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Child Protection Researcher

New York City | Nairobi | York | Washington D.C.

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: New York City | Nairobi | York | Washington D.C.
  • Grade: Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date:

Background/ IRC Summary:

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees, IDPs, and others affected by war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities, the IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. We address both the immediate, life -saving needs of conflict-affected people in an emergency and the reconstruction needs in post-conflict societies. This position is housed within the Research and Innovation team at IRC’s headquarters within the Airbel Impact Lab. This position will also collaborate with technical and country teams within the Violence, Prevention, & Response and Economic Recovery & Development units.

Job Overview/Summary:

The IRC is a leading pioneer of violence prevention and response research and programming and spans women’s protection and empowerment, child protection, and rule of law research. The child protection portfolio, in particular, is growing and is seeking to build research evidence in the following areas: delivering parenting programs at scale, preventing and responding to children engaged in armed forces or groups, understanding and addressing child labor in humanitarian settings, supporting children on the move, and improving the psychosocial support and wellbeing of children and adolescents in crises.

The Child Protection Researcher will be responsible for coordinating the child protection research and learning agenda, including proactive engagement of university partners, especially from the Global South, ensuring a strong pipeline of research funding, managing studies, ensuring child protection programming is based on the best available resources, and sharing widely the results of child protection research and learning. Paramount in this work is deep attention to ethical considerations related to violence against children research. While the child protection portfolio continues to grow, the initial main focus on the position will be to support the research coordination of a longitudinal, mixed methods study examining the implementation and effectiveness of case management approaches for children who have experienced violence or trauma in humanitarian settings. The researcher will also support coordination, strategy, and business development of other areas of violence research, such as protection/rule of law, on an ad hoc basis.

This role is currently a fully benefited position at a full time level of effort, contingent upon award of funding.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with research and program teams at headquarters and in country programs to coordinate child protection and other emergent violence prevention research studies as needed
  • Proactively develop new partnerships with Global South researchers
  • Oversee and support the child protection research and learning agenda, including delivering a robust business development plan
  • Ensure research adheres to IRC research standards and all violence ethical guidance
  • Lead data collection training and support piloting and implementation as needed, including for both qualitative and quantitative data collection efforts;
  • Design survey tools and protocols, in collaboration with practitioners and academic partners
  • Serve as advisor or co-investigator on child protection research studies
  • Support data analysis efforts, including taking initiative to start new analyses;
  • Contribute to drafting of policy reports and academic articles, including as first author;
  • Coordinate with grants and administrative teams to produce monitoring or donor reports
  • Present research findings internally and externally at various fora
  • Ensure development of and uptake of a dissemination strategy for specific studies;
  • Analyze upcoming and ongoing child protection programming to ensure it remains based on the best available practice and evidence

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Research Director

Other key relationships: Academic partner and project team members in Violence Prevention and Response Unit, including the Child Protection Technical Team, Country based teams supporting research priorities and the Senior Advisor for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning.

Job Requirements:

Education: Preferred PhD; in child development, child psychology, children’s health, quantitative or quantitative sciences

Work Experience: Candidates with a PhD 3-5 years of experience or Master’s with 6-8 years of experience working in research on topics related to violence against children/child protection, humanitarian emergencies or other child focused related topics

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

  • Ability to work across sectors coordinating research studies and bring people together from different perspective to work collaboratively
  • Knowledge of ethical principles related to sensitive study topics, such as child protection and violence research
  • Proven qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis skills
  • Experience in managing student interns
  • Experience conducting research in child protection in humanitarian settings
  • Excellent oral and written communication and attention to detail
  • Strong research publication and funding track record
  • Commitment to adhere to Gender, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion principles and uphold Child Safeguarding standards.

·       English is required, French is highly preferred, and Arabic, Spanish, Swahili or other language would be beneficial.

Working Environment: Standard office work environment, up to 30% travel to countries of implementation.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.


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