Research & Learning Associate: TaRL Africa

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Reports to: Research Manager

Apply by: 21st May 2021 or until filled

About the Role: 

Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa seeks a Research and Learning Associate to support the research, learning and evidence generation for the TaRL programme in Africa. This role provides an excellent opportunity to be part of a leading evidence-based initiative tackling low learning levels.

The role will be based in Nairobi (Kenya), with frequent travel within Africa (mainly Zambia, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire). The position is suitable to help the selected candidate prepare for graduate-level studies in public-policy research and/or further professional opportunities in impact evaluation.

About Teaching at the Right Level Africa:

TaRL Africa is a new international initiative formed between education NGO Pratham and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), who have been working together to develop cost-effective, scalable education programs for more than 15 years. These efforts have led to the development of an education program now called Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL).

TaRL is an educational approach that aims to build foundational skills in math and reading for children before leaving primary school. When TaRL is implemented within government systems, TaRL teams help ensure that everyone in the system remains focused on improving children’s learning outcomes. Simple assessments, onsite mentoring and support, as well as reviews at different levels of the school system, all contribute to the effectiveness of the program.

Role purpose

The Research and Learning Associate will support the research and learning process at TaRL Africa with an aim to continuously improve the effectiveness of the TaRL approach over time.  The associate will support research studies across several African countries and undertake activities including study design, project planning, field planning, data collection, implementation monitoring, data analysis and documentation.  The Research  and Learning Associate will also build, manage and engage internal and external research stakeholders on a regular basis.

Main responsibilities:

  1. Working with the research team to brainstorm, scope, select and implement research projects based on research and learning goals.
  2. Overall Project Management
  • Anticipating upcoming activities, seeking support, using resources effectively and efficiently and delegating when appropriate
  • Taking the lead on managing overall project timelines and deadlines using appropriate project management tools with limited supervision
  • Managing project spending by tracking expenses and ensuring timely reflection of project expenses
  1. Scoping, designing and testing research and learning activities. Including but not limited to;
  • Performing literature reviews
  • Assisting with applications to local and international institutional review boards
  • Supporting design and rollout of possible research program models including qualitative and rigorous quantitative studies
  • Contributing to the design  of research instruments and monitoring systems
  • Overseeing and supporting research study implementation including training of stakeholders and ensuring that it complies with standards for research and data quality
  • Monitoring research study implementation and providing periodic reports
  • Carrying out recruitment, training and supervising enumerators on data collection
  • Overseeing data collection, and ensuring that it complies with standards for data quality Including carrying out high frequency checks)
  • Cleaning, analyzing and presenting data for study design or computation of results (often in Stata and/or R)
  • Writing clear and concise do files
  • Rigorous analysis of survey results following global best practices
  • Performing high-frequency checks and data cleaning processes to ensure data quality.
  • Reporting and disseminating research study outcomes
  • Writing high-quality documents for the evaluation, including training manuals, process reports and reports of results from the different rounds of data collection.
  1. For research activities requiring support from external survey firms, managing the external survey firms from tendering to project finalization
  2. Working in close collaboration with the research team and partner organizations to track overall progress on the project and ensure adherence to timelines and the project-plan
  3. Join and contribute to learning team meetings and brainstorming on other TaRL Africa research projects
  4. Manage and engage internal and external stakeholders
  5. Creatively communicate research lessons and results with the TaRL community and more broadly (ex. through blogs, podcasts, newsletters, etc.)
  6. Any other duties as assigned by the line manager

Minimum Requirements

  • A Bachelor degree in economics, statistics, education, or a related field.
  • A minimum of three years of experience working in a similar research-focused position.
  • Demonstrated experience with data collection platforms and data analysis software, such as Stata or R.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, including writing, conversing and presenting.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with cross-cultural teams.
  • Desire to help improve learning outcomes for students at scale.
  • Experience working in Africa.
  • Willingness to travel frequently and flexibly.

Advantageous

  • A Masters degree in economics, statistics, education, or a related field.
  • Kenyan citizens are strongly preferred but those residing on the continent with a work permit for their country of residence will also be considered. 
  • Fluent in French (speaking and writing)

How to Apply

Please fill in this application form by 21st May 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete an assessment, followed by two interviews. Due to the large volume of applications, we will only be able to respond to short-listed applicants.