Consultancy Research Coordinator, Northern Province Sri Lanka

Community Case Detection for children in need of psychosocial care.

Background

War Child Holland (WCH) is an independent and impartial international non-governmental organization investing in a peaceful future for children and young people affected by armed conflict. We strive to empower children and young people while enabling adults to bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of conflict affected children and young people. In the next five years (2016 – 2020), based on innovation of our approaches, and solid research of our outcomes and impact, War Child aims to evolve towards a globally renowned and recognised expert organisation in the field of psychosocial well-being of children and youth affected by conflict.

The Project

One of our research projects is focusing on the development of a tool to better understand which children and families might be in need for additional psychosocial care to improve access to these services.

A group of selected and trusted members of the community “Community Supporters”, who are closely connected to children/families in the selected communities will be trained in the use of this tool. The tool gives a series of vignettes (fictional case stories) and illustrations, which describe children and families experiencing clusters of emotional, behavioural and relationship issues. The selected and trained Community Supporters will be asked whether any of the children and families they see in their daily routine match the vignettes and illustrations. After positive identification (a “match” with the tool), the community member will approach the family of the child and support help seeking in a professional way. They will invite the family for an assessment done by trained War Child/partner staff counsellor to assess the needs of the child or family, and to refer the children/families to relevant available services.

The Research

Before implementing the tool, War Child Holland would like to test out whether such a tool is effective in increasing access to relevant and available care for children and/or families. The first phase of the research project will be implemented in the Northern Province and is focusing on the accuracy of the tool; hence, we are trying to answer the question: “How accurate is the tool used by community members in recommending the right children/families in the community for extra help?” This will be done by a comparison of the detection tool outcomes done by the Community Supporters, with the outcomes of an already validated clinical interview (done by a small group of local senior counsellors) and a short questionnaire done by a research assistant.

The purpose of this consultancy is to coordinate all aspects of successful completion of phase 1 of the research project in the Northern Province. He/she will work in close collaboration with the Research and Development department and War Child Sri Lanka staff.

Roles and responsibilities

(1) Prior to the research implementation, the Research Coordinator takes a leading role in preparing for the research:

  • S/he is responsible for the coordination of relevant partnership establishment and maintenance in close collaboration with the researcher in R&D, Program Manager and Country Director.
  • S/he is responsible for the coordination/preparation of logistics around research implementation.
  • S/he supports the process of obtaining government approval.
  • S/he supports in budget planning and monitoring.
  • S/he supports selection of study area and end-users of the tool.
  • S/he supports the recruitment of Research Assistants who are able and willing to travel to the research locations.
  • S/he takes a leading role in coordinating training dates and locations for the end-users.
  • S/he supports in time management during the preparation phase to ensure that different parties (internal and external) meet the agreed deadlines and other agreements.

(2) The Research Coordinator takes a leading role in the coordination of the research implementation.

  • S/he is responsible for the supervision and coordination of the tasks of people involved in the research (i.e. Research Assistants, senior counsellors).
  • S/he is responsible for scheduling and coordination of data collection including managing all logistics such as transport, work and appointment schedules (i.e. senior counsellors and families), and resources required.
  • S/he is the focal point for all parties involved (i.e. researcher in Amsterdam office, families, end-users, research assistants, senior counsellors).
  • S/he is responsible for ongoing data management.
  • S/he is responsible for monitoring of quality of data collection, adherence to ethical practices including informed consent, and intervention fidelity.
  • S/he is responsible for overseeing data entry, and able to be responsible for data set cleaning.S/he is responsible for communicating key information from the research in a simple, clear, effective way to stakeholders that are non-researchers.
  • S/he is the focal point for all stakeholders involved and takes care of relevant updates to partners involved.
  • S/he is the focal point for end-users of the tool and is responsible for the supervision of end-users.
  • S/he is responsible for reporting on adverse events and serious adverse events related to implementing the research project according to War Child data management protocols.

(3) The Research Coordinator takes a proactive role in monitoring progress of research implementation and proactively observes, documents and shares any community-level barriers.

  • S/he participates in weekly research supervision and coordination skype meetings with War Child Holland R&D department.
  • S/he shares updates about the research implementation in a structured way with the rest of the team.
  • S/he is proactive in problem solving and suggesting solutions to community-level barriers.

Profile

Essential:

  • Bachelor level degree in relevant field (e.g. Psychology, Nursing, Education, Public Health, Social Sciences).
  • Experience in coordinating field-based/community-based research with human subjects in a relevant field (i.e. psychosocial support, education, and/or child protection).
  • Experience in implementing research activities and quantitative data management for human subjects’ research projects.
  • Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written)
  • Excellent communication skills in Tamil (oral and written).
  • Ability to communicate the results of research to others in a structured, simple, clear, effective way.
  • Ability to operate independently with remote supervision.
  • Ability and willingness to travel with research assistants to other (remote) villages in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka.
  • Available during the first half year of 2019 – for a period of 4 months.

Desirable:

  • Experience in capacity building/training
  • Demonstrated ability to enter and clean data using SPSS or similar data analyses software an advantage.
  • Experience in (basic) analyses of data sets in SPSS of similar software package.
  • Previous extensive experience with both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Reporting

The Research Coordinator will be under direct management of the Research and Development department, with line management from the Programme Manager in War Child Sri Lanka.

Job Location

Northern Province in Sri Lanka, with frequent field visits to the selected villages.

Conditions
LKR 4000 per working day.

Number of days/hours

  • Preparation (participation in trainings etc.): 3 weeks (15 days)
  • Research implementation: 3 months (3-4 days a week)
  • Wrap up: 2 weeks (10 days)

Commencement date

  • Planned starting date is 14-01-2019 (depending on official Ethics Approval).
  • First weeks will be full time.
  • Research implementation is part time.

How to apply

Interested and qualified candidates are invited to apply before 04-01-2019. Make sure to send your motivation letter and resume to: Duminda.Sarachchandra@warchild.nl

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

The safety of children is essential to War Child. War Child does not tolerate or accept any form of abuse. This subject is addressed in our recruitment and selection procedures.