Roving Research Officer

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Education, Research and Development, Social Sciences and Community
Assosa, Benshangul Gumuz and Jijiga, Somali 
Career Level:
Mid Level ( 2+ - 5 years experience)
Employment Type:
Full time

Job Description

BACKGROUND: The International Rescue Committee, one of the world’s largest humanitarian international NGOs, provides relief, rehabilitation and development support to vulnerable people and communities over 30 countries. We began work in Ethiopia in 2000 in response to severe drought in Ethiopia’s Somali region and are currently providing assistance to Ethiopians and refugees in six regions in Ethiopia, implementing emergency and development programs in health, water and sanitation, economic recovery and development (ERD), women’s protection and empowerment, education, child protection, and multi-sectoral emergency response. 

Scope/Job purpose: 

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) seeks two Research Officers for the PlayMatters Project.  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.


Under the PlayMatters Senior Research Manager, the Research Officers will technically assist in thorough research activities conducted for the the PlayMatters in target communities in IRC and Plan International target refugee camps and host communities.  The Research Officers will be technically supervised by the PlayMatters Senior Research Manager in Addis Ababa and will be functionally supervised by Education managers at the field office. The research officers will work with the PlayMatters team in IRC and Plan on activities to ensure quality implementation and documentation of research activities.  

Major/key Responsibilities:

  • The Research Officers will report to the Senior Research Manager in Addis and Education Managers based in Jijiga and Assosa field offices.
  • Work with the Senior Research Manager, the PlayMatters team to ensure accurate collection of data. 
  • Communicate all challenges with collection of data with the Senior Research Manager.  Coordinate all research activities in the field in coordination with the Senior Research Manager and the PlayMatters team.
  • Work on research database entry for documentation. 
  • Assist research team during enumerators training and data collection. 
  • Other activities as assigned by the PlayMatters team 

Technical and Data Management

  • Ensure accurate and timely copying and collating of all research tools, including consent forms. 
  • Assist with organization and completion of data collection and research documentation, including secure transportation, filing and storage of all data.
  • Review carefully all research planning and design documents to gain a working knowledge of all research plans and activities. 
  • Enter data for the evaluation in Excel and other needed software and perform data scanning and copying with the guidance of the Senior Research Manager. 
  • Provide data and summaries of data as needed.
  • Complete all other tasks assigned by in-country supervisors and Program Manager

Administrative and Logistical Tasks                                                                 

  • Assist with completion of all logistical tasks related to organizing the IRC and Plan PlayMatters research activities and capacity building activities, in Addis Ababa and the target refugee camps and host communities, including:
  • Prepare meetings/training materials as needed.
  • Organize visa communication with HR for partner visits, transportation, accommodation and all consultants and others need to ensure implementation of workplan.
  • Communicating with supervisor according to schedule established and as needed.
  • Ensure supply and logistical needs of project and ensure adherence to all relevant IRC logistic and finance policies. 
  • Assist the supervisor to complete financial documentation and submit to finance in a timely manner as required by IRC finance policy. 
  • Accurately complete requested reports, communicate information and dissemination about activities.

        TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION                                                 

  • Arrange for the translation and interpretation of all research related tools 
  • Work with IT support to ensure the functionality of program tools for data collection  

Job Requirements

  • BA degree in Education, Psychology, Social Sciences, and related Field of studies.
  • Work and field experience will be considered in lieu of specific degree if experience with children, their caregivers, and communities.
  • Experience conducting survey, focus group discussions and interviews with children and their caregivers.  
  • Computer skills- Words and Excel.  
  • Experience with research- related activities preferred  
  • Strong written and verbal skills in English

How to Apply

Candidates meeting the above qualifications are encouraged to apply only through the below IRC On-line recruitment website: 



Please include 3 references from current and former employers.

Applications will not be returned. IRC discourages phone calls or personal visits.

Only applicants meeting the minimum qualification will be short listed and contacted.

Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.

Your application letter/cover letter must include the following information.

  • Name of the position you have applied for
  • Date of application
  • Summary of  your qualifications and experience
  • Motivation/objective of why you have applied for the job
  • Permanent Address and present address (if different from permanent) and telephone number if possible also email address
  • Disclose any family relationships with existing IRC employees.

IRC is an equal employment opportunity employer.  IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

Professional Standards : The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity Anti-Retaliation and Combating Trafficking in Persons

Gender Equality:  IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols, and other supportive benefits and allowances

Equal Opportunity Employer:  IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

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