Research Manager

at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)
Location Kampala, Uganda
Date Posted November 7, 2019
Category Management
Job Type FULL_TIME
Currency UGX

Description

Research Manager, Karnataka - Ichuli, Uganda
Organization: Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Job Summary

A Kanada speaker based in Karnataka, the Research Manager is required to provide assistance to Ichuli's Uganda-based Research Manager and Research Adviser to support survey activities during a longitudinal study that will run from 2019 - 2023. The Research Manager will manage the project on a daily basis on the ground in India on behalf of Ichuli. The Research Manager will provide oversight over a locally-contracted Indian data collection firm on behalf of Ichuli. Ichuli will hire the Research Manager and firm separately.

The position requires an understanding of and experience with research activities, especially with impact evaluations; excellent interpersonal, written and verbal skills; and the ability to work accurately and carefully whilst undertaking routine activities.

The job is largely field-based, working closely with Ichuli's researchers and the local firm's field staff to perform a variety of tasks including: overseeing all preparations for surveys: including preparation of all testing and training materials, survey tools, training and testing plans; and all logistical requirements for managing a research database, coordinating with local teams, and program staff of the evaluated program.

The Research Manager will provide support in programming of instruments, ensure timely delivery of clean data and liaise with Ichuli's Research Manager and Data Manager on quality assurance.

Reporting Relationships

This position reports to Ichuli's Uganda-based Research Manager and Research Advisor on a daily basis and to the Principle Investigator overall.

Background

Ichuli is an independent, Ugandan-owned development organization founded in 2015 and based in Kampala, Uganda. Ichuli means 'ňúcunning, adaptive and intelligent' in Ateso, one of the languages in Eastern Uganda. Ichuli offers technical, comprehensive strategic development services to clients in the education, research, and monitoring and evaluation sectors. At Ichuli, we believe that the most effective way to achieve sustainable development and growth is to integrate home-grown contextual knowledge, expert technical experience and purposeful research with proven international best practices in delivering and scaling innovative, impactful, locally-driven development solutions.

Ichuli's success stems from its investment in people to bring about social change. Our staff and consultants are individuals with the right energy, mindset, abilities, and commitment to making significant change happen, and to seeing it through. Ichuli delivers local solutions to local challenges within a recognized framework of international standard and quality. Local and institutional perspectives and realities are central to the design of our interventions and to the questions, we ask in our research, as we believe that every development solution must be accessible and achievable for communities and people in country to execute '' both during a project's lifecycle and beyond.

To date, Ichuli Institute's team members have been consulted and interviewed for inputs to national strategies, frameworks and intervention plans to improve early learning and teacher training and effectiveness by over 25 notable international organizations and major bi-laterals focusing on education initiatives globally and in Uganda, and presented at over 50 conferences on effective educational interventions and outcomes. The results of these discussions and presentations have been integrated into policy, planning, strategy and research initiatives on early learning, pupil literacy assessment and approaches to teacher effectiveness and motivation by organizations including the International Growth Centre, the World Bank, DFID, the Equity Initiative, RTI, R4D and CEI, Open Society Foundation, Open University, JPAL and IPA.

Ichuli has partnered with STIR Education as its external evaluator of their program for the next 5 years to independently measure impact of their interventions in both Uganda and India.

Overall Objectives of the Evaluation

Ichuli is STIR's evaluation partner and will use a mixed-methods approach to validate and deepen learning and understand longitudinal trends over approximately 5 years regarding STIR's impact. By sharing this learning both internally and externally, STIR aims to influence the narrative around how to effectively realize genuine and sustained system change.

STIR has completed several rigorous external evaluations, including a randomized control trial (RCT) and quasi-experimental study. The latest iteration of their research, run by Ichuli, will implement a longitudinal approach that will help them to understand the impact of their intervention over a 5-year period as they deeply embed their approach in the structures of their government partners. STIR will develop behavioral measurement tools, building upon their internal monitoring tools, to understand their impact at different levels of the system, as well as conduct a repeated system diagnostic exercise to understand whether the fundamental conditions for sustained system change are strengthened over time.

Data will be collected annually at the end of each academic year and shared back both internally and externally. Internal dissemination will aim to improve program design and delivery, while external sharing will happen primarily with STIR's government partners to strengthen their collaboration. It will also be shared with a wider range of thought leaders in order to stimulate discussion regarding system change based on rigorous evidence.

Survey Preparation and Enumerator Training Responsibilities

Supervise the external locally-based, contracted data collection firm and ensure quality in all of their assigned tasks.
Research Manager must be based in the state of operation and be able to provide for their own housing and equipment. Remuneration and benefits packages will be discussed based on the quality of the application.
Oversee all preparations for surveys, including preparation of all testing and training materials, survey tools, training, and testing plans and all logistical requirements (arrangements to be made by Ichuli based upon identified needs). Ensure all schools, teachers and head teachers are aware of survey schedules and times and mobilized and prepared for survey teams.
Collaborate with the Ichuli team and the external evaluators on the finalization of the survey questionnaires, including: (a.) Checking survey editing and formatting (b.) Ensuring a logical order of survey questions and survey flow (c.) Once translated, oversee the pre-testing of each survey with enumerators and respondents
Ensuring version control of Kannada and English survey questionnaires and other data collection instruments

Skills

Commitment to, understanding of, and passion for research and generally improving the delivery of data and ensuring quality data for Ichuli.
Fluency in the local language and context
Clear and effective written and oral communication skills in English are a must.
Exceptional organizational skills, including reporting and record-keeping.
Ability to conduct project evaluation and research studies, including operational research, using both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Proactive and honest in reporting any problems that may have occurred in order that solutions can be determined as a team.

Experience Requirements

Proven experience in fieldwork and large scale evaluations in particular. Experience with conducting education research or data collection is highly preferred.

Education Requirements

A degree, specialization or post-graduate training in monitoring and evaluation, statistical analysis, data management, or other relevant fields.
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