Call for Expressions of Interest: Research Consultant, Tikule Limodzi Trial

Closing date: 21 Sep 2016

Primary POC: Senior Regional Research Advisor, Sightsavers ECSA

Alternate POC: Study PI

Study Background

Sightsavers is an international NGO working in over 30 countries in Africa and Asia to eliminate avoidable blindness and promote the inclusion of people living with disabilities so that they can enjoy equal rights and live free from stigma and discrimination.

Since 2015 in Malawi, and in partnership with the University of Birmingham, Sightsavers has been working on a research study entitled Improving curriculum and teaching methods to influence policy and increase the quality of ECDE provision for children with disabilities in Malawi, or Tikule Limodzi (Let’s Grow Together). The study employs mixed methods and at the heart employs randomized controlled trial methodology to test the effectiveness of a new training package for caregivers working at Community Based Child Centres (CBCCs), in Thyolo, Southern Region.

Need for the Services

The main purpose of this consultancy project is to provide day-to-day hands-on support and active engagement with study staff and our various stakeholders in Malawi to ensure appropriate, high quality implementation of the Tikule Limodzi Randomized Field Trial activities. The role serves as an anchor member of theTrial Team and contributes RCT expertise to support study staff to establish and maintain an appropriate system for data collection and management.

Nature of the Assignment

The consultant will act as an advisor for all the Tikule Limodzi Trial related activities. This includes working closely with study staff and investigators to ensure high quality implementation and adherence to study timelines and quality assurance. The consultant will require a high level of attention to detail and diplomacy – working with stakeholders from different countries and different sectors of the education and health system. They will be required to spend significant time with the study staff at their base in Blantyre and regularly travel with them to Thyolo to carry out their duties.

Responsibilities of the project

· In conjunction with study staff and investigators, provide technical support toTrial activities across the 42 selected CBCCs to ensure high quality implementation and adherence to study protocol and timelines.

· Lead in training study staff, provide continued on job support, mentoring and skills transfer or updates to study staff

· Draft standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the Trial and finalize them in conjunction with Sightsavers.

· Ensure that Trial SOPs are followed during study implementation.

· Monitor study procedures to ensure they are in line with the study protocol, as well as reporting any adverse study events.

· Provide weekly updates to the PI [and to the Senior Regional Research Advisor, Sightsavers ECSA].

· Maintain regular linkage, appropriate communication channels and feedback between the study partners (Sightsavers, PI, local investigators, study staff) in line with the laid down procedures

· Ensure timely production and submission of relevant activity and other reports to Sightsavers and PI.

· Any other duties as assigned from time to time

It is desirable that the consultant/team have the following skills/experience

· A master’s degree in public health, epidemiology or equivalent.

· Knowledge, experience and skills in designing, planning, implementing and monitoring of RCTs, experience with conducting surveys with rural communities as well as public health evaluations will be an added advantage.

· Ability to communicate to staff and other partners in a courteous and professional manner.

· Excellent verbal communication and writing skills with the ability to work in a team.

· A good understanding of quantitative data collection and management systems and good computer skills.

· Ability to prioritize multiple tasks, and use judgment and initiative in the course of executing responsibilities

· Ability to make decisions in line with established policies and procedures

Duration of the assignment

The role will be a 4 month assignment which we anticipate will begin on October 01, 2016 and go through January 31, 2017 with the option to extend at the discretion of Sightsavers.

Supervision received/supervisory controls

Reporting to the Senior Regional Research Advisor, this role does not have duties that involve direct supervision of staff, but requires the incumbent to work in a mentoring and advisory capacity to the fieldwork team members.

How to apply:

Closing Date: 21 September, 2016

Please send a letter of application outlining why you should be considered for this consultancy project and estimated daily rate along with CVs .

We very much regret that, in view of the large number of expressions we receive, we are unable to respond if you are unsuccessful. Should you not hear from Sightsavers within three weeks of the closing date, please assume that you have not been successful. I am sure that you will understand the need to concentrate resources towards our work.

Thank you for expressing interest in this assignment.