Jordan: Field Research Coordinator, Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) programme

Organization: Overseas Development Institute
Country: Jordan
Closing date: 25 Jan 2018

Field Research Coordinator, Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) programme Consultant Amman, Jordan January 2018 for one year; potentially renewable over 5 years

1. Summary

The consultant will work with the GAGE programme office in London to support the impact evaluation and the implementation of the longitudinal research programme Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) programme – – funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). The duration of the contract will be initially 180 working days from January to December 2018. It is important to note that the research programme in MENA spans a period of five years and therefore, upon successful performance and mutual agreement with the GAGE Programme Office, the consultant could potentially stay engaged with this programme for a period of five years.

2. Program Description

GAGE is a nine-year (2015-2024) mixed methods longitudinal research and evaluation programme following the lives of adolescents in diverse Global South contexts. We are a global consortium with research and NGO partners in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North America and the UK, managed by the Overseas Development Institute in London, UK. In the Middle East, we are implementing a five-year programme (2017/18-2021/22) aiming to generate new evidence on ‘what works’ to transform the lives of marginalized adolescent girls from refugee populations and host communities to enable them to move out of poverty and fast-track social change. The programme is funded by UK Aid from the UK government.

Adolescence is a time of life that is almost as critical to development as infancy, bringing not just rapid physical changes but also significant changes in brain chemistry – changes that simultaneously facilitate the complex thinking required for adulthood, but also leave adolescents needing support to avoid risky behaviours and make decisions that set them on a positive life trajectory. Despite remarkable progress over the past two decades and the rise of ‘adolescent girls’ up the humanitarian aid agenda, this transitional life period remains particularly fraught for poor adolescent girls in conflict affected contexts. Focusing on these girls offers enormous transformative potential and a unique opportunity to reap a ‘triple dividend’. We can help adolescent girls to maximise their capabilities and move into the future as purposive actors in their own right, by finding out what works, where and why, with potential inter-generational dividends too. Exactly how to jump- start and accelerate this transformative process in the face of discriminatory gendered social norms and institutional barriers is GAGE’s core enquiry.

GAGE aims to understand what programmes are most effective in transforming adolescent girls’ lives at specific junctures during the second decade of life, and the role that their male peers, families, communities, service providers and policy makers can play in supporting their development trajectories into early adulthood. The aim of GAGE is to use robust but innovative research methodologies to better support adolescent girls to maximise their capabilities and move into the future as purposive actors in their own right, by finding out what works, for whom, where and why. The results will support policymakers and implementers to develop evidence-informed policies and programmes to effectively reach adolescent girls and boys to advance their well-being and what is needed to meet the ambitious targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially the focus on equity and reaching the most marginalised.

In the Middle East we are implementing a mixed methods and participatory impact evaluation study of the UNICEF Jordan’s Makani programme. Makani (“My Space”) is a comprehensive approach to service provision linking interventions in education – learning support services; child protection – community based child protection services; adolescent and youth participation – life skills and innovation labs; as well as integration of health and nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. The Makani centres are located in host communities, refugee camps and informal tented settlements (ITSs) in all 12 governorates of Jordan, targeting all vulnerable children, adolescent and young people, both girls and boys, families and community members, regardless of their status. The program aims to promote and contribute to children and young people’s full development and well-being – physical, cognitive, social and emotional. Each Makani centre has a community outreach component as well as referral services to refer special cases to appropriate services.

Per the terms of partnership, the longitudinal study of the Makani programme conducted by GAGE will explore the effects of humanitarian aid and recovery assistance with and for adolescent girls and boys from refugee populations and host communities. We will work with approximately adolescents and adults in Jordan to better understand how development and humanitarian actors can more effectively work with adolescents to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

We will make use of five broad approaches:

  1. Quantitative annual survey of a cohort of Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian and Lebanese adolescents in and out of refugee camps and informal tented settlements.

  2. Qualitative annual tracking of a cohort of Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian and Lebanese adolescents in and out of refugee camps and informal tented settlements.

  3. Participatory action research groups in Jordan using innovative tools to capture shifts in adolescent capabilities over time

  4. Retrospective participatory data collection with adolescent girls and boys to further understand the legacy effects of empowerment programmes.

3. Objectives

The Consultant Research Coordinator (CRC)’s main responsibilities will be to coordinate and supervise the implementation of the impact evaluation of the Makani programme and other key programmes activities from UNICEF. He/she will act as the national focal point for impact evaluation. As detailed below, the most important task for this consultancy is liaising with key implementing partners to ensure smooth supervision and coordination of the data collection activities. The Research Coordinator will work closely with implementing partners including (but not limited to) UNICEF, and the Department for Palestinian Affairs and the King Hussein Foundation’s Information and Research Centre and key government agencies and departments. The consultant will report to the GAGE Programme Office and work closely with the UNICEF Jordan team. It is also expected that the CRC will spend a substantial amount of time travelling to the locations of the Makani Centres across Jordan that are part of this project and liaise with local actors (including key line ministries involved in the programme e.g MOSD, MOY, MoE, centre directors, school district level representatives, and civil society organizations) for the implementation of the impact evaluation project.

