Position: Research Coordinator – Nutrition
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the behest of Albert Einstein, IRC provides lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee wars or disasters. IRC today works in more than 40 countries and 22 cities across the United States, restoring safety, dignity and hope to millions of people uprooted and struggling to survive.
IRC conducts nutrition research in several contexts focusing on the development and testing of solutions to expand the coverage of acute malnutrition screening and treatment. The research portfolio includes both detailed clinical trials as well as operational research projects.
Since 2015, IRC Kenya has been engaged in research to detail the efficacy, effectiveness, cost and feasibility of simplified protocols to treat acute malnutrition. After an initial randomized controlled trial (RCT) implemented in Nairobi in 2017-2018, two operational pilots have taken place testing the simplified protocol in routine contexts, one in a refugee setting and another in a routine Ministry of Health implementation setting. These pilots have produced promising results on the efficiency and cost-advantage of the simplified protocol.
Several new study ideas are currently being explored in Kenya. Potential new topics include 1) alternative RUTF 2) micronutrient status and long-term outcomes of malnourished children 3) admission criteria and 4) CHW treatment.
The role of the Research Coordinator – Nutrition will be to lead all nutrition research project initiatives in Kenya by leading the design, adaptation, preparation, implementation, and capitalization of these projects.
Under the supervision of the Senior Nutrition Researcher of IRC and the Deputy Director of Programs of IRC Kenya and in close collaboration with the Nutrition and Health Coordinators of IRC Kenya, the Research Coordinator – Nutrition will be technically responsible for the relevance and quality of studies carried out by IRC in Kenya in the field of nutrition.
They will coordinate the development of research protocols and the implementation of projects in the field; the development of data collection and program implementation tools as well as tools for project monitoring and evaluation; documentation of the process and monitoring of deliverables by the consultants; the technical supervision of the personnel in charge of the implementation of the research activities.
He / She will coordinate data analysis with the Health and Nutrition Coordinators, assist in the interpretation of results and ensure the coordination of dissemination materials and execution of dissemination at national level.
He / She will provide technical assistance to research teams in the field; continuous monitoring of the quality of implementation and data collection.
Design and Set Up Studies:
- Lead internal (IRC Nutrition sector) and local (Kenya) strategic discussions to define key research questions and ideas for increasing coverage of treatment in Kenya and lead in writing new projects for funding purposes (narrative, budget, appendices).
- Ensure alignment of research projects with local priorities and lead the development of study protocols answering key research questions identified for the Kenyan context.
- Participate in internal discussions for priority areas of investment in research for growing coverage globally and engage with local and international partners and consultants on collaborations for research projects.
- Revise and adapt study protocols to fit the operational context in Kenya and lead all aspects of the development of standard operating procedures for all studies.
- Coordinate the engagement and contracting of external partners for research in Kenya and coordinate the writing of nutrition research protocols with local partners at country level.
- Develop tools for implementing research projects, monitoring, and collecting data and validate research protocols for consultancy work and by external partners.
- Write, submit, and handle ethics approval requests at national and international levels.
Oversee Quality Implementation of Studies:
- Plan, recruit, on-board and supervise research teams in charge of implementing the studies in the field and ensure sufficient training of all research staff before starting any research activities.
- Lead all aspects of the implementation of the various activities planned of the research portfolio including via preparing and leading IRCs internal project cycle meetings, monitor and if necessary, adapt the budgetary consumption of the research grants.
- Be responsible for the development and regular updates and adaptations of the purchase plan for each project and coordinate the preparation and follow-up on the purchase requests according to the purchase plans.
- Ensure regular supervision of field activities including via field visits to observe the quality of implementation and data collection according to research protocols and standard operating procedures.
- Ensure continuous technical supervision of and support to research teams and provide technical support to the teams of consultants in charge of conducting field studies.
- Be the lead in writing reports and other internal / external products for monitoring the implementation of research project results as well as any other type of report requested by the various donors (narrative, budget monitoring and appendices).
- Be the lead in the event of a request for modification of the project from donors, both from a narrative and financial point of view.
- Work with Data Science teams for data capture, monitoring and analysis.
Produce and Disseminate Evidence:
- Develop data analysis plans for research projects and engage with external experts to advice the analysis and interpretation of findings.
- Lead and support the write up of peer reviewed manuscripts in collaboration with internal and external partners and coordinate peer review article submissions and revision processes.
- Synthesize research data and findings for internal and external purposes and validate consultants’ reports concerning the research.
- Work with the communication team on documentation to be provided as part of external communication activities and be the focal point for field communication activities.
- Represent IRC Kenya’s nutrition research with the various partners (academics, technicians, authorities).
- Coordinate closely with MoH and national partners on research uptake and dissemination.
- Professional degree in Health / Nutrition (Masters with minimum 6 years of experience or PhD with minimum 4 years of experience); Additional qualifications in biostatistics is desired.
- Minimum 4 years of research experience in the field of health / nutrition, preferably on research projects implemented in the field in a low income context.
- Professional experience in NGOs, in particular in the management of community-based acute malnutrition (CMAM).
- Experience in running surveys and qualitative research, data collection and analysis, including experience with at least two survey programming languages.
- Previous experience in supervising and supporting field research teams;
- Demonstrated competence in writing research articles (add references to CV).
- Ability to write clear and concise reports, while respecting fixed time limits.
- Good presentation skills to drive engagement with local partners.
- Ability to work independently while being an active member of the country team and the global research team.
- Digital literacy required: Windows environment, Microsoft Office package, statistical software (STATA and R); knowledge of Commcare is an asset.
- Ability to work in and travel to unstable security environments.
- Fluency in English is needed, French is an asset.
Standards of Professional Conduct*: IRC staff should adhere to the values and principles set out in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. It is about integrity, service and responsibility. In accordance with these values, the IRC manages and enforces policies for the protection of beneficiaries against exploitation and abuse, the protection of children, the fight against harassment in the workplace, fiscal integrity and the fight against retaliation.*
Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other encouraging benefits and allowance.
Kenyan nationals are encouraged to apply. International allowances are not available for this position. Salary and employee benefits are compliant to the Kenyan NGO Sector.
IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.
Please take note that International Rescue Committee (IRC) does not ask for any fees in connection with its recruitment processes.
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