Research Manager


Organization Name: IMPACT Initiatives
Location: Goma, Congo, Democratic Republic of
Apply email: Not Specified
Start Date: 05 Mar 2021, 04:18 am
Closing Date: 03 Apr 2021, 12:00 am


(Reference: 21/DRC/RM01)


IMPACT Initiatives is a think-and-do-tank based in Geneva, Switzerland, which specialises in data collection, management and analysis in order to support humanitarian and development action thought its Initiatives AGORA, PANDA and REACH. IMPACT is a sister organization of ACTED, an international NGO whose headquarter is based in Paris and which is present in thirty countries. The two organizations have a strong complementarity formalized in a global partnership, which allows IMPACT to benefit from ACTED’s operational support on its countries of intervention.

PANDA is IMPACT’s operational programme which aims to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and efficacy of humanitarian and development interventions, by informing partners’ entire program cycle, including design, assessments, monitoring and evaluation. Through PANDA, IMPACT directly engages with stakeholders of all kinds to provide consultative services aimed at improving and understanding the outcomes of clients’ actions. These bilateral relationships, supported by our extensive global network of technical, contextual and thematic humanitarian experts, are typically constructed as an extension of our established presence in existing countries of operations. Most PANDA activities are operationalised through existing networks of staff, partners and support structures in-country, and result in outputs that are the intellectual property of our clients.

PANDA works closely with partners to provide consulting services to drive programme and portfolio understanding and strategy development at the country, regional and global levels. Since 2011, IMPACT has implemented more than 90 PANDA projects in more than 20 countries for more than 30 major donors.

We are currently looking for a PANDA Research Manager to support our team in DRC.

Department: IMPACT

Position: PANDA Research Manager

Contract duration: 12 months

Location: Goma, DRC

Starting Date: ASAP


Since 2016, REACH - currently present in Kinshasa, Goma, Bukavu and Kalemie - has been providing assessment, information management and mapping services to inform humanitarian planning in the DRC. IMPACT, through its REACH Initiative, has considerably scaled up its multi-sectorial assessment portfolio in recent months, notably through the set-up of Humanitarian Situation Monitoring (HSM) activities in Tanganyika and South Kivu province since mid-2020, providing response actors with regular monitoring of the evolution of the humanitarian situation in a highly fluid context. Ensuring data is available for displaced populations living in host community settings and those in camps alike, IMPACT has also rolled out multi-sectorial camp profiling in Ituri and other provinces. Linked with HSM activities, IMPACT also maintains a rapid assessment capacity allowing on the ground verification assessment of alerts by partners or those flagged by HSM with results feeding into the rapid response mechanism (RRM).

IMPACT, through REACH, has supported the RRM through the re-design of the new multi-sectorial rapid assessment toolbox, designed and validated in close collaboration with the inter-cluster at national level and OCHA. Under its sectorial portfolio, the DRC mission is supporting the cluster system with information management activities through the secondment of two information management officers to the Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) and Shelter/NFI Clusters and provides stand-by analytical support to OCHA. Given the importance of cash as a response modality in the rapid response system in DRC, REACH and partners, and closely coordinated with the CWG, have also provided joint market analysis products in recent months. All publicly available information products produced by the DRC mission can be accessed on the REACH Resource Centre.

The DRC continues to face an acute and complex humanitarian crisis. Recurrent conflicts in provinces in the eastern part of the country, health shocks and natural disasters, as well as chronic poverty suffered by a large part of the population are all reasons for the sustained high level of humanitarian needs. According to the Humanitarian Needs Overview 2020, 15.6 million people (including 5.01 million displaced persons) in DRC are in need of humanitarian assistance.

In light of this fluid context, in particular in provinces in eastern DRC, where new shocks regularly lead to shifting needs and population movement, emergency programming including through rapid response mechanisms remain a much-needed response modality to save lives and protect livelihoods. Reflective of this, addressing the escalating humanitarian crisis has remained amongst aid actors’ top priorities. As found in an ODI publication, in recent years cash and voucher programmes as response modalities have increased in popularity in the DRC humanitarian response. However, donors face numerous challenges in obtaining accurate, reliable and unbiased information related to their investments in DRC due to the scale of the response, the differences across population groups, and local dynamics. More broadly, there is a lack of independent verification of large-scale humanitarian interventions to ensure quality, appropriate design, and impact on affected communities. Moreover, humanitarian assistance delivered to vulnerable populations in DRC, including through rapid response mechanisms and cash modalities, suffered from various aid integrity risks, as found in the Humanitarian Country Team and Joint Anti-Fraud Taskforce-commissioned Operational Review, published in July 2020. According to the review as well as exposed fraud within the rapid response mechanism in 2019, issues surrounding aid integrity were found to be well-established in the DRC humanitarian response.