The main tasks included in this consultancy are outlined below. It has to be noted that this list is not exhaustive and additional tasks will be included as the work in the field advances.

Planning and preparation

  • Ensure the evaluation teams have access to the information they need to design the baseline assessment and evaluation methods;
  • Establish and maintain and facilitate communication with the reference group on the evaluation including the organization and note taking of review meetings with the reference group;
  • Ensure that documentation is kept up to date and takes into account all agreed comments contained in the audit trail reports.

Liaison with counterparts

  • Provide daily coordination between the project team and counterparts, ensuring that concerns are effectively communicated between parties, flagging emerging issues that may be of potential concern to parties, and ensuring that effective and productive collaboration is maintained;
  • Ensure a good liaison of the evaluation teams with relevant programme sections and facilitate access to programme documents, results frameworks and monitoring etc;
  • Help ensure that targets are met on time, and that all activities are carried out in accordance with the study design.

Field Coordination and Supervision

  • Organisation of logistics involved in field research /coordination with Makani centre managers involved in the research;
  • Work closely with the implementing organization(s) to ensure orientation and compliance with GAGE Programme protocols and that treatment assignments are administered according to the agreed up-on protocols and plans;
  • Visit study sites to monitor programme activities and gather general information about the implementation process;
  • Ensuring adherence to data security and ethical standards associated with evidence generated through the research;
  • Monitor implementation activities so that the evaluation team understands and has documented the details of implementation across study areas. This includes supporting the implementation partners in setting up monitoring protocols for tracking progress.

Quantitative data collection

  • Engage with local research partners that will be selected to run the surveys in the field. This will include creating a good working relationship with our partners and act as the link between the project team and the firm. All tasks and activities related to data collection discussed below will have to be designed and implemented in close collaboration with the local partner organisation;
  • Contribute to finalize data collection instruments, including questionnaires and field procedures;
  • Monitor and quality assure the data collection process, from training of enumerators, quality control during the field work to data entry, to ensure data quality;
  • Manage the adherence to GAGE data management protocols.

Qualitative data collection

  • Coordinate and monitor the data collection process, from scheduling interviews, focus group discussions to setting up participatory research action group activities;
  • Manage the adherence to GAGE data management protocols;
  • Assist in the coding and preliminary analysis of the qualitative data, and contribute to the writing of project reports and policy memos.

Support to the implementation of project activities

  • Assist in the development of training materials and training modules for implementation of the various phases of the programme and capacity strengthening of partners;
  • Organise workshop translation and interpretation roles (in Amman and in the field) during meetings with local partners, data transcription and translation;
  • Support the with the design, logistics and implementation of interface meetings.

Coordination of reviews

  • Organise the translation of documents, research tools and reports into Arabic;
  • Organise and facilitate the submission of reports to various internal and external reviewers;
  • Ensure optimal participation by key stakeholders in the various review stages of the evaluation process;
  • Ensure the reviewers provide coherent feedback to the Evaluation Teams within agreed timelines.

Research uptake

  • Organisation of logistics involved in research uptake activities as appropriate – e.g. stakeholder engagement meetings/ briefings;
  • Facilitate the engagement of the evaluation teams with all stakeholders (including for research uptake activities), organize and minute review meetings.

4. Deliverables

The Field Research Coordinator will contribute to the following deliverables:

  • Implementation protocol
  • Data collection plans and concept notes
  • Submission of design and data collection plans for ethical clearance
  • Field supervision reports
  • Preparation of final datasets and reporting on data
  • Inputs for policy/technical notes

5. Skills required

The consultant should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Master’s Degree in relevant field (political science, applied economy, statistics etc.)
  • Excellent data processing skills and visualization (excel/tableau)
  • Experience with administering surveys
  • Familiar with monitoring and evaluation principles and tools
  • Strong project management/coordination skills
  • Good knowledge of adolescent and gender issues
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Ability to work in multicultural teams on complex projects
  • Fluency or advanced command of the English and Arabic language
  • Experience working with United Nations and /or government officials (preferable)

6. Intellectual property

The GAGE Programme shall, solely and exclusively, own all rights in and to any work created in connection with this agreement, including all data, documents, information, copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets or other proprietary rights in and to the work. The Consultant is not allowed to post or publish (electronically or in print) any project-related information without the explicit permission of the GAGE Programme Team.

7. Terms of contract

The Consultant will be recruited as a short-term consultant with a contract of 180 days starting January 2018. The remuneration is based on the qualifications and the experience of the candidate. It is important to notice that the programme spans a period of five years and therefore, upon successful performance and mutual agreement with the GAGE team, the consultant could potentially stay engaged with this programme for a period of up to five years. All payments and reimbursements will be based on submitted deliverables from the consultant. The consultant will use her/his personal cell phone and a laptop for the duration of the assignment. The consultant is also responsible for its own housing while based in the Jordan, Amman. The GAGE Programme is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

How to apply:

To apply for this position please send your CV and a cover letter explaining your suitability to the role and why you are motivated to apply to Applications will be received until January 25 2018.