Career Opportunities

Deputy Director of Research and Evaluation

Location: Bethesda, MD | Job Type: Full-time | Post Date: 01/04/2017
Job Description: 

This is a key senior management position on the USAID ASSIST Project. The Deputy Director of Research & Evaluation works on the research and evaluation portfolio that includes designing, developing, and overseeing the implementation of the research agenda of the USAID ASSIST Project and reports to the Director of Research & Evaluation for the USAID ASSIST Project.

This position is in the Quality and Performance Institute (QPI) at URC working on the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project. QPI focuses on improving health care through applying improvement (aka implementation/ delivery) science.

The ASSIST project is one of URC’s global flagship projects funded by USAID and dedicated to improving health care in developing countries through the application of modern improvement science to delivery institutions, country Ministries of Health, USAID country missions, and cooperating agencies. The project is a $185 million cooperative agreement and is currently operating in about 30 countries in all global health technical areas. The project is a global leader in the advocacy, development, and promotion of cost-effective methods to design and improve healthcare care and strengthen health systems in low and middle-income countries.

Job Responsibilities: 

The purpose of the research and evaluation agenda is to move the frontier of knowledge on improving healthcare in lower and middle income countries. Most studies will build on opportunities within existing country programs and ongoing project activities. The research and evaluation agenda is broad and includes studying the effectiveness of Quality Improvement interventions, evaluating traditional and state-of-the art QI methods. It also includes service provider self-assessment at the community level for feasibility, variation, acceptance, and impact on performance, and on the impact of job aids for counseling on maternal and newborn care, HIV/AIDS, other diseases. Research topics include health workforce development, orphans and vulnerable children, Spread and institutionalization of quality improvement, and others. Research studies and evaluations may also be conducted on training strategies in areas such as patient monitoring, antiretroviral therapy patient management in-service training, infant feeding counseling programs including job aids and supervisor orientation, evaluation of technical training in collaboration with nursing and medical schools and universities, and on computer-based training for TB prevention and treatment.

The Research & Evaluation agenda aims to provide knowledge on the effectiveness of improvement methods for policy makers and program implementers as they seek to strengthen health systems globally for improved outcomes for the patients we are trying to serve. R&E will develop and carry out specific strategies to monitor, evaluate and inform best practices for institutionalizing improvement that reflects local needs and available resources. Key indicators will be developed and tested in the field focused on compliance with clinical norms, competence and performance of providers and studies to examine the contribution of improvement strategies on overall performance, including the complex roles of policy, engagement, and cost sustainability.

The research agenda for the project consists of studying the project’s main areas of work:

  • Improving health care at scale
  • Institutionalize improvement as a means of doing work in low and middle income countries
  • Advancing the frontier of the science of improvement through improving the effectiveness and efficiency of health care delivery

Any important part of the current agenda for the ASSIST project is to improve the validity of the data used in improvement, increase the rigor of the design of improvement activities in order to increase the strength of the attribution of the results of the interventions. The Deputy Director of Research is expected to play a key role in this important development.

The role of Deputy Director of Research and Evaluation includes working with the Director of Research and Evaluation on developing and reviewing consultant and partner scopes of work, work authorizations and budgets. It involves managing relationships with partner organizations including universities and individual and company contractors as well as ensuring the work done as part of the Research and Evaluation portfolio is in compliance with USAID regulations.

The Deputy Director of Research and Evaluation is also expected to contribute to business development which includes managing, writing and reviewing proposals.

Job Requirements: 
  • A Doctoral degree in operations/applied research, public health, medicine, management, or social science
  • Ten years of relevant public health research and evaluation experience working in developing countries and the US on aspects of improving health service delivery related to primary health care
  • Five years of successful experience with R&E program activities for international clients, and presenting outcome results to international audiences
  • Excellent training in and experience with a variety of research and M&E techniques – applying quantitative and, or qualitative research skills
  • Demonstrated understanding/ experience with studies involving complex adaptive systems
  • Knowledge of or willingness to learn Quality Improvement Science and methods is an asset
  • Fluency in a second language (e.g., French or Spanish) in addition to English
  • Excellent verbal, interpersonal, and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated leadership skills in guiding and mentoring research staff and the ability to motivate staff, resolve conflicts, achieve consensus, and promote positive working environment
  • Demonstrated ability to build networks and forge partnerships
  • Familiarity with USAID contracts, rules and compliance regulations
  • Strong time management and organizational skills
  • Track record of being able to produce contract deliverables in a timely manner, and flexible enough to adapt to changing work priorities
  • Ability and willingness to travel internationally about 25-30% of the time to low- and middle-income countries.

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About University Research Company (URC):
URC is a global company dedicated to improving the quality of health care, social services, and health education worldwide. With a non-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services (CHS), URC manages projects in over 45 countries, including the United States. URC is an E-Verify employer and is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

URC’s mission is to provide innovative, evidence-based solutions to health and social challenges worldwide. Please join us in carrying out our mission.