United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Research Fellow

Organization: Overseas Development Institute
Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Closing date: 13 Feb 2018


Research Fellow

Youth Forward Learning Partnership

Research and Policy in Development (RAPID)

Contract: Fixed Term until 28 Feb 2021

Salary: £39,897 – £50,466 per annum

Location: London

Ref: RAPID/03/18

The UK’s leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues.

About us

ODI (www.odi.org.uk) aims to inspire and inform policy and practice to reduce poverty by bringing together high-quality applied research and practical policy advice.

RAPID leads the implementation of the MasterCard Foundation’s Youth Forward initiative Learning Partnership. The focus of the Youth Forward initiative is to link young people to quality employment or to start their own businesses in the agriculture and construction sectors in Ghana and Uganda. The Youth Forward Learning Partnership works across the initiative to develop an evidence-informed understanding of the needs of young people in Ghana and Uganda and how the initiative can best meet those needs.

We are looking for a researcher to take leadership on key projects within our portfolio, undertaking innovative research and analysis, and influencing the international debate through public affairs activities including publications, media engagement, speaking at conferences, and providing advice to governments and business at a senior level.

Specifically, this role will lead the Youth Forward Learning Partnership which includes:

  • Knowledge development – monitoring, evaluation, capacity strengthening and technical assistance for implementing organisations, and applied research
  • Knowledge sharing – within and beyond the initiative through initiative-wide, country and consortia-specific meetings, evaluation and research reports, briefs, and public events
  • Facilitating governance & multi-sector dialogue.

For the duration of the initiative, the Research Fellow will be responsible for:

  • Leading and providing day-to-day management of the overall Youth Forward initiative Learning Partnership, overseeing the fulfilment of defined learning questions, conducting quantitative data collection and analysis, and managing and guiding all other staff who are involved in the research, evaluation, monitoring, stakeholder engagement and learning components of the programme.
  • Liaising with the Donor and managing the financial administrative and reporting aspects of the partnership, ensuring the strategic and smooth management of work plans, budgets and relationships.
  • Leading all publication, communication and public affairs aspects of the Learning Partnership.

Research and Policy in Development Programme

The Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme works to improve the use of evidence and local knowledge in policy-making. This leads to better decision-making and better policies that can help transform lives. We do this by working with all actors to develop capacity for both policy influence and evidence-informed decision-making.

Our work focuses on four overlapping issues:

  • The evidence: relevance, credibility, legitimacy and reliability; the methods are used to collect the evidence; and how it is packaged and communicated.

  • The links between policy and research communities: networks, relationships, brokering, power and trust.

  • The context of the demand for evidence: how the demand for evidence from individuals and organisations is conditioned by the wider political economy of evidence and by institutional structures, cultures and processes.

  • The wider enabling environment: such as socio-economic and cultural influences, the power of big narratives and ideas, national and donor policies that shape how evidence is funded, procured and used.

    We look for outcomes in three areas:

  • Strengthened country policy-making systems: Evidence-informed policy-making is an essential part of good governance.

  • Smarter development organisations: Development organisations need to make better use of research-based and other forms of evidence to influence policy.

  • More relevant useful research and evaluation: Research and evaluation should be relevant and useful for policy-makers and development workers, to build smarter and stronger systems that can make change happen.

    Our work includes:

  • Research: including sectoral, country-based and theoretical studies, evaluations of policies, programmes, projects, and approaches, and normative research to develop tools and approaches, on the four issues outlined above.

  • Advisory work: to a wide range of organisations including multilateral and bilateral donors, foundations and NGOs, national and regional governments, research and intermediary organisations, and networks and other institutions, broadly at the three outcome levels outlined above.

  • Capacity development: for staff in all of the above organisations and institutions.

  • Public affairs and advocacy: reports, journal articles, journals and books; web-based materials, blogs, and resource-kits; public meetings, seminars and other events; workshops, training courses and mentoring; networks and communities of practice; public speaking and presentations at conferences; and one-to-one communication.

About you

  • A degree and post-graduate qualification in a relevant discipline.

  • Fluency in English, and preferably a good command of at least one other language.

  • A strong record of mixed methods evaluation and applied research, including knowledge of statistical and qualitative methods

  • Demonstrated practice experience of designing, implementing and analysing quantitative monitoring and evaluation in a programmatic or applied context

  • Extensive and deep knowledge of key issues and organisations in international development, particularly related to youth employment and entrepreneurship.

  • Extensive developing-country experience, including first hand experience in subSaharan Africa.

  • Demonstrated experience and strong project and relationship management skills:

    • Mentoring researchers and programme staff

    • Ability to manage and work as part of a decentralised, multi-disciplinary team

    • Ability to strengthen cross-team working and coherence

    • Ability to encourage good performance and management poor performance

    • Ability to work and manage independently

    • Ability to manage difficult relationships with a variety of stakeholders

    • Intellectual leadership

    • Peer review/quality control

    • Financial planning and oversight.

  • Skills in negotiation, listening, communication of ideas, problem solving, decision making and conflict management.

  • Stata software skills

  • Experience with research ethics committees

  • Excellent written and oral communication abilities in relation to a wide variety of audiences.

  • A demonstrated capacity for policy advisory or public-affairs work, based on an analytical approach.

  • Excellent time management skills, including managing a complex and varied workload.

  • Experience in policy and practice-oriented research, demonstrated by a track record of publications and reports.

    Closing date: 13 February 2018

    ODI is an equal opportunities employer Charity Reg. No.228248

How to apply:

For more information, please download an application pack from our website at [www.odi.org.uk/jobs](http://www.odi.org.uk/jobs](http://www.odi.org.uk/jobs)**). If you are experiencing difficulties downloading, please telephone 020 3327 7290 or email humanresources@odi.org.uk.