Senior Research & Innovation Manager at International Rescue Committee October, 2021

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Requisition ID: req20901

Job Title: Senior Research & Innovation Manager

Sector: Research & Development

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: No

Location: Kasulu, Tanzania

Job Description

Job Overview/Summary:

IRC’s Airbel Impact Lab / Research and Innovation (R&I) Unit brings together a multi-disciplinary team combining IRC’s commitment to rigorous research and evidence-based programs with new approaches to designing, testing and scaling breakthrough interventions for the humanitarian and development sector. Airbel helps the IRC serve people affected by crisis with the most effective and efficient programs; designing and rigorously testing interventions, supporting the IRC in interpreting and applying existing research to develop high-quality, evidence-based programs, and conducting cost efficiency and cost effectiveness analyses to ensure the best use of our resources. –It also aims to design, nurture, and scale new humanitarian interventions and delivery models by applying best practices from the behavioral sciences, human-centered design, rapid iteration, and multi-disciplinary problem-solving in the humanitarian context.

The Tanzania Research and Innovation Hub is a collaboration, led by IRC, between the IRC, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), and the Behavorial Insights Teams (BIT). This Hub aims to enable adaptive project design, small-scale pilot studies, and larger-scale impact evaluations in Tanzanian refugee camps and surrounding host communities to improve outcomes for crisis-affected populations and create more impact for every dollar spent on aid.

The Tanzania Research and Innovation Hub is an exciting initiative that will work in close coordination with IRC’s operational work in Tanzania and globally. IRC in Tanzania works in the sectors of health, education, protection and empowerment to provide humanitarian support to hundreds of thousands of refugees and Tanzanian host communities. 

The successful candidate will be a creative and strong leader with experience in  research project management, coordination of research teams , strategic thinking and research and innovation programming.

Key responsibilities:

Based in IRC offices in Tanzania, the Senior Research and Innovation Manager will be responsible to provide leadership to the Research Hub’s research projects and coordinate with research leads on:

 Tanzania Hub Research Project Management Leadership Support

  • Support the design and implementation of (design) research projects in collaboration with research leads and technical advisors, field programs and (design) research partners. This includes  pop -up learning a center-based digital education program that puts child-centered software in the hands of children who need it the most, to enable them to gain foundational numeracy and literacy skills according to their development potential, without the need for a skilled teacher to guide them.
  • Work with project leads to ensure that projects are set up for success, including developing clear scopes of work, budgets, and project management structure.
  • Draft follow- up communication with global and local partners and country programs to generate continuous team alignment.
  • Prepare weekly projects reports, coordinate schedules ,agendas and take notes from meetings.
  •  Provide operational advice to project leads and other Hub partners as required and as relevant for project implementation (advise on camp permits, security, transportation options, etc).
  •  Generate and carry action points.

Tanzania Hub Coordination:

  • Support Project and / or business development opportunities – specific meetings, as require
  • Support in writing concept notes and proposals; proactively pursue business development opportunities aligned with the Hub priorities and liaising with potential donors and partners.
  •  In collaboration with the IRC Tanzania Programme teams (including technical coordinators and M&E coordinator, regularly review IRC Tanzania programmes and M&E data to identify potential areas for future innovation and research.
  •  Proactively develop and manage strong partnerships with the innovation ecosystem in Tanzania.
  • Support in ensuring relevant regulatory and research ethics permissions and protocols are established and observed.
  • Develop and update contracts, agreements, and governing frameworks amongst Hub partners, as needed.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Research and innovation Hub Coordinator

Indirectly report to: Imagine Worldwide or other project leads


  • Education: Master’s in development studies, social sciences, or other relevant field, or a Bachelors’ degree with significant field experience.
  • Work experience: 3-5  years of progressive experience. Field experience strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated expertise in research and innovation in the humanitarian or development sector, experience in managing Randomized Controlled Trials and mixed methods research.
  • Demonstrated success in people and programme leadership.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: the ability to effectively liaise with and motivate a variety of people in a multi-cultural environment and across various time zones.
  • Excellent organizational skills: the ability to multi-task, learn quickly, and work independently and productively in a fast-paced and detail-oriented environment.
  • Flexible work attitude, proactive and demonstrated creativity: the ability to work productively in a team environment and the ability to problem solve creatively with minimal guidance.
  • Demonstrated success in leading business development opportunities and proposal writing.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills in both Swahili and English required.
  • Ability to travel to field sites regularly.

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