Afghanistan: Senior Research & Communications Manager

Organization: Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit
Country: Afghanistan
Closing date: 25 Sep 2018

BACKGROUND

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: www.areu.org.af.

POSITION DESCRIPTION

AREU is recruiting a strong and dynamic Senior Research & Communications Manager (SRCM) to join AREU’s Executive Management Team (EMT) in order to manage the research and communications departments in close coordination with operations with an aim for quality assurance. The SRCM advises the AREU Director on a wide range of strategic and operational matters. The SRCM will directly supervise AREU’s Research Manager and Communications & Advocacy Manager.

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

RESPONSIBILITIES

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

Research Development and Management

  • Developing research ideas with research staff and consultants;
  • Oversee and support the Research & Donor Coordinator (RDC) in creating concept papers, proposals and budgets for funding;
  • Develop a mechanism for quality assurance on research and communications parts;
  • Meeting donors, government officials, and other stakeholders to discuss research ideas;
  • Reviewing or writing (in the absence of RDC) the narrative progress reports for donors and the AREU Board on frequent basis;
  • Managing and recruiting research staff and consultants according to needs;

  • Staying current on the policy and programming environment related to AREU’s research areas;

  • On the approval of director, representing AREU externally, communicating relevant research findings at meetings with external actors (government, UN, donors, NGOs, 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;

  • Commenting and providing input on draft papers produced from research and on internal concept notes;

  • Providing input into annual and strategic plans and budgets;

  • Developing partnerships with NGOs, UN, governments and donors where appropriate;

  • Assisting the Executive Management Team in strengthening internal management system.

Communications & Publications Management

· Occasionally, to participate in external meetings of relevance to AREU’s work.

· Work with members of the C&A team to develop and carry out dissemination strategies for findings publications.

· Finalise the AREU style guide updates for 2018 with the help of C&A team;

· Quality assurance of papers after peer review processes for AREU publications.

  • Creating a quality assurance plan to support the C&A’s work as they develop communications strategies for dissemination of research studies.

o Review and comment on draft papers and others’ outputs of research to help ensure quality and accuracy with respect to content, and to ensure that research findings and publications meet the needs of AREU’s target audiences.

· Provide guidance to C&A staff in the production of publications and other materials, and in the identification of the need for new publications;

· Provide input into strategic and operational planning and internal management systems.

· In collaboration with Administration and Finance, monitor C&A Department budget.

· Support research teams in developing and implementing communication and advocacy activities to ensure the appropriateness and use of their work.

Donor Relations & Grant management

  • Supporting the Director and the Research & Donor Coordinator (RDC) by strengthening donor relations under each thematic area;
  • Provide regular monthly updates on project grant management (using the logframe indicators) to the director and EMT;
  • Ensuring compliance with donor requirements and timely submission of donor reports;
  • Support the Research & Donor Coordinator in preparation of detailed reports to the funders and the board of directors with respect to the organization’s progress on quarterly and annual basis.
  • Prepare and update full programmatic inventory of all ongoing research projects – both core-funded and those funded by individual project donors and systematizing the submission of technical and financial reports;

· Identify and ensure support for staff capacity building needs, including helping to monitor and oversee the organizational capacity building plan.

  • Supporting the management (Research Manager and RDC) with coordination of independent researchers as required by the Research Manager, and ensuring the quality of draft research reports based on the TOR;
  • Managing AREU RFM forms on regular basis for the quarterly reporting.

LOCATION

· The position is based Kabul but may require some travel in provincial areas and abroad.

Qualifications & Experiences

· The position is open to both national (Afghans) and international candidates;

· An advanced Degree in Development Studies, Social Sciences or relevant (A PhD Degree in relevant field is desirable);

  • At least 5 years of experiences in research management & communications;
  • Experience working with government and local partners and institutions to influence program and policy change and develop capacity to conduct and use research;
  • In-country/resident experience in Afghanistan;
  • Knowledge of the EU, SIDA, DFID and other donor requirements and reporting;
  • Excellent English language oral and written communication skills, including demonstrated interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and the ability to summarize and communicate research findings for diverse audiences.
  • Ability to work independently, long hours (occasionally) and to collaborate with senior staff, colleagues, donors, partner organizations, stakeholders, local institutions, and others at all levels.
  • Excellent diplomatic, representational, problem solving, management, and interpersonal skills.
  • Willingness to travel both in-country, and internationally as needed.

SALARY AND BENEFITS

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 September 25th, 2018 which outlines how your experience relates to the skills and experience mentioned above to applications@areu.org.af Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

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