The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is one of the leading providers of high-quality programming for refugees resettling to the United States. The mission of the IRC’s US Programs (USP) Department is to create opportunities for refugees to survive and thrive in America. The IRC’s USP Department currently provides services in 29 U.S. cities and through the IRC’s Resettlement Support Center (RSC) in East Asia. The USP portfolio has grown to encompass a spectrum of support in five program outcomes with numerous local partners, hundreds of corporate, foundation, and government donors, and thousands of individual givers. The IRC resettles thousands of refugees on an annual basis and has over 900 staff and 3,500 volunteers.
As an organization, the IRC aims to continually improve the effectiveness of our programs through a focus on evidence-based interventions. Our objective is to ensure that all our programs are evidence-based, or where evidence is weak, evidence generating. To deliver on this objective, in 2016 the IRC created preliminary evidence maps and summaries for refugee resettlement outcomes in five priority areas: health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power. The purpose of the evidence maps is to synthesize research relevant to refugee resettlement interventions to assist staff to make evidence-based decisions, identify gaps in knowledge and determine future research needs.
The objective of this short-term assignment is to update the preliminary evidence maps to capture new research and to reflect changes to the IRC’s USP client outcomes.
The Research Associate will be responsible for creating new evidence maps for the IRC’s USP work. This will involve contributing to a review of the USP evidence mapping methodology (defining the selection criteria for reviews/studies to be included, creating search protocols etc.). The Research Associate will then apply this methodology to conduct systematic searches of research databases for potentially eligible citations and to review the text of these publications to determine their eligibility. S/he will map these publications against the IRC’s standard client outcomes to understand the relative effectiveness of various intervention options.
The Research Associate is required for approximately 2 months, starting as soon as possible (ideally by September). This role will report to the Director, Research, Analysis and Learning and will work closely with the Technical Advisor, Monitoring and Evaluation who will oversee the evidence mapping initiative.
- Contribute to a review of the IRC’s USP evidence mapping methodology
- Create evidence maps for the IRC’s 24 USP health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power outcomes.
- Draft synopses of the evidence and rate evidence according to impact findings (i.e. positive, negative, or null)
- Bachelor’s degree in a social science or other relevant field at minimum
- Graduate degree candidate, or graduate degree, in a relevant field (health, social work, education etc.) preferred, PHD candidate preferred
- Demonstrated research experience
- Previous experience carrying out systematic searches (such as evidence mapping, literature reviews, systematic reviews or similar) or interpreting systematic reviews is an advantage
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:
- Ability to read and correctly interpret systematic reviews and meta-analyses
- Ability to identify policy and practice implications based on evidence
- Ability to assess the quality of a systematic review using a checklist
- Understanding of research designs used to generate causal inference
- Ability to write brief summaries of research in non-technical language
- Demonstrated ability to work to deadlines