Thursday, January 22, 2015

Options Consultancy Services ,Research, Evidence and Accountability Jobs in Tanzania

About Us

Options Consultancy Services Limited (Options) was established in 1992 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marie Stopes International. Options is a leading provider of technical and management expertise in the health and social sectors. We work in partnership with national and state governments, international development agencies, the private sector and civil society to strengthen
programmes and policies to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in health and poverty reduction.
Our work focuses on providing expertise in sexual and reproductive health, maternal newborn and child health, HIV and AIDS, citizen voice and accountability, gender, social inclusion and equity to enhance institutional effectiveness to support strengthening of health service delivery.

Role profile

Long-term post-holders are required for a programme of support in Tanzania by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to: Reduce the number of stunted children by 7% (50,000) in the targeted regions of Tanzania within a period of 5 years. This programme is being tendered, and the post will be confirmed should the Save the Children led consortium be successful.
Project outcomes are:
  1. Improved maternal, infant and young feeding practices;
  2. Enhanced quality of nutrition services through the health system;
  3. Improved household access to diverse and nutrient rich foods through own production and purchased from the local market;
  4. Improved multi-sectoral response to nutrition at sub-national levels (Agriculture, WASH, Health, Early Child Development (ECD), Community Development, Livelihoods).
The Research, Evidence and Advocacy Adviser will be responsible for the coordination, oversight and quality assurance of the ASTUTE research portfolio, including operations research. The post holder will work closely with and provide support and guidance to the Programme Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) post. The post-holder will work at national level based within the project office in Dar es Salaam with frequent travel to the selected regions.
Key responsibilities
  • Manage the design, implementation, analysis and write up of innovative qualitative and quantitative research studies (e.g. operations research; intervention evaluations; qualitative studies to understand mechanisms of behaviour change) that are relevant to the DFID logframe indicators and programme objectives.
  • Design in-house and outsourced research tools (e.g. quantitative surveys; interview topic guides) in consultation with the relevant technical advisers. Ensure use of appropriate software for data management and analysis of research data.
  • Write TORs for the outsourcing and/or recruitment of consultants for research as required.
  • Oversight and quality assurance of in-house and outsourced research activities (e.g. reviewing proposals to ensure the highest quality agencies are selected; checking plausibility of data; data verification; ensuring staff are adequately qualified and trained). Technical management of subcontracts and review of associated deliverables.
  • Reporting results and progress of research studies to meet DFID’s requirements (e.g. writing up research findings; proposing plans and costs for further scale up of successful interventions).
  • Ensure research includes an economic component (e.g. cost effectiveness analyses; cost modelling) to inform the Government of Tanzania about the likely cost of further scale up beyond the DFID programme.
  • Train appropriate staff in the collection of primary data for in-house research. Strengthen capacity for analysis and effective use of data at national, provincial and district level, with a focus on building the capacity of regional and district staff who are administering nutrition information systems
  • Present data in an accessible way for government/stakeholders (e.g. top line findings; briefing sheets; executive summaries, scorecards, infographics). Ensure evidence of successful approaches and gaps in provision inform national policy and planning and resource allocation at provincial/district level. Facilitate use of data for decision making, encourage transparency on progress and advocate for improvements in service provision and resource allocation.
  • Convene research dissemination workshops with government staff from multiple sectors, donors and partner organisations to share and discuss relevant data. Ensure data is fed back to service providers to enable them to make informed decisions on effective delivery of services.
  • Ensure use of programme M&E and research findings to support effective multi-sectoral dialogues, regular exchange of information and decision making.
  • Leverage existing accountability mechanisms and platforms to integrate discussion on nutrition into existing policy dialogues, discussion fora and media partnerships. Ensure data is used for advocacy to improve nutrition.
  • Strengthen advocacy for better services for women and children through effective use of evidence by civil society groups and leveraging on pressure points through relevant local accountability platforms.
  • Ensure gender, ECD and WASH feature as part of the research studies and stunting reduction interventions being implemented.
  • Work alongside the Programme M&E Advisor and collaborate as needed (e.g. provide relevant research findings to inform updates to the logframe).
  • Facilitates transparency, inclusiveness, and exchange in collaborative partnerships
  • Identifies common goals and opportunities for collaboration between stakeholders with diverse mandates or structures
  • Manages group dynamics among collaboration partners (e.g. build consensus, manage conflict, facilitate exchange)
Qualifications and experience
  • Master’s degree in a related subject
  • At least seven years’ relevant experience
  • Proven capacity in management/oversight/quality assurance of research studies
  • Experience of operational research
  • Expertise in use of data for influencing policy and planning at national and local levels
  • Strong analytical skills, including use of statistical software packages (e.g SPSS, STATA)
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Experience of working within the health sector, ideally maternal and child health or nutrition
  • Fluent in Swahili
  • Knowledge of nutrition, in particular child stunting
  • Experience of working with donor funded programmes, such as DFID, USAID etc.
  • Experience of capacity building and mentoring
How to apply:

Application process

To express your interest in the role, please send your CV with a summary note of your skills and experience to Freya Stothard at 30th January 2015. Please note that CVs will be shortlisted as they are received.

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