contract management performance are communicated in a timely and professional manner to appropriate stakeholders.
  • Identify partner capacity strengthening and mentoring needs and organize appropriate activities to meet such needs

Reporting (10%):

  • Coordinate the production of all narrative reports from partners, the IRC project team and field offices, and provide feedback to improve product quality, accuracy, and style.
  • Support the Finance and Contract Manager as needed to obtain necessary inputs from partners on financial reporting
  • Be responsible for submission of donor reports and information, and communication of compliance questions and project challenges.
  • Support the ERICC Programme Director to implement adjustments to account for any gaps in reporting/data collection and work closely with field teams and partners to address them.
  • Work closely with the Finance and Contract Manager as well as IRC awards management and commercial contracts teams to develop and execute contracts within the fixed price model.

Administrative tasks (10%):

  • Organize biennial consortium-wide meeting and support travel needs for participants
  • Organize various leadership meetings (Quarterly Strategy Meeting, Programme Team Management Meetings, Technical Advisory Group, etc.)
  • Identify / organize visibility events for the consortium
  • Generate and maintain communication systems for the consortium, including documentation of meeting notes (particularly key decisions and changes in programme design).
  • Other tasks at ERICC Programme Director’s request

Relationship with FCDO (10%):

  • Liaise with FCDO, and other operational partners, through attendance at scheduled and ad hoc meetings and consultations upon the ERICC Programme Director’s request, and represent IRC and IRC’s interests by maintaining positive and constructive relations.
  • Ensure that the project team and Partners are aware of all relevant FCDO communication, changes in their regulations, and meetings or conferences.

Person Specification

  • University Degree in Education, Economics, Political Science, Public Health or other related field to humanitarian research
  • 3 – 5 years of experience with demonstrated organisation, coordination and project management skills including budget management and developing project management documents such as logical frameworks and monitoring tools
  • Excellent written English including the ability to edit, synthesise information and produce high quality reports  
  • Experience and a good understanding of education in conflict and protracted crises
  • Proven ability to operate in a complex organisation, across functions and work on own initiative and collaboratively as part of diverse teams
  • Ability to manage a varied workload, work under pressure, prioritise and meet deadlines
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills including an ability to communicate effectively with staff at all levels and across regions/countries
  • Excellent IT skills (Word, Outlook, Excel)
  • The ability to work productively and accurately while under pressure in a fast-paced, demanding environment;
  • Flexible work attitude: the ability to work in a team environment and independently and ability to meet unexpected demands;
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as on own initiative.
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize effectively

Preferred Requirements:

  • Experience of managing donor-funded contracts
  • Experience working on FCDO commercial contract
  • Experience and interest in maternal and neonatal health
  • Experience and interest in humanitarian contexts
  • Good understanding of research design and methodology
  • Arabic language skills is an asset.

Working Environment

  • Ability and willingness to travel internationally to humanitarian contexts (up to 30% of time – and as allowed under COVID-19 policies).

Application Closing Date
Not Specified.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


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