Consultancy - Researchers (Qualitative/Ethnographic)
Title: Researchers (Qualitative/Ethnographic)
Department/Country: Programming - Financial Inclusion (Savings Groups)
Position Type: Senior Researchers or Research Institutions/Company
Location: Uganda and Senegal
Reports to: Julie Lawson-McDowall, Research Coordinator, CRS
Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
In 2014, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) – with funding from the MasterCard Foundation – launched the Expanding Financial Inclusion in Africa (EFI) project. The goal of EFI is to expand financial inclusion to vulnerable households to improve their resilience through the promotion of Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC). The SILC methodology is such that the groups are user-owned, self-selected, and self-managed. They provide members with opportunities to access loans on a frequent, convenient, and transparent terms with low-interest. The methodology helps members build useful lump sums through savings and loans, usually distributed at a pre-determined time. The EFI project aims to create 19,200 new SILC groups with 502,320 members in four countries in Africa - Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia.
As part of the EFI program, CRS has a monitoring and evaluation plan that is targeted at learning about three components: poverty outreach, operations, and financial behavior. The methodologies employed include a Financial Diaries study in Zambia, a series of PPI® surveys, the regular collection of group savings data through the MIS, and the testing of four different Pro-Poor Package delivery modalities in a controlled manner. CRS is now planning a short term study of the effectiveness of poverty outreach. The researchers will undertake small-scale ethnographic/qualitative research in communities with Savings and Internal Lending Groups where quantitative data suggests that pro poor outreach has been most successful.
Job Summary: Ethnographic / qualitative study of the effectiveness of the Pro-Poor Package: The researchers will conduct a small-scale ethnographic exercise in two program countries, Senegal and Uganda, with the two implementing partners where the PPI data suggests that pro poor outreach has been most successful. It is anticipated that two separate researchers will
The objectives of the studies are:
- To assess from the perspective of Savings and Internal Lending Communities’ (SILC) members whether poverty outreach within the savings groups has been enhanced by the set of adjustments that were made to the SILC model.
- To understand and map the use of the SILC Social Fund and any contribution to reducing vulnerability.
- To explore relationships between SILC members and assess their contributions to reducing vulnerability.
Proposed Methodology: The ethnographers will immerse him/herself in the local subculture, residing in multiple communities for a short period of time conducting fieldwork centered on participant-observation methods, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and other qualitative data collection methodologies.
- Propose and agree with EFI Research Technical team a research design based on qualitative methodologies
- Carry out in depth field research in two EFI countries at community and group level
- Present findings at a virtual or face to face meeting
- Deliver a draft report
- Submit final report
- Inception report with research design
- Draft report
- Final report
- PowerPoint presentation
- Participation in workshop to present findings.
Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):
These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.
- Serves with Integrity
- Models Stewardship
- Cultivates Constructive Relationships
- Promotes Learning
Supervisory Responsibilities (if none, state none):
Supervision of research team
Required Qualifications and Experience:
- Experience in undertaking in depth qualitative and ethnographic studies in Francophone and Anglophone Africa
- Qualitative research experience in Senegal and/or Uganda preferred (NB it is anticipated that a separate lead researcher will be required for each country)
- At least 10 years or more relevant experience including
- Relevant tertiary level qualifications
- For Uganda, fluent spoken and written English is a requirement while for Senegal, fluent spoken and written French is a requirement
- Experience with financial inclusion or savings groups preferred.
Required Foreign Language: English in Uganda with local language a requirement for research assistance; French in Senegal with local language a requirement for research assistance.
Required Travel: To Zambia for Inception Meeting, Uganda and Senegal for research and Zambia or Senegal for final research presentation.
Work Environment: Community based.
Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.
Proposals should include: Inception workshop, identification of lead researchers (1 per country), recruitment of local research team (where required), fieldwork costs, fee structure, training costs, travel costs, analysis plan, data analysis, draft report, final report and presentation. A full SOW is available on request from Julie.Lawson-McDowall@crs.org