Research Consultant for the Western Kenya Sanitation Project 

RTI International

Kisumu, Kenya 🇰🇪

Overview

RTI International seeks to onboard a Research Consultant (RC) for the Western Kenya Sanitation Project (WKSP), a multi-year activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Kenya & East Africa (USAID/KEA) to create a financially sustainable, transformative, replicable, and locally owned sanitation marketplace in eight target counties of Western Kenya -Bungoma, Busia, Homabay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, and Siaya.

Ultimately, customers must be willing and able to pay for the products and services—a key point being to eliminate any need for subsidies or donor support. The objectives to achieve this goal are:

  1. increased access to and uptake of market-based improved sanitation and fecal sludge management (FSM) products and services
  2. increased access to and uptake of market based improved MHM products and services at the household level, and
  3. strengthened policy and regulatory environments and increased capacity of county government officials to effect lasting change in sanitation management.

Responsibilities

Objective of this assignment (Implementation research partnership)

The USAID Western Kenya Sanitation Project seeks to facilitate ongoing Collaboration Learning and Adaptation (CLA) to assess theories, test assumptions, review results, and adapt approaches. The project is working with other like-minded partners implementing WASH projects in Western Kenya, and key for this assignment will be the partnership with Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability#2 (WASHPALs#2) on implementation research whose specific objectives will be to: The specific objectives for these implementation research will be to:

I. Improving access of sanitation enterprises and consumers to credit, to ultimately improve the uptake of improved toilets. II. Improving the efficacy of increasing working capital and credit guarantee mechanisms to improve sales, particularly to households with financial liquidity constraints; and

III. Understanding working capital constraints, risk aversion, or both, as barriers to offering installment plans.

The RC will liaise directly with the WKSP Research and Development Lead and other designated staff. Other parties that the RC will constantly work with include county governments, private sector actors, learning institutions and development partners to undertake research, produce learning artefacts and support research-to-action activities

The Research Consultant should aim to achieve the following:

  1. Study all relevant research materials, project baseline assessment reports and other key documents produced and shared by partner agencies for purposes of this engagement to have an informed opinion to guide research agenda.
  2. Support in refining the research areas and questions testing various financing mechanisms/options, particularly those related to channel financing to address working capital and credit risk mitigation for sanitation and menstrual hygiene management enterprises. (i.e., trade credit or deferred payment options from suppliers)
  3. Augment the projects learning agenda and develop concepts papers with a rationale to support research development work for the project or for consideration for the next
  4. Propose relevant research methods, develop tools, collect data, perform analysis and produce research artefacts that will inform effective project implementation.
  5. Confine research focus to the project’s geographical scope, within the 8 (eight) in Western Kenyan counties of Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Siaya, HomaBay, Kisii, Kisumu, and Migori
  6. Adhere to research ethical guidelines and confidentiality for both project as well as client’s information and act in good faith as the project’s ambassador.
  7. Submit all the materials used or datasets collected under this contract engagement.
  8. Act as project liaison with other WKSP research partners designated staff in the execution of research activities.
  9. Undertake evaluation activities including the adoption of research tools, pilot interventions, barriers or opportunities for scale and short-term impact to the target beneficiaries’.

Expected Deliverables

  • Support the research team design the research approaches to fit the WKSP context and develop concept paper(s) for research gap areas not covered for consideration by this partnership.
  • Coordinate with designated staff to co-conduct and lead KIIs, including, data analysis, transcription support, review, and presentation of findings.
  • Design stakeholder feedback tools and solicit feedback that will be used to inform on the research outputs and “research-to-action” activities.
  • Train and support the field teams on data collection and data collection tools that will be used to capture information for this assignment across the target area(s)
  • Develop case studies on the promotional activities launched for the purpose of the implementation research to establish key barriers or opportunities for scale and short term impact to the beneficiaries.
  • Support in preparing research protocols and any other material that would be required institutional review boards for ethical and statutory clearance.
  • Develop dissemination materials (Fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations) highlighting key findings with recommendations enhance “research-to-action” interventions.
  • Support the project team develop “research-to-action” roadmap to enhance WKSP implementation models, product development or inform policy development.

Estimated Level of Effort

Level of effort is a maximum of 66 days.

Period of Performance

On or about mid-February 2023 to mid-April 2023

Qualifications:

Academic specialization: An advanced degree in Social Sciences, Public Health or a related discipline preferred. Candidates with relevant experience and Masters-level training in the above disciplines will also be considered. Candidate should have substantial formal training in quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Experience: At least five years of relevant field experience doing mixed methods research,  involving the collection of original data. Experience running quantitative and qualitative  studies, including in data collection design, implementation, and analysis, in developing  countries, is required. Fieldwork experience in WASH projects- sanitation and menstrual hygiene is REQUIRED. Publication in WASH, especially on market-based sanitation (MBS)  including sanitation and hygiene financing is a plus.

Previous research work: Should be able to demonstrate concrete implementation research  projects undertaken in relation to sanitation, FSM and Menstrual Health and Hygiene

Language: Superior written and oral communications skills in English and Swahili are essential

Interpersonal skills: Demonstrated ability to work effectively and sensitively in teams and with government counterparts

Please send an email with your Cover letter, CV/resume, similar previously achieved  work/reports, three references, and preferred daily rate. Applications must be submitted by February 15, 2023. Any applications after the submission deadline will not be considered.

EEO & Pay Equity Statements

As a global employer of choice, RTI is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace and the communities and markets where we serve our mission. We value diversity of thought, culture, background and perspective and welcome applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, creed, citizenship status, disability, protected veteran status, or any other classification protected by applicable discrimination laws or RTI policy.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Further information is available here.

RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach and one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world. For more information, visit www.rti.org.

For USA Job Postings Only: RTI participates in the US Government E-Verify program. Further information regarding the E-Verify program and laws that are designed to protect you against discrimination relating to your legal right to work in the US can be found here.

For San Francisco, CA USA Job Postings Only: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. Further information is available here.

The anticipated pay range for this role is listed below. Our pay ranges represent national averages and may vary by location as a geographic differential may be applied to some locations within the United States.

RTI considers multiple factors when making an offer including, for example: established salary range, internal budget, business needs, and education and years of work experience possessed by the applicant. Further, salary is merely one element to our offer.

At RTI, we demonstrate our commitment to rewarding individual and team achievement through a total rewards package. This package includes (among other things) a competitive base salary, a generous paid time off policy, merit based annual increases, bonus opportunities and a robust recognition program. Other benefits include a competitive range of insurance plans (including health, dental, life, and short-term and long-term disability), access to a retirement savings program such as a 401(k) plan, paid parental leave for all parents, financial assistance with adoption expenses or infertility treatments, financial reimbursement for education and developmental opportunities, an employee assistance program, and numerous other offerings to support a healthy work-life balance.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

LANGUAGE REQUIRED

IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development