Senior Researcher: Learning Through Play

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An experienced research professional with a passion for making impact through evidence-based humanitarian programming

Your Challenge

The Senior Researcher (Learning through Play) is responsible for co-coordinating the research agenda across the 5-year $100 Mil USD PlayMatters consortium project, funded by the Lego Foundation and lead by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). PlayMatters is designed to promote learning through play for all conflict affected children aged 3 to 12+ in Ethiopia and Uganda, working with stakeholders including children, caregivers, educators, communities and education systems. War Child’s role in the consortium includes co-leadership of the research agenda with the consortium lead, as well as designing and implementing War Child’s own research activities. The Senior Researcher is responsible for providing guidance in the content, design, implementation and analysis of research projects that meet essential requirements for both scientific research and good humanitarian practice, and contributes to advances in the sector through networking and collaboration with consortium partners, other international organizations and research institutes.

The Senior Researcher Learning through Play is part of the Research and Development (R&D) Department, and reports to the Director of R&D, Prof. Mark Jordans.

The Senior Researcher will be based preferably in Kampala (location in other War Child country offices can be discussed).


· Develop and implement the research agenda for the PlayMatters program, in collaboration with relevant counterparts

· Design, propose and adopt PlayMatters and related War Child research projects, in collaboration with consortium partners

· Support the development of appropriate qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods research projects and strategies for the development of the PlayMatters program

· Plan and manage data collection (for different research projects), including RCTs, in consultation with consortium partners and WCH Uganda counterparts

· Disseminate, communicate and uptake results within and beyond the consortium

· Undertake relevant program/financial management, reporting, and accountability responsibilities for research projects

· Provide research data when needed to senior management of War Child and the PlayMatters consortium to facilitate decision making processes and scaling strategy

· Manage, train, and/or supervise relevant staff (e.g. technical advisors, research assistants, research coordinators) and consortium partner staff where appropriate.**

Your Profile

· PhD degree in Education, Psychology, Social Sciences or other relevant discipline

· Min. 5 years of relevant research and implementation experience (e.g. play-based learning, ECCE, primary education, child-focused MHPSS, in LMICs and/or conflict affected settings)

· Significant experience with different study designs, for example randomised control trials, mixed methods studies, ideally in settings of adversity

· Cultural sensitivity and competency, and knowledge of East Africa context

· Flexibility, and ability to adapt processes to varying contexts

· Able to conceptualise and ensure functional relations between research activities and program design/implementation for rapid translation of research findings

· Able to perform as a project manager; managing, coordinating and facilitating proper implementation, budgeting and reporting

· Fluent in written and spoken English

· Fully support War Child’s mandate and mission

· Full-time role based in Kampala.

We offer

• A challenging job, within an inspiring and motivated team of people and the backup of a strong and professional organisation in the Netherlands

• A fair salary that depends on base location and years of relevant working experience of the candidate and comprehensive secondary benefits that includes housing contribution, good insurances (including health, travel and disability) and opportunities to develop and learn professionally.

Job Location: Kampala, Uganda. This is a family duty station.

Contract: War Child Holland is looking for someone committed to invest 5 years in this position, starting with a 1 year contract with the intention to prolong.

Starting date: June 2020

War Child strives to create an inclusive work environment. Candidates from all backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences who judge that they are able to fill all or most of the essential requirements for this role are encouraged to apply. East African candidates are encouraged to apply.

The Organisation

War Child is a dynamic organization. We try to keep an informal ambiance within our offices, with a lot of room for creativity, inspiration and self-initiative from employees. We practice what we preach: dynamic, innovative, integrity focused, and a drive to reach the highest possible results against the lowest possible costs. War Child Holland offers a challenging job working together with our highly regarded international R&D department.

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