The Institute of International Education (IIE) seeks applications from leading academic experts in experimental approaches to studying comparative politics and democratization for a part-time Democracy Fellow position to be based in USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG Center) in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA). The part-time Democracy Fellow for Research and Policy will provide support to USAID on developing its annual DRG Learning Agenda, designing research projects (impact evaluations, surveys, and others), and advocating for evidence-based decision-making with policy makers and other senior officials. The work will be carried out through ad hoc consultations, review of documents, participation in phone calls, and both domestic and international travel.
The part-time Fellow will be hired as an IIE consultant with a detailed scope of work and deliverables. The Fellow will work between 5 and 10 days per quarter, i.e., at an 8 – 15 percent level of effort (LOE). The appointment is for twelve (12) months. Extension of the fellowship would be contingent on continued technical needs and available funding. The proposed start date for the fellowship is January 2018.
The DRG Center’s Learning Division was established in response to the National Research Council’s report, Improving Democracy Assistance: Building Knowledge through Evaluation. The report recommended that USAID become a learning organization that prioritizes evidence-based decision-making. When the DRG Center was launched in 2012, its Learning Division was charged with elevating rigorous research and knowledge management in the DRG Sector and incorporating new discoveries into DRG programs and policies.
The Learning Division aligns DRG Center research and evaluation activities with four priority development objectives: (1) strengthening participation and inclusion; (2) improving transparency and accountability; (3) protecting human rights; and (4) promoting cross-sectoral reliance upon DRG interventions to enhance outcomes in other sectors (e.g. health, education). The Learning Division generates new evidence and curates lessons from recent social science research that speaks to important questions under each of these four objectives. Learning Division products inform USAID DRG projects and strategic planning with valid evidence based on evaluations of DRG interventions, survey data analysis, and original academic research.
The cutting-edge research that the Learning Division sponsors or conducts is useful at every point of programming. In the problem identification phase, social science evidence helps USAID officers challenge assumptions underlying DRG programs. In the planning phase, impact evaluations of past programs can help USAID officers redress poor outcomes in future interventions. In the evaluation phase, cutting-edge research can push the boundaries of what we trust to work in the field and promote international communities of practice.
With nearly $2 billion dedicated annually to programs to improve democracy, human rights, and governance in over 80 countries, research to improve – and evaluation to assess – the effectiveness of these USAID projects are imperative. The DRG Center and its Learning Division promote evidence-based policy and programming in the DRG sector. The Learning Division’s portfolio of active or completed impact evaluations demonstrate that impact evaluations in the DRG sector are viable and fill a critical knowledge gap in the development sector.
For examples of past research projects conducted under the DFG, please seehttps://www.iie.org/en/Programs/USAID-Democracy-Fellows-and-Grants-Program/Research
For more on the DRG Center and Learning Division activities, see
Duties and Responsibilities
The part-time Democracy Fellow for Research and Policy will participate in some or all of the following tasks, based on availability and interest, and in accordance with the written scope of work:
Supervision and Guidance
The Fellow will serve as a part-time member of the Learning Division of the DRG Center and will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the Division Chief. The Fellow is expected to exercise the highest degree of individual initiative, resourcefulness, responsibility, judgement, and scholarly authority consonant with the overall policy and procedural framework of USAID.
The Fellow will be a consultant of IIE and will report for administrative purposes to the Director of the Democracy Fellows and Grants (DFG) Program.
The appointment is for a total of approximately 20 to 40 days (including travel days) over the course of twelve (12) months (8 – 15 percent LOE). Extension of the fellowship would be contingent on continued technical needs, available funding, and performance.
The daily rate for the part-time Fellow will be commensurate with the candidate’s salary/rate history
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