Senior Research Officer or Research Fellow

Location Global / Home-based
Application deadline 10 February 2022
Contract type Fixed term
Hours Full-time
Salary Competitive salary for the country in which you are based
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ALNAP is a global network of NGOs, UN agencies, members of the Red Cross/Crescent Movement, donors, academics, networks and consultants dedicated to learning how to improve response to humanitarian crises. We believe that by improving the quality, availability and use of knowledge and evidence from previous responses we can make the system perform better and be more accountable. To do this, we facilitate learning between our Network Members, host the largest library of evaluations of humanitarian action, carry out original research and host events and conferences.

The role

We are seeking to appoint a Senior Research Officer or Research Fellow to join ALNAP. The Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) is a system-wide network organisation dedicated to improving the accountability and performance of humanitarian action by strengthening the humanitarian evidence base through sharing lessons, identifying key issues and, where appropriate, providing leadership to find collective approaches and solutions. Candidates are advised to familiarise themselves with the ALNAP network at

Key roles and responsibilities

The selected candidate will work across multiple research projects at ALNAP, with a primary focus on the theme of locally-led humanitarian action. Supporting locally-led humanitarian action has become a priority for many in the international humanitarian sector. For some, this shift is driven by an ethical imperative: for others, it is a practical reality, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Whilst significant attention and literature have been generated since the build-up to the World Humanitarian Summit, there is surprisingly little evidence on the relationship between locally-led humanitarian action and performance at a response level. In 2021-22, ALNAP will begin a new research stream to create a more evidence-based approach to locally-led humanitarian action.

Building on previous and ongoing work, this project will aim to identify different models of locally-led humanitarian action, including different forms of collaboration between international and local agencies, and will assess these against a set of performance indicators to understand comparative differences in the quality of humanitarian assistance and protection. The aim of this project is to provide original, primary research data on performance to support more evidence-based policies and approaches to locally-led humanitarian action and complementarity.

The function of this role is to deliver strong internal research capacity for ALNAP to carry out case studies and mid-size thematic studies on the topic of locally-led humanitarian action The successful individual will be expected to be familiar and comfortable with mixed methods research and the selection and design of research methods to fit a learning objective.

This role will also have a networking function, as ALNAP’s research relies heavily on inputs and direction from ALNAP members. The successful candidate would therefore be expected to conduct research within the areas of evaluation, monitoring, evidential quality, information management and organisational learning while also meeting needs from the ALNAP memberships and coordinating network activities.

Experience and skills

Posts representing the initial appointment as Research Fellow, require substantial research or equivalent experience, a record of publication and public affairs, and clear evidence of successful development, management and funding of a number of projects brought to a satisfactory conclusion.


Knowledge and Qualifications

  • A degree and post-graduate qualification in a relevant discipline;
  • Extensive and deep knowledge of key issues and organisations in international development
  • Fluency in English, and preferably a good command of at least one other language.


  • Experience in policy-oriented research, demonstrated by a track record of publications and reports;
  • Extensive developing-country experience;


  • Strong analytical skills, a capacity to write clearly, and excellent organisational and oral communication skills
  • A demonstrated capacity for policy advisory or public-affairs work, based on an analytical approach, and an innovative and creative communications ability
  • Project management skills
  • Ability to translate research ideas into fundable projects
  • Excellent communication abilities in relation to a wide variety of audiences
  • Skills in negotiation, listening, communication of ideas, problem-solving, decision making
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Time management skills, including managing a complex and varied workload


  • Fluency in a language other than English and competency in others
  • Experience in information management and organisational learning
  • Some fieldwork experience (survey-based, or qualitative)
  • Ability to analyse quantitative and qualitative data
  • Knowledge of qualitative data storage packages
  • Experience of editing

Senior Researcher Officer


Knowledge and Qualifications

  • A degree and a post-graduate degree in relevant discipline or equivalent relevant experience in the sector
  • Active knowledge of key international institutions in the sector and beyond
  • Active knowledge of key issues related to research and evidence in the humanitarian aid sector, particularly locally-led humanitarian action


  • Demonstrated experience in mixed methods research and/or research design
  • Some developing countries work experience
  • Significant experience in an international development/humanitarian policy research environment, i.e. policy-oriented research and guidance development, demonstrated by publications and reports


  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to negotiate successfully with a wide range of people and cultural awareness
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills
  • Strong presentation and networking skills
  • Flexible and able to work iteratively
  • Excellent IT skills (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally on a frequent basis, which may include overnight and weekends on occasion.
  • Ability to work on own initiative and under minimal supervision, to accept responsibility and to respond with confidence to complex and evolving problems


  • Fluency in a language other than English and competency in others
  • Experience in information management and organisational learning
  • Some fieldwork experience (survey-based, or qualitative)
  • Ability to analyse quantitative and qualitative data
  • Knowledge of qualitative data storage packages
  • Experience in editing

More information

Please note: This is an international role. The role does not require the candidate to live in the UK or to relocate to the UK, if successful. The role also does not require the candidate to have an existing right to work in the UK. ODI/ALNAP will seek to facilitate a contract where the successful candidate is based internationally. As part of our commitment to improving equity in humanitarian research, the ALNAP Secretariat particularly encourages applicants from low and middle-income countries to apply for this role.