Deputy Project Coordinator of Research – PlayMatters at International Rescue Committee June, 2021

Requisition ID: req17306

Job Title: Deputy Project Coordinator of Research – PlayMatters

Sector: Education

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: No

Location: Kasulu, Tanzania

Job Description


IRC Background:

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities which support them, as well as those who remain within their homes and communities. At work today in over 40 countries and 25 U.S. cities, we improve outcomes in the areas of health, safety, economic wellbeing, education, and power.

Project Background

PlayMatters (2020-2025) is an education initiative funded through a $100 million grant from the LEGO Foundation. The program reimagines childhood for 800,000+ refugee and host-community children across Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda – children whose education and social development has been affected by displacement and trauma. Building on children’s amazing resilience and a growing evidence base supporting Learning through Play methodologies, PlayMatters cultivates holistic learning for children ages 3-12+. PlayMatters is led by the International Rescue Committee and includes Plan International, War Child Holland, Innovations for Poverty Action, the Behavioral Insights Team in partnership with the LEGO Foundation. 

The PlayMatters consortium has committed to building the evidence base through rigorous research across the program cycle. The Research Agenda is structured around a single overarching research question focuses on children’s holistic learning outcomes and resilience and under this question are four LtP topics that mirror the four thematic pillars of the Play Matters project: Educators, Parents and other Caregivers, Communities, and Education Systems.  In addition, the cross-cutting themes of gender, inclusion and protection will be integrated into the majority of studies. The four topics will be studied in different refugee and host community settings in the three countries in which the PlayMatters project is being implemented: Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Not all studies will take place in every country, although some studies will be cross-national.

Scope of Work:

The Deputy Project Coordinator of Research forms the backbone of the PlayMatters country-based research team. She/he will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of multiple IRC-led research projects in Tanzania within the PlayMatters consortium and collaborating with other PlayMatters research staff from Consortium Partners (War Child Holland, IPA, and Behavioral Insights Team). With technical guidance from the PlayMatters Deputy Project Director of Research (based in Kampala) and the Principal Investigators for each study, the Deputy Project Coordinator of Research will coordinate in-country activities related to research design, IRB clearance, stakeholder engagement, enumerator training, data collection, and data analysis processes. He/she will be responsible for assuring the quality and ethical implementation of in-country PlayMatters research studies and will also serve as the main point of contact in-country on matters relating to PlayMatters research, including liaising with the Program Management Committee, Content Development Committee, MEAL and policy/advocacy teams as needed.

The Deputy Project Coordinator of Research is part of the PlayMatters project team in Tanzania. He/she will report to the Research & Innovation Hub Coordinator with a dotted reporting line to the PlayMatters Project Coordinator.

Roles and Responsibilities

● With the close collaboration and supervision of the Principal Investigators (for IRC-led studies), coordinate all aspects of the implementation of designated research project/s, including:

○Country-level development and submission of research applications, ethics submissions, and protocols for research projects.

○  Conduct or supervise country and community-level participatory consultation with stakeholders and participants at all stages of research planning, preparation, implementation, and dissemination.

○ Coordinate with colleagues from the PlayMatters MEAL team and, as appropriate, align research and MEAL data collection and analysis activities.

○Country level work-planning, budgeting, and reporting on PlayMatters research projects

○ Selecting and hiring local research assistants and enumerators.

○ Undertake travel to field locations where required and if possible, to consult with colleagues and stakeholders, provide training and technical support, and oversee quality assurance.

○ Managing and reporting on adverse events and serious adverse events related to implementing the research project according to data management protocols.

●Competency and capacity-building of local research team in research methods, research ethics, the research protocol, data management, and child safeguarding with PlayMatters regional team.

●Supervision and coordination of the tasks of the local research team including:

○ Regular supervision meetings and performance appraisals

○ Scheduling and coordination of data collection including managing logistics such as transport, work schedules, resources required.

○ Support and coordination for data management

○Monitoring of quality of data collection, adherence to participatory and ethical practices, and intervention fidelity

○ Overseeing data entry and data set cleaning if needed.

●    Participating in regular research supervision and coordination meetings with PlayMatters regional research team and IRC’s Research & Innovation department.

●   Supporting or leading write-up and submission of academic manuscripts, book chapters, conference presentations, or other publications related to designated research projects.

● Communicating key information from the research in a simple, clear, effective way to stakeholders that are non-researchers including community members and participants.

● Serving as the main point of contact in-country on matters relating to PlayMatters research, including liaising with the Program Management Committee, Content Development Committee, MEAL, and policy/advocacy teams as needed.




● A Masters or doctoral degree in Education, Psychology, Social Sciences, International Development, or Social Sciences-Related discipline.

●At least five years’ experience leading and coordinating field-based/community-based research with human subjects in a relevant field (i.e. psychosocial support, education, and/or child protection).

● Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written).

●Proven track record in implementing research activities for human subjects research projects.

●Proven track record in qualitative and quantitative data management for human subjects research projects.

● Proven track record in implementing mixed methods research design.

● Experience in capacity building and supervising research assistants.

● Ability to communicate the principles of research to others in a simple, clear, effective way.

● Ability to critically reflect on research implementation progress and collaborate with stakeholders to keep research on track and of high quality.

● Proactivity and ability to operate independently.

● Demonstrated ability to manage and analyze data using SPSS or similar data analysis software.

● Demonstrated ability to conduct presentations and facilitate workshops.


●Strong (creative/interactive) training skills.
●Strong supervision, coaching and communication skills.
●Strong planning skills
●Able to quickly and with attention to detail identify needs / gaps and work towards solutions.
●Cultural sensitivity.
●Willing and able to travel regularly.


 Warning :

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