KANCO Research Assistant Job in Nairobi Kenya

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Background on KANCO
The Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO) is a national networks membership of non-governmental organizations, community based organizations, faith based organizations and research institutes that have an interest in working in the areas of HIV/AIDS, TB, Maternal and child health, harm reduction among other public health challenges in Kenya. Our main aim is to offer leadership and technical support to civil society organizations in the above public health areas.
Background on The Harm Reduction Programme By KANCO
Currently KANCO is conducting a 3 years Community Action on Harm Reduction (CAHR) programme supported by the Dutch government through the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. The CAHR Programme aims of significantly increasing the access of people who inject drugs to HIV prevention and care services in partnership with the various ministries of health in the country. 
In addition to increasing access to services, the CAHR programme aims to promote the human rights of people who inject drugs by fostering an enabling environment for HIV and harm reduction programming. It also prioritizes capacity building and knowledge sharing to expand and grow harm reduction expertise, in particular in civil society organizations.
The objectives of the programme are:
1. To improve access to HIV and harm reduction services for people who inject drugs, their partners and families by supporting civil society service providers to increase the range and scope of HIV and harm reduction services.
2. To build capacity (organizational and technical) in Kenyan civil society organizations to develop preparedness for harm reduction programming at scale.
3. To support a partnership approach to HIV and harm reduction responses in Kenya, working with decision makers, experts, Government programmes and services to promote an enabling environment for evidence based responses to HIV and drug use, and to ensure a human rights-based response to the problem of HIV and drug use in Kenya.
4. To generate and share knowledge on effective models of HIV and harm reduction programming aligned with the national context and research agenda, and informed by international examples of good practice.
Background on Qualitative Research Study among People who Inject Drugs In Kenya
In the context of increased evidence of HIV infection among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Kenya, especially in the Coastal Region, on-going policy shifts will enable the introduction and piloting of new harm reduction interventions, including needle and syringe exchange programmes (NSP) and opioid substitution treatment (OST).

KANCO, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK), is undertaking qualitative research alongside its development of harm reduction interventions. 
This qualitative study aims to describe the lived experiences and social contexts of access to care in relation to harm reduction, HIV prevention and HIV treatment interventions for people who inject drugs in Kenya. 
The key objectives of the study include:
a) to describe, among PWID, how social and policy environmental factors shape injecting drug use, risk practices, health identities and HIV risk reduction potential, including over time;
b) to describe how the introduction locally of new harm reduction technologies (specifically NSP, OST and ART) for PWID shape their drug injecting and risk practices, health identities and HIV risk reduction potential;

c) to explore specifically whether and how harm reduction and care technologies contribute to a shared sense of ‘citizenship’ among PWID, and the scope for community or collective actions in HIV prevention;

d) to describe the shifting policy and social environment for HIV prevention for PWID, including among community and policy stakeholders locally and nationally
In addition the study will contribute to the following secondary objectives:
e) assisting in the building of capacity in qualitative research methods and analysis locally; and
f) feeding findings into local intervention advocacy, national policy advocacy, and international evidence concerning the perceived impacts and contexts of introducing harm reduction interventions.
The study employs a longitudinal design among 90 people who inject drugs across three sites of Kenya: Nairobi (n=30); Malindi (n=30); and Ukunda (n=30). In addition to qualitative depth interviews at baseline (n=90), there are follow-up interviews, approximately 6 months later, with almost half (n=40) of those recruited at baseline in two of the sites (Nairobi, n~20; Malindi, n~20).
The study places emphasis on mixing methods, combining qualitative interviews with focus groups (n=5), targeted observations, and geo-social mapping of local drug injecting environments. Purposive sampling will occur via a combination of community recruitment through participating local outreach projects and onwards chain-referral.
In addition, the study seeks to describe the community and policy environment and how this frames HIV risk reduction efforts, including the perceived impacts of pilot harm reduction interventions. It will achieve this by
sampling for interview 21 stakeholders across the sites and nationally, including those working in HIV prevention intervention and policy as well as significant community members.
Analyses will involve thematic and narrative analyses. 
Throughout, the project seeks to build the capacity of local partners in the conduct and analysis of qualitative research, including via targeted data generation and analysis workshops. 
Taken together, the research promises to actively support local intervention developments, inform national and regional policy debates, build local research methods capacity, and contribute unique case studies to the international evidence-base.
The project is collaboration between KANCO, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, the National AIDS and STIS Control Programme (NASCOP), and the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) in Kenya.
Position Description of the Research Assistant Position in Kenya
We are seeking to appoint a part-time (50%, 2.5 days a week) Research Assistant to work on a mixed-method qualitative longitudinal study investigating the social contexts of HIV prevention among people who inject drugs in Kenya. 
The post is based in the Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO) in Nairobi/along the Coast region.
Start Date: The post is available immediately for 30 months starting July 2012 to end in Dec 2014.
Specific Tasks and Responsibilities:
  • Assist in data collection (key informant interviews, in-depth interviews, focus group discussion, field notes and observations), writing data summaries, coding transcripts and analysis, and reporting writing
  • Assist in the coordination and support of the implementation of the mixed methods research
  • Assist in orientating and training (data collection, analysis, ethics) of field workers on the study.
  • Assist in findings dissemination locally.
  • Perform any other duties as assigned by the study Co- Principle Investigators (LSHTM and KANCO).
Essential Requirement
  • A bachelor’s degree in Social or Behavioral Sciences, Health Education, Public Health, Sociology, Anthropology, or other related postgraduate degree.
  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience in working in social science and /or qualitative research on HIV with most at risk populations especially people who use drugs
  • Minimum of 1 year experience in the implementation of HIV/AIDS prevention behavior change interventions.
  • Experience and skills using computer software for qualitative data analysis (e.g NVIVO)
Qualities and Abilities
  • In-depth knowledge of attitudes and cultural practices relating to health and HIV, especially among people who use drugs in Nairobi and Coast province.
  • Skills in qualitative research methods.
  • Appreciation of qualitative research
  • An interest in developing personal capacity in relation to social science research (including considering a Masters-level degree qualification in a social science or health discipline)
  • A good understanding of the published literature on HIV risk factors and behavioral interventions for HIV prevention.
  • Ability to coordinate and supervise a team of field workers
  • Ability to design and conduct in-depth qualitative interviews, focus group discussions and observations, directly in the field and among people who use drugs
  • Excellent written/oral communication, interpersonal and organization skills.
  • Ability to work well in a team, and be able to collaborate well with the local communities, and harm reduction partners.
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English and Kiswahili.
  • Good judgment in trouble shooting, problem solving, awareness of own limitations, strong inter-personal skills and internal motivation
Terms of Employment:
Contract for 30 months as per KANCO schemes of service at 50% fte (2.5 days a week). Probation period for the first 3 months. Salary negotiable within the appropriate grade depending on education, experience and demonstrated competency.
Applications should include the following:
  • Letter of Application, emphasizing qualitative research skills and relevant experience
  • Current Curriculum Vitae with telephone number and e-mail address
  • Three letters of reference with contact telephone numbers and e-mail addresses
  • Copies of Certificates
  • Day time contact telephone number
Application Deadline: 29th June 2012
Applications should be sent via e-mail to jobs@kanco.org 
or Drop at the KANCO Office (Chaka Road off Argwings Kodhek Road)
KANCO is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against: color, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, HIV/AIDS Status and disability.
Executive Director
Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium
Chaka Road off Argwings Kodhek Road
P. O Box 69866 – 00400
Nairobi – Kenya
Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

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