Third Party Monitoring (TPM) is referenced as one of the potential avenues mitigating the challenges of monitoring and evaluating programme implementation in high-risk contexts. As found in the 2020 Operational Review, little TPM capacity exists to date in DRC which, in light of the scale of aid integrity issues revealed in DRC, would help provide a critical independent oversight of programmes. With particularly high risks associated with cash-based intervention modalities and rapid response mechanisms, TPM of cash and emergency assistance appears to be of particular importance in the DRC to provide an objective, external verification of aid delivery and ensure clear accountability and analysis of good practices.


IMPACT’s PANDA programme is in the process of being contracted by a major international donor to establish a year-long pilot of Third-Party Monitoring activities focused on emergency food, cash and voucher assistance delivered by a number of international NGOs and UN Agencies. To provide accurate, timely and light-touch verification of these partners’ emergency programs, PANDA will implement a series of independent verification activities through a three-fold approach entailing secondary data review, field verification visits and flash reporting. Drawing on mixed-methods data collection, this approach will allow verification of partners’ achievements against agreed upon outputs and outcomes, as well as appraisal of programme implementation, centred around accountability to beneficiaries and programmatic improvements.

The PANDA Research Manager (RM) position is based in Goma, DRC, with travel required to other bases in DRC. The role necessitates a high level of external engagement, the ability to influence and drive processes, whilst also managing the internal running of operations. The RM is expected to oversee teams, workplans, donor relations, new proposals and projects, technical design of inputs and review and publication of monitoring, evaluation and assessment outputs with direct support of the DRC country team and with technical backstopping IMPACT Geneva HQ. Past experience in one or more of the aforementioned areas is not essential although highly desirable. At minimum, management experience, awareness of the humanitarian sector, and technical skills in assessments, monitoring and evaluations is required.


Under the functional supervision of the IMPACT Country Coordinator in DRC and in close coordination with the Global PANDA Coordinator in Geneva, the RM is responsible for the management and implementation of third-party monitoring (TPM) activities and contextual assessments in DRC, including their preparation, implementation and follow-up. He/she is also responsible for related staff management, logistics, partner coordination, reporting and financial management, and will be expected to provide input to the strategic development of programs.

In his/her mission, the RM will be hosted by ACTED and will fall under the responsibility of ACTED’s Country Director and his/her delegates. S/he and will fully abide to ACTED’s Security, HR, Administration and Logistics rules and regulations.


The RM is responsible for:

Management of all Research Cycles

TPM and Assessment Preparation and Planning:

• Ensuring that all activities are planned in line with relevant project and program objectives and other relevant guidelines;
• Ensure that required secondary data analysis has been conducted in preparation for activities;
• For each activity, ensure TORs are developed and reviewed before they are sent to Geneva for validation and ensure that TORs are validated by HQ before any data collection begins;
• Ensure that ToRs are understood and used by staff and stakeholders, and updated as required; Compose and construct, in close coordination with GIS and data management team, qualitative and quantitative data collection tools; ensure engagement with GIS teams on GIS requirements of research cycle/assessment;
• Keep track of progress and delays of all assigned activity throughout the research cycle. Ensure that delays or identified challenges for specific projects are reported in writing and orally in a timely manner;
• Ensure relevant stakeholders and partners are engaged in activity design and planning.

Data collection and analysis

• Ensure that required enumerators are identified and trained for primary data collection;
• Monitor data collection, ensuring its correct implementation in line with agreed TORs;
• Ensure that Country Coordinator is alerted to any issues that prevents full implementation of the methodology in line with the agreed TORs; ensure that all changes to the methodology are documented throughout implementation and validated by IMPACT HQ and key partners;
• Ensure logistics, financial, administration, security and HR processes directly related to IMPACT have been appropriately implemented and with the relevant ACTED departments.
• Ensure regular situation updates on data collection have been produced and circulated to relevant IMPACT, ACTED and external counterparts. Provide support and follow up on identified challenges during the data collection process; coordinated
• Ensure that all collected data is stored in line with IMPACT’s Data Management Guidelines, and with the ToRs (data management plan Annex);
• Ensure that data is revised and cleaned, and that all revisions are recorded;
• Oversee analysis on collected data as per ToRs;
• Ensure that meaningful techniques are used to analyze the data collected;
• Ensure that data and its analysis are validated by IMPACT HQ before product drafting stage or sharing with external parties and do not contain personal information

Product drafting

• Maintain regular communication with IMPACT HQ on progress and deadlines for written products;
• Ensure the drafting of timely and accurate activity outputs (i.e. reports, factsheets, etc.), which comply with IMPACT’s guidelines and quality standards;
• Review all products before they are sent to IMPACT HQ for validation;
• Ensure that all written products are validated by IMPACT HQ before external release.

