Research and Learning Associate: Nigeria

Application deadline: 14 October 2019

Location: Kano

Duration: Fixed Term: November 2019 – October 2020 with possibility of renewal subject to donor funding

Reports to: TaRL Research and Learning Director/J-PAL AfricaAssociate Director of Policy /TaRL Country Manager

Role purpose:

Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa seeks a Research and Learning Lead to support the research, learning and evidence generation for a TaRL programme. This role provides an excellent opportunity to be part of a leading evidence-based initiative tackling the learning crisis in Nigeria. The Research and Learning Manager will support the learning and systematic documentation of TaRL implementation and evidence on the scalability and replicability of the approach which will be shared with relevant stakeholders.

The role will involve travel within Kano, as well as infrequent travel elsewhere in Nigeria.

About Teaching at the Right Level Africa

TaRL Africa is a newly formalised partnership between Education NGO, Pratham, and research centre J-PAL, who have been working together developing cost-effective, scalable literacy and Numeracy interventions for more than 15 years. The fruits of these efforts have been the development of what we now refer to as the TaRL.

The TaRL approach, pioneered by Pratham, helps children develop basic reading and numeracy skills. In TaRL classroom: children are assessed on basic reading and numeracy using a simple tool; grouped by learning level, rather than by grade, for a dedicated time when they focus building foundational skills through activities and materials appropriate for each group. As children progress, they move to the next learning group and continue to grow.

Implementation of the TaRL programme is expected to begin in September 2019.

Main responsibilities:

Oversee the learning agenda for the TaRL programme. This includes, but is not limited to:

Working with the Research and Learning Director as well as the J-PAL Africa Associate Director of Policy  to design  and manage research and evaluations applying quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method approaches.

  • Overall Project Management
  • Anticipating upcoming activities, seeking support, using resources effectively and efficiently and delegating when appropriate.
  • Taking the lead on managing overall project timelines and deadlines using appropriate project management tools with limited supervision.
  • Managing project spending by tracking expenses and ensuring timely reflection of project expenses
  • Proving regular feedback to the manager and reaching out for guidance and support as required.
  • Manage the research components of the programme:
    1. Project Planning
      • Undertake scoping work or secondary research to help the finalize the research design and protocols
      • Assisting with drafting proposals and MOUs if required
      • Supporting on IRB applications to all project associated universities and tracking compliance to IRB related matters
      • Documenting implementation and evaluation plans
      • Conducting power calculations
      • Assisting with budget assumptions and estimates
    2. Field planning
      • Drafting and piloting questionnaire(s)
      • Programming digital version of questionnaire
      • Setting up a field plan and data flow plan
      • Hiring, training and performance management of field staff
      • Coordinating with the Operations team for contracting
      • Planning for project resources support in including survey software (CSPro/SurveyCTO) & hardware (phones/tablets/netbooks)
      • Sourcing secondary data to help in site and sample selection
    3. Data collection
      • Managing and supervising data collection in the field to ensure high quality data
      • Monitoring performance of the field team and careful tracking of daily productivity
      • Regular feedback sessions with field team
      • Setting up quality assurance systems such as back checks, spot checks.
      • Conducting high frequency checks, flagging errors and rectifying them
      • Ensuring safety of field team
      • Ensuring data security and ethics compliance
      • Keeping track of location and condition of fieldwork equipment (With the assistance of project associates)
      • Keeping field staff motivated during fieldwork.
      • Reporting data collection progress
    4. Implementation monitoring
      • Drafting and piloting a monitoring plan
      • Effectively managing program implementation, including program roll out.
      • Setting up monitoring processes to monitor roll out and take up of program
      • Regular reporting on productivity of monitoring team
      • Identifying possible threats to the validity of the study and communicating that to the larger research team
      • Documenting deviations from the original design of the study
    5. Data analysis and documentation
      • Writing clear, concise do files for data cleaning
      • Assisting on analysis report, presentation of results
      • Documentation of research results and preparing handover documents that could be used by policy team or new researchers in the future
      • Systematically documenting all project decisions through the lifecycle of the project
  • Ensuring programme compliance with set research design, methodologies, data management and general research protocols
  • Managing data collection activities, including managing  and training of enumerators
  • Developing of data collection tools
  • Conducting data analysis
  • When appropriate, help draft terms of reference for external research contractors, help to hire and oversee the contractor’s work

Sharing findings with the team and other education stakeholders

  • Draft research reports and related communication pieces with support from the TaRL Africa Central team
  • Promote the sharing of programme best practices through formal and informal workshops
  • Manage the creation of programme knowledge products
  • Engage with government stakeholders, donors and other partners to share lessons learned from programme implementation

Education and Qualifications

  • A Masters degree in Economics, Statistics or a related social science field;
  • A minimum of four years of  experience working in a similar research-focused position.
  • Demonstrated experience with data collection platforms and data analysis software, including STATA
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English


  • Experience working in Northern Nigeria
  • Strong preference for Kano State resident
  • Language skills: Hausa

How to Apply

Please fill in this application form by 17 September 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a writing assessment and a data analysis test, followed by an interview process. Due to the large volume of applications, we will only be able to respond to short-listed applicants.