Research Manager – Real Choices, Real Lives

December 27, 2022

Job Description

  • Lagos

Plan International

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian non-profit organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood, and enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We believe in the power and potential of every child, but know this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Research Manager – Real Choices, Real Lives
Location: Nigeria
Type of Role: Part-time (4 days per week), Fixed-term contract until December 2024
Functional Area: Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning
Reports to: Head of Research
Travel Required: Limited
Effective Date: January, 2023
Grade: GH4
Role Purpose

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion, and discrimination. And its girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.
We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national, and global levels using our reach, experience, and knowledge.
We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years and are now active in more than 70 countries.
Reporting to the Head of Research, this role is situated in the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Department. ‘Real Choices, Real Lives’ is a unique research project. It follows a cohort of girls living in nine countries1 around the world from their birth, in 2006, until they turn 18, in 2024. The study provides rich qualitative perspectives and nuanced understanding across a significant period of time and taking account of different social, cultural, economic and institutional contexts. The evidence is important not only for informing how Plan supports girls but also to develop wider recommendations for targeting gender inequality at policy and programme level – and it is the ambition of the study to strengthen evidence uptake.
At this pivotal time in the girls’ lives (they turned 16 in 2022), and the study’s lifetime, ‘Real Choices, Real Lives’ is shining a light on what it means to grow up as a girl and the choices, decisions and realities that shape girls’ everyday experiences. Over the remaining years of the study, there will be a greater focus on 
embedding the evidence in the wider work of Plan International, not only at a global level but across regions and within countries where the study is conducted. At the same time, as the depth of evidence builds year-on-year, it is timely to share insights with the wider sector, including research and evidence networks, as well as programmatic and policy audiences. As such, this is an exciting time to be joining this project and contributing to its future direction with an ultimate view to supporting greater impact through research uptake activities.
Taking forward the study until its intended completion in December 2024 will require a proactive and fresh perspective, sector-wide knowledge of current debates, as well as experience navigating organisational priorities and supporting research uptake. Part of this will involve balancing research rigour and requirements with the ability to make evidence digestible/accessible to different audiences/in different formats, as well as being both opportunistic as well as strategic about outputs. The Research Manager will lead and deliver high quality research outputs on Plan’s focus areas set in terms of the Global Strategy – All Girls Standing Strong.
In addition, the Research Manager is expected to work with the Head of M&E and other MERL team members in implementing the Research Policy and Standards, particular around ethics and will sit on Plan International’s Ethics Review Committee. More information about the study can be found here, which also includes links to the latest reports.

Dimension of the Role

Reporting to the Head of Research, this post is based at the Global Hub and the incumbent will work in a team of 6 researchers, 5 M&E specialists and 3 M&E system specialists and must work within a shared budget. The Research Manager is also expected to line manage and supervise the Real Choices Real Lives Research and Engagement Officer.

Accountabilities

The job is varied and requires an individual who can:Manage and provide overall direction to the study, including inputs from the Research Engagement Officer, as well as overseeing data collection and analysis activities, ensuring research activities and research outputs are of high quality and delivered on schedule/in line with ethical principles.
Lead and coordinate the production of research products, including ‘flagship’ reports and other research outputs that take different formats (e.g., blogs, briefs, thematic pieces, case studies, presentations etc.), aligning these with global and regional activities/priorities.
Support the integration of study findings in Plan Federation activities and decisions (across policy, advocacy, campaigns, and programming)
Build the profile of the study at global, regional, and country-level, maintaining a presence within the wider research and evidence debates (particularly related to adolescence/gender), identifying opportunities to present, collaborate and share knowledge more widely
Oversee stakeholder and strategy management internally and externally.
Work with colleagues to profile the study on Plan platforms globally, regionally and in-country, including supporting engagement with Plan Country Offices to embed evidence in Plan country activities, through identifying opportunities and inputting to development of tailored/targeted outputs.
Ensure that Plan International’s global policies for Child Protection (CPP) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) are fully embedded in any study outputs and activities. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

Key Relationship
Internal:

Head of Research; the Director of MERL and other members of the MERL team to drive forward the direction of the study and deliver on its ambitions at global level, as well as regionally and in country.
The Real Choices, Real Lives Research Engagement Officer to develop and deliver on the research agenda.
Liaise with technical staff in Regional, Country, Liaison and National office teams as required.
Global Communications and Digital teams, Technical Leads, Global Influencing and Global Gender Transformative Policy and Programming colleagues to align evidence emerging from country-specific activities with global priorities and ensure distribution.
Country focal points in each of the nine research countries, as well as wider members of country teams (as relevant) (coordinating engagement with the Research Engagement Officer).

External:

Working with a variety of consultants and academic partners to achieve the research objectives of the Global Strategy as well as individual research initiatives
Liaise and network with researchers- external consultants and researchers from partner institutions – outside of Plan International
Attend research forums and conferences to present the Real Choice Real Lives study research results.
Liaise and network with key research institutes and universities.

Technical Expertise, Skills and Knowledge
Essential

Masters level or equivalent, preferably in research methods, development studies or a related subject.
Strategic direction-setting for long-term/multi-year projects, ideally research;
Developing and delivering research uptake plans, including identifying research uptake opportunities (communications, policy/advocacy, and programmatic), to support evidence dissemination/impact;
Implementing technical expertise (particularly utilising excellent knowledge of girls’ rights, to develop/deliver high quality research outputs);
Managing and inputting on qualitative research, with a technical focus on gender/gender dynamics, as well as social norms;
Experienced in the use and application of qualitative data analysis software i.e., NVivo and reporting tools to develop standard and ad hoc reports.
Delivering research and supporting research uptake across developing country contexts (including undertaking training and overseeing fieldwork);
Knowledge of research operations, principles, practices and methods
Strong influencing and stakeholder management skills.
Must be adaptable and able to work independently on multiple tasks, prioritise workload effectively and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
Strong analytical skills and robust problem-solving skills.
Attention to detail; accurate and observant.
Ability to work within a multi-cultural environment and find creative solutions for successful regional and national knowledge management initiatives to promote learning and information sharing across the organisation
Good project management and budget management skills ideally in a multi country setting
Ability to make connections and build relationships within Plan International and externally
Fluent in English with strong verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills.

Desirable:

Spanish and/or French verbal and written communication skills is an advantage
Experience working with longitudinal data.
Understanding of social norms theory.

Application Closing Date
3rd January, 2023.
Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online
Click here for more information (Doc)
Note:

Plan International Nigeria is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender or disabilities.
Plan International Nigeria is fully committed to child protection to prevent children from all forms of abuse.
Women are strongly encouraged to apply.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted
Only CVs and cover letters in English will be accepted.  

To apply for this job please visit jobs.plan-international.org.

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