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ENN is looking for a consultant Senior Researcher (cohort studies) for the Wasting-Stunting Study.

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27 Jun 2019, 14:44

Location: Home based with considerable international travel to Nigeria

Level of effort and duration: This contract is for up to 95 days over 12 months, approximately 60 of these days will be spent in Nigeria. The majority of the Nigeria-based work will be between September and November 2019

The workload will fluctuate month to month so some flexibility will be required.

Start date:  Preferably August/September 2019

Other terms: This is a consultancy and as such the consultant is solely responsible for payment of all relevant employment taxes and national insurance charges. The consultant is expected to supply all equipment needed to fulfil these TORs, as well as cover all other 'costs of doing business', unless specified otherwise by ENN.

Background: The Wasting and Stunting (WaSt) project has been running since 2014 with the aim of investigating the relationship between wasting and stunting in order to examine whether the current separation between these manifestations of child malnutrition within research, programme, policy and funding is justified. Recently published analyses by the WaSt Technical Interest Group (TIG) have highlighted the very high risk of death in children who are simultaneously both wasted and stunted, a level similar to a child with severe acute malnutrition who would normally be treated with therapeutic protocols. Analysis by the group indicates that children at a high risk of death in this category are best identified by a combination of weight-for-age (WFA) and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measures. 

The aim of this study, funded by the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), is to test whether these measures can be effectively combined in a real life programme setting to reach this high-risk group and to generate evidence on these children’s nutrition, health and mortality related outcomes as well as any cost and societal implications.

The ENN Study Team comprises nine people; The Study Coordinator-Principle Investigator (SC-PI), the WaSt TIG Lead, two ENN Technical Directors (TDs), the Project Manager (PM), the Senior Researcher and a Costs Expert. A working group of the WaSt TIG has been formed to support the study. There is also an in-country implementing partner (IP) for the study with a team which will include a Research Assistant (RA) and a Clinical Researcher (CR) dedicated to the study. 

Reporting Lines: The consultancy contract will be managed by one of ENN’s Technical Directors with oversight of the project. On a day-to-day basis reporting will be to the SC-PI.The Senior Researcher has a technical oversight role for the Implementing Partner RA and CR positions. 

Home-based responsibilities 

  • Attend UK-based meetings (face-to-face and virtual) with the ENN team and WaSt TIG experts as needed.
  • Participate in regular coordination calls/meetings with the IP.
  • Feed into discussions with the rest of the ENN study team and the WaSt TIG SWG on secondary data analysis and study design
  • Work closely with the SC-PI, WaST TIG lead and IP (RA and other team members) to finalise study protocols, research instruments and data collection tools.
  • Work closely with the WaSt TIG lead on analysis of the cohort findings
  • Prepare preliminary and final results of the cohort studies for stakeholder dissemination and discussion meetings in country and globally, including drafting and completion of PowerPoint presentations.
  • Feed into final write-up of the generic research protocol based on experiences of the cohort implementation.
  • Co-author cohort section of final research paper.
  • Contribute to any donor and ENN reporting as required by the SC-PI and the PM. 
  • Provide remote trouble shooting support to the IP on study protocols and implementation where required in tandem with the SC-PI and the PM.

Country-related responsibilities (approx. 60 days between September and November 2019)

  • Take a lead, supported by the SC-PI, on in-country liaison, planning and support to the IP for the implementation of the cohort studies. 
  • Support the SC-PI to oversee and technically backstop the work of the IP (in particular the RA and CR) to ensure the study is implemented according to the agreed protocol.
  • Lead on the contextualisation of the generic research protocol for in-country use.
  • Support the SC-PI with the facilitation of partnership meetings in-country with government and stakeholders to provide the right approach to enable government dialogue and approval of the study together with the IP. 
  • Work with the SC-PI, WaSt TIG Lead and IP to agree the scheduling, materials and resources needed for the pre-test of protocols and tools, full orientation and training of the national IP team.
  • Working closely with the IP RA, lead training for the IP staff on the study protocols, schedules and tools and quality checks.
  • Support the IP team to ensure that:
    • The IP is fully conversant with the study methods, survey instruments and data collection templates 
    • Pre-testing of study instruments is completed with the necessary revisions to protocols and tools agreed by the whole study team
    • Training is undertaken using the tools and templates for the study ensuring a very high level of understanding, consistency and accuracy in data collection
    • The IP is supported in the identification of field enumerators for the study
    • Data collection surveys are planned in detail.
    • Checks are made to ensure quality of data collection including that all technological equipment is up to date and in good order and actions taken where required
  • Liaise with the RA and CRA to monitor and report on progress against the in-country study workplan, highlighting any bottlenecks/issues to the wider study team, and reporting back to the SC-PI on a weekly basis.
  • Carry out country visits as scheduled in the detailed work plan and be available for additional visits if warranted. 

Skills and experience required

  • Postgraduate level qualification in a nutrition related field
  • Extensive experience of managing nutrition programmes and/or nutrition research in emergency or development contexts
  • Extensive experience of organising and implementing field research in a variety of low or middle income country contexts
  • Experience of working closely with national level partners (government, national institutions and NGOs)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including some experience of presenting project updates and outcomes to stakeholder groups and in the drafting of academic papers.
  • Training skills and experience
  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research design, methods and data analysis

Please submit applications for this consultancy to by Wednesday 31st July 2019.  

The application should include:

A brief proposal outline/cover letter

Consultant’s CV

Detailed costings

Shortlisted providers will be contacted for further Due Diligence processes.

ENN reserves the right to close applications before 31st July 2019 if a suitable provider is found before the deadline.

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