Afghanistan: Senior Research Manager

Organization: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit
Country: Afghanistan
Closing date: 07 Jun 2017


The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) is a premier, independent and impartial research organization based in Kabul. It envisions an Afghanistan where policy decisions are made on the basis of evidence, open debate and widespread public awareness in the belief that this will better reflect the priorities of Afghans. Information about AREU is available on AREU’s website:


AREU is recruiting a strong and dynamic Senior Research Manager (SRM) to join AREU’s Senior Management Team and lead the research department. The candidate will manage donor funded research programmes in several substantive areas, including Natural Resource Management, Gender, Constitutional Law, Political Economy and Governance, and Social Sector. The SRM will be expected to develop the strategic research agenda, manage contracted research and liaise with key policymakers and practitioners to build networks and communicate findings. The SRM provides advice to the AREU Director on a wide range of strategic and operational matters. As part of AREU’s institutional development, research staff are also expected to contribute significantly to research capacity building activities. The SRM will directly supervise AREU’s research team comprised of research officers, senior research assistants and interns in the department.

The SRM reports to the Director and is responsible for the following tasks:


Specific duties will include, but not be restricted to, the following:

Research Development and Management

  • Developing research ideas with research staff and consultants, taking into consideration current, relevant issues facing Afghanistan
  • Overseeing and supporting Publications Officer/Donor Coordinator (PO/DC) in creating concept papers, proposals and budgets for funding
  • Designing the conceptual and methodological framework for AREU’s research studies
  • Meeting donors, government officials, and other stakeholders to discuss research ideas
  • Writing or contributing to narrative progress reports for donors and the AREU Board
  • Managing and recruiting research staff and consultants according to needs

Research Implementation

  • Data collection, analysis and writing-up for publications
  • Performing job appraisals of directly supervised staff and contribute to appraisals of other staff
  • Overseeing the development, management, and monitoring of activity budgets as needed (among research teams or with program managers/coordinators)
  • Working with PO/DC in ensuring compliance with AREU and donor contractual requirements
  • Overseeing the coordination of logistical support for research activities with the Administration and Finance department with the research team leader/program manager/coordinator
  • Overseeing researchers at AREU to ensure institutional learning and communication across research projects
  • Coordinating with Administration and Finance staff (Security Officer/Coordinator) to ensure the most effective and safe operationalisation of research and full support for research staff and consultants during field research

Research Representation and Policy Engagement

  • Staying current on the policy and programming environment related to AREU’s research areas
  • Assisting and providing inputs to the Communications and Advocacy team as they develop communications strategies for research studies
  • Representing AREU externally, communicating relevant research findings at meetings with external actors (government, UN, donors, NGOs, project implementers, academia, media)
  • Ensuring research findings and write-ups are relevant to the concerns of AREU’s target audiences, particularly policymakers and development practitioners
  • Developing and maintaining links with other research organisations, both in Afghanistan and abroad

Research Capacity Building

· Managing and overseeing research teams

· Working with research team leaders in identifying staff capacity building needs, facilitating access to capacity building opportunities, and providing training and mentoring

· Ensuring that all research projects include significant mentoring and training of more junior colleagues, both Afghan and international

  • Reviewing and providing input on draft papers produced from research and on internal concept notes to ensure accuracy and appropriate tone.

Strategic and Institutional Support

  • Providing input into annual and strategic plans and budgets
  • Developing partnerships with NGOs, UN, governments and donors where appropriate
  • Taking active part in the Senior Management Team in AREU’s organisational governance


The position will be full time and based in Kabul but will require travel within Afghanistan, security permitting.


Essential qualifications

· A Masters Degree in the Social Sciences or a related discipline (PhD will be preferred);

· At least five years of field research/research management experience in developing country contexts, particularly using qualitative methodologies, in terms of both design and implementation (Familiarity with quantitative methods is desirable);

· At least four years of project, people and budget management experience;

· A publication record in both academic and policy oriented outlets;

· Experience representing an organisation and in making presentations;

· Proposal and narrative report writing experience;

· Excellent oral communications skills in English;

· Ability to write well in English for an audience of policy-makers and practitioners;

· Good mentoring and training skills;

· Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work in a complex, multi-cultural environment; and

· Experience in an Islamic, conflict/post-conflict or South Asian or Central Asian contexts.


· Practical experience in development ;

· Knowledge in and experience of Afghanistan;

· Knowledge of Dari or Pashto.


The post is open to both national and international candidates based on the above criteria. Salary and benefits are competitive based on AREU salary scale.

How to apply:

Qualifying candidates should send their application with an updated CV/resume including a list of publications, and a cover letter by June 7th, 2017 which outlines how your experience relates to the skills and experience in the Person Specification above to

Only short listed candidates will be contacted.