Water and Development Research Specialists

Management Systems International (MSI)

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

Project summary:

Management Systems International (MSI), in partnership with the Palladium Group, implements the E3 Analytics and Evaluation Project for USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and the Environment (E3). The Project carries out rigorous evaluations and provides analytic support to the E3 Bureau’s 12 technical offices, as well as other operating units of the Agency that work in E3 sectors.

The MSI team is currently working with USAID/E3’s Office of Water to conduct research and analysis to identify gaps in the evidence around the four development results (DRs) that USAID is targeting to support the U.S. government’s Global Water Strategy. This research will inform future Agency-funded research activities and implementation.

Position Summary:

MSI is recruiting research specialists with expertise in at least one (1) of the four (4) DRs noted below to carry out evidence gap analyses in close coordination with the MSI home office team. This work may be close to full-time over a period of one- to two (2) months between February and April 2018.

The research specialists will work with the MSI team to identify and map the key programming approaches and focus areas that USAID and other donors are using to support the achievement of the four DRs:

  1. Strengthen water sector governance and financing
  2. Increase sustainable access to sanitation and hygiene
  3. Increase sustainable access to safe drinking water
  4. Enhance sustainability of water resources

The specialists will then identify, review, document, synthesize, and analyze the existing evidence about the effectiveness of these key programming approaches in order to identify the evidence gaps. This is not intended to be a full literature review; instead, the research specialists will work with the MSI team to examine existing meta-evaluations, meta-analyses, evidence syntheses, literature reviews, and other relevant evidence to identify key gaps in the existing evidence.

The specialists then may support the development of key considerations around future implementation and research activities to address the identified evidence gaps.


In collaboration with the MSI team, the research specialists are expected to carry out the following tasks:

  • Support the identification and mapping of key programming approaches that USAID and other donors are using to support achievement of the DRs.
  • Design the process and protocols for examining existing evidence and literature around the identified key programming approaches.
  • Identify the relevant evidence gaps by applying the approved processes and protocols for examining existing literature and evidence. This may include identifying, collecting, reviewing, documenting, synthesizing, and analyzing relevant documents; and preparing analytical reports, succinct summaries, and presentations of findings and conclusions about evidence gaps in key programming approaches.
    • Provide inputs on key considerations for future implementation and research activities to address the identified evidence gaps .


  • Master’s degree required; PhD preferred.
  • Minimum of five (5) years’ experience required in field/academic research conducting literature reviews, analysis, evaluations, assessments, knowledge management, or similar in topics relevant to at least one of the four DRs noted above.
  • Demonstrated experience with USAID programming, strongly preferred. Field implementation experience in WASH-related interventional development programming preferred.
  • Excellent oral, written, and communications skills required; writing sample will be requested.
  • Proactive, highly organized, and self-motivated to perform high-quality work following standard protocols and complete home-based assignments.
  • Highly proficient in MS Office applications.
  • Ability to work alone or in teams to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
  • English fluency required.

Only candidates who have been selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

MSI is an EEO/AA/ADA Veterans Employer.