Health programs represent the largest single sector within which IRC currently operates, constituting approximately 45% of the international budget and with activities in 22 countries.
The IRC is leading a multi-agency program of operational research to develop a combined protocol for the treatment of severe and moderate acute malnutrition (Combined Protocol for Acute Malnutrition Study- ComPAS).
Scope of Work: The Research Specialist , as part of the IRC Kenya team, is responsible for overall supervision of the ComPAS field study in Kenya., including coordinating with IRC headquarters and the country team, recruiting and training the research team, procuring and positioning supplies, ensuring high quality data collection and entry, providing on-going technical supervision and support to field teams, and contributing to interpretation of data analyses and publication of results.
Research protocol and project development
- Assist Principal Investigator (PI) to finalize research protocol and data collection tools (questionnaires, reporting forms); lead field-level pre-testing in each country and refine tools.
- Support the completion and processing of Research Ethical Approval (IRB) as required for research; responsible for ongoing reporting in-country.
- Contribute to development of overall project work plan and analysis plan; coordinate with partners to develop and maintain timeline for regular communication and project/reporting deliverables
- Support the development and processing of initial proposal updates/revisions and associated budgets, in keeping with IRC internal processes and donor requirements
- Recruit, train, and supervise field researchers (officers, enumerators, etc.) on treatment protocol, study protocol and project implementation, and data collection and management methodology.
- Work closely with research team to develop critical thinking research skills; develop and sustain a culture of responsibility and detail-oriented work among all field researchers.
- Build capacity of staff (clinic staff, CHWs, etc.) involved in project implementation and data collection. Provide training and refresher training as applicable.
- Provide on-site management and oversight of project implementation at the clinics where the study will be conducted; supervise research team members to enroll, treat and follow-up patients.
- Build and maintain strong relationships with implementing partners and MoH at county level; act as primary ComPAS contact in-country with regard to project leadership and technical oversight
- Maintain ongoing dialogue with research team members to assess project progress; support timely and quality implementation and alert appropriate staff at country, regional and HQ levels to potential delays.
- Observe activities of research team members and enact plans to streamline operations; strictly ensure that research team members carry out agreed upon actions, define operational changes when required Develop, maintain, and implement system for project deliverables monitoring and data management; ensure data quality and coherence
- Prepare ComPAS project updates for the global ComPAS team and participate in regular calls and communications
- Overall responsible for ComPAS project budget related to operational expenses in Kenya. Perform and monitor budget spending in line with spending plan; ensure diligence in grants utilization including timely spending and value for money.
- Prepare a monthly or quarterly report of estimated expenditure (including actual and commitments) based with narrative summaries; review budget expenditure reports prepared at IRC HQ and inform the nutrition Coordinator and PI of any concerns, updates or changes and support preparation of budget revisions when necessary.
- Contribute to donor reporting deliverables; coordinate with nutrition coordinator and PI to inform narrative and report preparation
- Track project outputs/ deliverables against work plan. Develop new systems as necessary to ensure the tasks/ activities are tracked and completed on time.
- Maintain electronic copies of key project files. (IRB, MoUs or other agreements, contracts, contract amendments, budgets, TORs).
- Provide logistical support for meetings, workshops and trainings as well as travel arrangements and schedules for visiting PIs, project partners, etc.
- Write periodic progress reports throughout the project with interim results for internal and external dissemination (including both official project and donor reports as well as IRC/ComPAS communications material etc.)
- Work with IRC/ACF/academic partners during data analysis and write-up. Contribute to written sections and editing, as required for publishing academic articles, briefing papers, case studies etc.
- Represent ComPAS at dissemination conferences and events; present/communicate study results and implications of research findings and recommendations among global health professional peers
- Master’s Degree or PhD with three years experience in research and/or nutrition program management in developing countries with national or international partners
- Excellent research skills; knowledge of quantitative data collection and analysis methods, strong experience ensuring data quality
- Strong statistical and analytical skills
- Technical understanding of CMAM required, experience with treatment of acute malnutrition a plus.
- Excellent demonstrated organizational and managerial ability, prior experience managing a diverse team required.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; demonstrated patience and effective leadership in communicating broad and detailed topics to diverse audiences in person and through written communication
- Ability to interact with donor agencies, research and field partners, other international, national and local actors in country
- Microsoft Office Suite with appropriate research skills including for example, use of statistical packages
- Attention to detail and ability to multitask
- Experience of working with large complex budgets in excel, donor reporting, and against workplan /deliverable timelines
- Willingness to work with considerable flexibility in a challenging environment and occasionally outside normal working hour s.
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