Product dissemination and evaluation

• Under the direction of the Country Coordinator, engage in the dissemination of research products, including through articles, IMPACT social media contents, targeted e-mails, presentations, meetings, etc, in line with IMPACT Dissemination and External Communication Guidelines and Research ToRs;
• Under supervision of IMPACT HQ, ensure that research products are uploaded in relevant data portals, as specified in Research ToRs;
• Ensure that lessons learned are gathered and documented at the end of each research cycle;
• Support the Country Coordinator to conduct monitoring and evaluation as specified in the research ToRs and in line with IMPACT Guidelines.

Management of Assessment Team

• Conduct regular meeting with all international and senior national Assessment Team members to assess progress in all research cycles and to review work plan;
• Bilateral management of international and senior national assessment team members, including (in consultation with Country Coordinator) the conduct of appraisals, as well as participation in staff career management;
• In coordination with Country Coordinator conduct induction for new staff members, including training in basic technical competencies for assessment design, implementation and analysis;
• Support to the Country Coordinator in the development and implementation of capacity training plans for assessment and field team member;
• Be available to provide regular support and technical backstopping;
• When relevant, support/ lead staff appraisal and recruitment process in collaboration with Country Coordinator.

External relations

• In coordination with the Country Coordinator, ensure that relevant partners are consulted and involved at all stages of research cycle: the design and preparation of activities; data collection; data analysis; review of research products; product dissemination; and lessons learnt; ensure that partner engagement is documented;
• In coordination with the Country Coordinator, present research findings to relevant parties, to enhance their use and impact;
• Ensure that external communications with partners and key stakeholders, including relevant UN agencies, local and national government, and NGOs has been conducted and documented as appropriate;
• In coordination with the Country Coordinator, represent PANDA/IMPACT in technical external engagements related to assessments;
• Support the IMPACT Country Coordinator in external engagement in relation to PANDA/IMPACT country strategy or (when requested and with focal point) to fundraising and grants management.

Strategy Development and Implementation

In support to the Country Coordinator, the RM will actively contribute to the development of the IMPACT strategy in

DRC. In particular s/he will support in identifying and concretising:

• The need for assessments, in line with humanitarian priorities
• Synergies with other assessment and knowledge management actors
• Strategic partnerships with key humanitarian and development stakeholders and decision makers
• Key events / milestones that should be informed
• Advocacy and dissemination strategies to strengthen the impact of our work
• Support in the preparation and follow up of country level internal strategic workshops and plans
• Engagement with IMPACT HQ in global level strategic priorities


• Support the Country Focal Point in drafting of relevant project narrative and financial reports;
• Maintain an oversight of budget availability and expenditure for assessment activities for which s/he is responsible;
• Other tasks as requested by supervisors.


The RM will maintain the strictest confidentiality on all data collected and related processes. He/she will actively take measures to prevent the unauthorized sharing of any information and data belonging to or collected during his/her assignment.


• Excellent academic qualifications, including a Master degree in relevant discipline;
• At least 4 years of relevant working experience in humanitarian or development settings such as research, evaluation, assessments and programmes;
• A demonstrated understanding of the use of cash transfers in humanitarian and/ or development programming
• Field experience related to monitoring and evaluation activities, humanitarian or development interventions, or other similar relevant sector are required;
• Excellent analytical skills;
• Excellent communication and drafting skills for effective reporting;
• Demonstrated capacity to manage a large, diverse team
• Experience with stakeholder engagement
• Ability to operate in a cross-cultural environment requiring flexibility;
• Familiarity with the humanitarian aid system, and understanding of donor and governmental requirements
• Fluency in French required; English highly desirable;
• Advanced skills in SPSS and/or R, STATA or other statistical analysis software and advantage;
• Ability to multitask with tight deadlines, on numerous research cycles;
• Ability to work independently and manage people remotely.


• Salary defined by the IMPACT salary grid; educational level, expertise, hardship, security, and performance are considered for pay bonus
• Additional monthly living allowance provided in country by IMPACT’s partner ACTED
• Food and lodging provided at the organization’s guesthouse/or housing allowance (depending on contract length and country of assignment)
• Transportation costs covered, including additional return ticket + luggage allowance
• Provision of medical, life and repatriation insurance + retirement package

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