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Remote Opportunity: Consultant – Researcher Vacancy Available At Mercy Corps (Deadline: 28 June)

About Mercy Corps  

Remote Opportunity: Consultant – Researcher Vacancy Available At Mercy Corps with Deadline: 28 June. Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

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Purpose / Project Description 

Mercy Corps is seeking a Researcher (Consultant) to work closely with a dynamic team and lead/support on a discrete set of activities to further our evidence-driven commitment. This includes helping identify strategic evidence generation opportunities within the economic opportunities portfolio; promoting internal and external learning on priority thematic areas; and supporting influence initiatives ahead of and during key external events. The consultant must have a background in quantitative and/or qualitative data collection and analysis; be able to write in simple, clear and concise language for non-technical audiences; have a good understanding of how research findings link to program decisions; and have good networking and relationship-building skills to work with Mercy Corps’ programs/Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning teams, country leadership, and research partner on co-creating evidence and learning opportunities.    

The consultant will lead/support on the following activities:    

Evidence Production and Implementation:    

  • Conduct an exploratory /retrospective analysis of Mercy Corps’ cash and market price data, layered on various shocks and crises, to understand the potential for how this data might be leveraged for early warning applications.
  • Support the execution of new and ongoing studies, including working closely with internal and external researchers and technical experts, data analysts and partners in study design, implementation, analysis, report writing and sense making.  
  • Support the development of new research concept notes and/or proposals including through literature reviews, helping identify potential countries/programs where this research can be implemented and identifying and engaging with internal and external context experts to investigate these topics.  
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 Evidence Synthesis and Learning Initiatives:     

  • Synthesize Mercy Corps’ internal learning briefs/case studies from countries/regions on priority themes — financial inclusion, youth employment, and market systems approaches including those that are implemented in thin markets and that target forcibly displaced populations.  
  • Situate findings and learnings from these syntheses pieces within the external evidence including studies and reports from peer organizations to identify macrotrends; develop talking points and/or stylized findings that can be circulated among Mercy Corps’ internal technical teams, program and senior leaders, donor-facing and fundraising teams for use in their daily roles.   
  • Support country, regional teams with developing learning priorities that are aligned with Mercy Corps’ global learning priorities; lead on literature and evidence reviews to help teams prioritize questions that balance program asks and interests with those that address strategic knowledge gaps and/or have the potential to address policy debates. 
  • Support country/regional teams to operationalize learning agendas including developing Scopes of Work for planned studies, research methods, sampling strategies and data collection instruments. 

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Learning Tools and Process Management:     

  • Conduct a stock taking exercise of the ongoing/completed and planned learning opportunities within the Economic Opportunities learning pipeline/tracker. In collaboration with program, country leaders and technical teams, map the different programs and program interventions into a cohesive economic opportunity portfolio. Priority countries for this activity are East & West Africa; and Asia (specific countries TBD). 
  • Identify portfolio-level learning opportunities that span multiple countries and/or regions, are strategic to investigate, and are aligned with the global learning priorities, with a focus on themes/countries that are currently undersubscribed within the economic opportunities pipeline.   
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Key deliverables:   

  • One exploratory cash analysis brief (5-pages maximum) identifying key trends and patterns within the data (as relevant/applicable) and/or similar research products on a relevant topic 
  • Three synthesis pieces (5-pages maximum) identifying key findings, lessons learned, and lessons not learned on the priority thematic areas identified earlier.  
  • One document summarizing 4 to 5 talking points per thematic area identified above.   
  • One research concept note/proposal developed alongside team members. 
  • An updated economic opportunities ELA pipeline/tracker with links to completed studies; and/or estimated timeline for ongoing/planned studies.  
  • One template that maps the current programs and interventions within the economic opportunities portfolio for a select number of countries in East and West Africa and Asia.  

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Location: Any country or region where Mercy Corps has a presence, with a strong preference for Africa. This role will involve some travel.    

Reports Directly To: Director of Research for Economic Opportunities   

Works Directly With: Senior Researcher—Economic Opportunities, Senior Researcher Resilience, other Research and Learning Team members, and program/country teams in East and West Africa.    

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders  

Mercy Corps’ consultants and team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.  

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Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills   

The ideal candidate will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following qualifications and characteristics:     

  • 5-10 years of experience in a technically relevant field.
  • Bachelor’s degree in international development, environmental science, or another relevant field 
  • Two – three years of experience conducting quantitative and/or qualitative data collection, analysis and report-writing; prior experience of research and/or monitoring and evaluation of market systems development programs is an asset. 
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to effectively gather and summarize large amounts of information from various sources.  
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, functions and seniority within Mercy Corps.   
  • Lived experience of living/working in the contexts/communities where Mercy Corps works and bringing this experience to bear on this role is an asset. 
  • English language skills is essential; conversational French language skills is an asset. 
  • Must exhibit Mercy Corps’ core behaviors around curiosity, learning and integrity.   
  • This role involves up to 25% travel. A valid passport is essential. 

Other: This assignment is ideal for someone who is a self-starter, is curious, can work independently without much supervision and is not afraid to challenge the status quo. We welcome applications from diverse backgrounds. If you feel that you are right for this role but don’t meet some/all the criteria above, please include a cover letter that explains why you think are a good fit.    

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