Job Opportunity
Information on System Dynamics related opportunities

Brown School of Social Work

Contact Person

Jean-Francois Trani

Contact phone, fax and/or email 

[email protected]

Position title

Research Project Coordinator


Brown School of Social Work at the Danforth Campus

Job Type/Schedule

This position is full-time and works approximately 37.5 hours per week.

Position Description

The research project is funded by The United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development. The project brings together several investigators from different organizations: Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), Afghanistan, Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), National Rural Support Program (NRSP), Pakistan, Brown school, Washington University, USA, Center for Evaluation and Development, Germany, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

Building upon previous research, we will develop, implement and evaluate a social accountability intervention - combined with inclusive education training - engaging parents, teachers and children. We will assess the intervention’s impact on basic cognitive but also psychosocial skills of learners as well as parent’s expectations and engagement, and teachers’ confidence with regards to inclusion of children with disabilities. Two partners, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) and the National Rural Support Programme in Pakistan (NRSP) run Community Based Schools (CBS) in remote areas.

They require knowledge as to the factors that can promote or hinder a meaningful learning experience. We hypothesize that strengthening existing social horizontal accountability mechanisms through a Community Based System Dynamics (CBSD) – a participatory approach promoting local ownership in the process of deciphering and changing complex systems from the feedback perspective of system dynamics - can enhance inclusion and the learning experience of disadvantaged children. Developing an effective role for school management committee (SMCs) members requires careful consideration of context and community dynamics, which CBSD upholds. We will carry out Group Model Building (GMB) sessions with SMCs – a specific CBSD method- to identify insights about social accountability reforms. SMCs supported by SCA/NRSP will implement changes based on these insights in intervention CBSs. A randomised control trial (RCT) will evaluate this intervention. Qualitative methods will validate psychosocial assessment tools and explore stakeholders’ perception of education.

The successful candidate’s major responsibility will be to coordinate the study under the supervision of the principal investigator and the co-investigators. Position requires extensive travel abroad to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Learn and utilize Systems Dynamic (unless it is already acquired)
  2. Participate in a training on CBSD in St Louis USA (or another location) and research qualitative methods
  3. Help validate questionnaires used in the study
  4. Establish material needed for the training on CBSD
  5. Co-train the education facilitation team on CBSD techniques and the protocol for the SMCs members
  6. Assist investigators and SCA/NRSP coordinators in the training of the survey staff
  7. Support SCA/NRSP coordinators in:
    • supervising the operations of the CBSD training
    • maintaining financial records for the training as well as for the facilitation sessions in the 80 intervention schools and for the survey in all 160 schools
    • managing the deployment of the facilitation teams in the schools assigned to them
    • managing the deployment of the survey teams to the schools assigned to them
    • maintaining good working relationships with Provincial government staff in the assigned survey areas to facilitate safe and complete survey operations in each of the regions
    • monitoring SMCs facilitation operations within the assigned schools to ensure that to ensure that all 40 SMCs in schools in each country have developed a common vision for school management and are implementing a share program to improve the education experience of children in classes 3 to 5
    • monitoring school survey operations within the assigned areas to ensure that survey coverage goals are met and particularly to ensure that all schools are properly surveyed at baseline and again at endline
    • carrying out in-depth semi structured interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with a subsample of 50 SMC members (including parents and care-givers) and 50 teachers
    • ensuring that education facilitation teams receive appropriate and timely logistics, administrative and financial support
    • ensuring that survey teams receive appropriate and timely logistics, administrative and financial support
    • establishing for the regions and then execute a Quality Assurance/Quality Control plan to ensure high quality of work of the education facilitation and survey teams
    • monitoring the security situation in the school areas, assist the teams in maintaining appropriate and up-to-date security plans for field work, advise SCA/NRSP Management Teams on any changes in the security situation; check to ensure that the survey supervisors are working so as to maximize the security of their survey staff
    • ensuring communications with the SCA/NRSP
  8. Apply study tools with children such as games with picture cards, drawing exercises, a photo-elicitation exercise and a collaborative video process to identify how children perceived their learning experience
  9. Education department and with SCA/NRSP regional management teams
  10. Responsible for CBSD and survey data checking
  11. Supervise the translation in English of qualitative interviews and FGDs
  12. Contribute to writing of reports, policy briefs and scientific articles
  13. Other duties as assigned
Primary work conducted in an office setting with travel internationally to Pakistan and Afghanistan rural areas several months a year for training of local teams, school facilitation GMB sessions, data collection and dissemination.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 4 years job related experience or Master’s in public health, social work, social sciences, public policy, economics, education, or similar degree
  • Understanding and knowledge of evaluation and research methods
  • Experience analyzing data (qualitative/quantitative)
  • Demonstrated superior writing and editing skills are required
  • Proficient computer skills, experience with Microsoft Office required
  • Ability to travel internally as described in the job functions: to Pakistan and Afghanistan rural areas several months a year for training of local teams, school facilitation GMB sessions, data collection and dissemination.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge and experience using Systems Dynamic
  • Knowledge in education (including inclusive education)
  • Practical experience with data collection and management
  • Experience using SAS, STATA, or similar software packages to work on quantitative social science projects
  • Knowledge of focus group discussions and other qualitative methodologies
  • Proficient in the design and use of quantitative methods of research, particularly monitoring and evaluation
  • Experience in developing countries, preferably in Central Asia and/or Islamic contexts
  • Good understanding of gender issues and power structures at the community level
  • Objectivity and ability to operate systematically with minimal supervision
  • Result-oriented and committed to respecting deadlines
  • Urdu, Dari and Pashto is appreciated
  • Strong project management and supervision skills
  • Experience with evaluation designs and methods
  • Experience in collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data
  • Strong interpersonal and communication (oral and written) skills
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks in a complex organizational environment
  • Ability to manage the projects budget and resources
  • Strong analytic and problem solving skills and ability to think strategically and programmatically
  • Highly dependable and organized
  • Ability to work independently and exercise outstanding judgement

Salary Range

The hiring range for this position is $37,401 - $50,485 annually.


  • Retirement Savings Plan
  • 22 vacation days
  • 8 Paid Holidays
  • Sick Time
  • Tuition benefits for employee, spouse and dependent children
  • Free Metro Link/ Bus pass
  • Free Life Insurance
  • Health, Dental, Vision
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Flex Spending Plan
  • Other Benefits

Human Resources website (

Applicant Special Instructions

Primary work conducted in an office setting with travel internationally to Pakistan and Afghanistan rural areas several months a year for training of local teams, school facilitation GMB sessions, data collection and dissemination.

URL to apply

 Edited by BB 1-11-18