Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC’s mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 28 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient. The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.
Research and Innovation Department
The IRC’s vision is to lead the humanitarian field by implementing high-impact, cost-effective programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to shape policy and practice. To achieve that vision, the IRC’s technical units provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice.
The technical units have three central objectives that we work towards:
1) Guide program design to achieve outcomes by incorporating the best available evidence
2) Build technical capacity of country program staff to implement, measure and continuously improve programs
3) Influence the IRC, peer agencies and donors to use proven interventions and generate new evidence to achieve change in peoples’ lives
The Research and Innovation Department (Airbel Impact Lab) supports the various technical units across the IRC to conduct or backstop research studies and innovation projects, and also leads initiatives that provide resources for country programs to design and implement programs based on existing evidence.
Health Technical Unit
The Health Technical Unit is organized in four sectors: primary health, reproductive health, environmental health, and nutrition. The structure emphasizes a clear division of roles between staff focusing on comprehensive technical assistance to countries and staff providing specialized support and thought leadership.
Major Responsibilities/Position Scope
We seek candidates competent in quantitative and qualitative research methods, with capacity to support field-based implementation/operational, public health and health systems research focused on sexual, maternal and newborn and reproductive health in low-resource, conflict-affected contexts. The Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) sector, inclusive of a substantial portfolio in maternal and newborn health (MNH), conducts research studies and evaluations using experimental and quasi-experimental, observational and mixed methods design.
The Research Coordinator will backstop a variety of ongoing studies collaborating with local partners and other institutions and identifying research opportunities that align with the Health Unit and/or Research and Innovation departments’ research and programmatic priority areas. The SRHR / MNH portfolio is currently focusing its research on areas including self-managed care, community-based maternal and newborn services, political economy and other context analysis, and health systems strengthening among others.
The work breakdown is expected as follows:
50%: Coordinate and support research project implementation in SRHR / MNH portfolio:
• Prepare research ethics applications for specified studies
• Oversee research project implementation, including day to day interaction with research focal points and managers in field sites, facilitation of data collector training, overseeing data collection and analysis.
• Coordinate and contribute to the development of all external project reporting and manuscript preparation
• Work with the research uptake and communications team on documentation and dissemination activities for research studies including presentations at conferences/workshops/stakeholder forums.
• Other duties as assigned by supervisor
30%: Specialized Country and Research Partner Support (partner-led projects):
• Collaborate with local partners/country programs and provide technical review of research concept notes/proposals
• Support development of research ethics applications for specified studies
• Support research managers in country programs/local partner institutions to assure methodological soundness and quality implementation of research studies
• Support design and supervision of data collection, entry, and analysis, where needed
• Support training of enumerators and other research staff
• Participate in preparation of manuscripts for peer review and other reporting and dissemination activities
20% - Business Development and other support as needed by manager
• Identification of funding opportunities and support efforts related to proposal development in various projects
• Other coordination support for research-related activities, especially related to partnerships and departmental requirements as needed by manager.
Key Working Relationships:
Position reports to: Researcher, Maternal and Newborn Health
Position indirectly reports to: N/A
Position directly supervises: N/A
Internal contacts: Regular contact with consortium staff, Research and Innovation department teams, and Health Technical Unit teams, and country program staff.
External contacts: Academic and other research partners, donors, representation at external meetings and conferences
Education: MPH or Masters in relevant field, both quantitative and qualitative training preferred.
Work Experience: 3-6 years of experience with at least 1 year experience managing research projects in low-income or developing countries. At least 2 years of field experience in low income or humanitarian settings preferred.
Demonstrated skills and competencies:
• Demonstrated internal and external communication and coordination capabilities
• Demonstrated technical expertise in at least one of the following areas: SMNRH, public health, health systems, humanitarian health, experimental or observational study design and implementation, research capacity strengthening
• Experience managing donor funded projects and grants and technical input to proposal and budget development and donor reports.
• Experience conducting or supporting primary data collection in challenging environments
• Data analysis skills, both quantitative and qualitative preferred
• Strong verbal and written communication skills
• Teamwork: Able to work with remote, multi-cultural, and multi-disciplinary teams
• Ability to work with minimal supervision on specific projects
• Language Skills: English required, and French proficiency an added advantage
Travel: Expected Travel 30% of the time. Candidate should be willing to travel to fragile / conflict-affected contexts.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.