International Rescue Committee Health Research and Evaluation Officer in New York, New York

Requisition ID:req2146

Job Title: Health Research and Evaluation Officer

Sector: Health

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Location: USA-New York, NY - HQ

Job Description

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

The IRC’s vision is to lead the humanitarian field by implementing high-impact, cost-effective programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to shape policy and practice. To achieve that vision, the IRC’s Program Quality Unit (PQU) provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice.

The Program Quality Unit has three central objectives that we work towards:

1) Guide program design to achieve outcomes by incorporating the best available evidence

2) Build technical capacity of country program staff to implement, measure and continuously improve programs

3) Influence the IRC, peer agencies and donors to use proven interventions and generate new evidence to achieve change in peoples’ lives

The Program Quality Unit is comprised of seven technical Units, all of which have deep expertise in their respective sectors: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Gender Equality, Governance, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, and Research Evaluation and Learning (REL). The Research, Evaluation, and Learning Unit supports the various technical units across the IRC to conduct or backstop research studies and also leads initiatives that provide resources for country programs to design and implement programs based on existing evidence.

The Health Technical Unit is organized in four sectors; primary health, reproductive health, environmental health and nutrition. The structure emphasizes a clear division of roles between staff focusing on comprehensive technical assistance to countries and staff providing specialized support and thought leadership. In 2017, the Health Technical Unit supported programming in 6 regions and 27 countries.

One year position with potential option for extension.

Position Scope:

The Health Unit Research Team and IRC country programs conduct a variety of studies including randomized controlled trials, observational studies, mixed-methods studies, formative research, and evaluations of all kinds. The Research and Evaluation Officer will backstop a variety of ongoing studies, directly support program evaluations, manage partnerships with academic institutions, and identify research opportunities that align with the Heath Technical Unit’s research and programmatic priority areas. The Health Technical Unit is currently focusing its research on areas including non-communicable disease, child malnutrition, community health systems, and health systems strengthening.

The Officer, Research and Evaluation will report directly to the Technical Advisor for Health Research, sitting in both the Research, Evaluation, and Learning Unit and the Health Unit.

Specific Responsibilities:

It is expected that the Officer, Research and Evaluation will spend around 30% of their time designing, implementing, and/or assisting in health program evaluations, and the remaining time backstopping health research projects. The Officer will also be expected to contribute to business development activities for research in IRC’s research priority areas of community health, child health and nutrition, non-communicable diseases, and health systems strengthening, as well as capacity building of country teams in conducting research projects and assessing merit of research opportunities.

Specialized Country Support (Country-led projects):

  • Provide specialized support to country programs on research and evaluation efforts

  • Provide technical review of research/evaluation concept notes from country programs or potential external research/evaluation partners and assist in go/no go decision-making

  • Assure methodological soundness of research studies and evaluations and backstop country teams

  • For specified research or project evaluations, design and supervise data collection, entry, and analysis

  • Conduct training of national research staff

  • Participate in preparation of manuscripts for peer review and presentations for conferences

  • Support development of research ethics applications for specified studies

Coordination of Research Projects (Technical Unit-led projects):

Engage in project design and business development

  • Identification of funding opportunities focusing on research in relevant health priority areas, including prepositioning work and partnership and donor cultivation

  • Strategic opportunity analysis, including provision of input into go/no-go decisions on proposals and partnerships.

  • Negotiation of teaming agreements

  • Lead efforts related to proposal development

Coordinate research project implementation

  • Prepare research ethics applications for specified studies

  • Recruit and onboard research staff

  • Support grant opening meeting activities

  • Oversee research project implementation

  • Coordinate and contribute to the development of all external project reporting and manuscript preparation

  • Serve as the focal point for ongoing partner coordination and donor communication

  • Work with the communications team on documentation and dissemination


  • Maintain database of health research projects, research reports, and manuscripts

  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Technical Advisor for Health Research

Position directly supervises: N/A

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

Internal:Health unit team members including TAs, admin, and communications staff; Research, Evaluation, and Learning Unit staff; country program staff

External: Academic partners, donors, representation at external meetings and conferences

Job Requirements:

Education:MPH or Masters in relevant field, both quantitative and qualitative training preferred.

Work Experience:3-6 years of experience with at least 1 year experience managing research projects in low-income countries. At least 2 years of field experience preferred.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

  • Superior internal and external communication and coordination capabilities

  • Demonstrated technical expertise in at least one of the following areas: non-communicable disease, nutrition, health systems, humanitarian health, survey design and implementation, program evaluation

  • Experience managing donor funded projects and grants; including budget development and oversight, monitoring and evaluation systems, and technical input to proposal-budget development and donor reports.

  • Experience conducting primary data collection in challenging environments

  • Data analysis skills, both quantitative and qualitative preferred

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills

Language Skills:Fluency in English required; proficiency in French is desired/an advantage.

Certificates or Licenses: N/A

Working Environment:Up to 30% travel may be required