Learning and Research Advisor

from Results for Development Institute
Closing date: 31 Oct 2019

Project Description

USAID Advancing Nutrition is the Agency’s flagship nutrition project, led by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI), and a diverse group of experienced partners including R4D. Launched in September 2018, USAID Advancing Nutrition provides and implements technical support to nutrition interventions across sectors and disciplines for USAID and its partners. The project’s multi-sectoral approach draws together global nutrition experience to design, implement and evaluate programs that address the root causes of malnutrition. Committed to using a systems approach, USAID Advancing Nutrition strives to sustain positive outcomes by building local capacity, supporting behavior change and strengthening the enabling environment to save lives, improve health, build resilience, increase economic productivity and advance development.


R4D is seeking a highly motivated Learning and Research Advisor to play a key role in the USAID Advancing Nutrition project. The Learning and Research Advisor is responsible for implementing a project-wide collaborating, learning, and adaptation (CLA) plan for the USAID Advancing Nutrition project, as well as ensuring quality implementation of research activities, especially those contributing directly to the learning agendas of the participating USAID Bureaus. S/he will work under the direction of the Director of Measurement, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) and ensure that learning is integrated across the project portfolio. This position will collaborate closely with USAID Advancing Nutrition Technical Directors (i.e. Nutrition and Health Systems, Food Systems, Food Security and Nutrition in the Humanitarian Transition, Social Behavior Change, and Knowledge Management) to ensure quality standards for research and learning are supported across all project activities. This position is based in Crystal City, VA.


The Learning and Research Advisor will:

  • Lead the implementation of the project’s overall Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) plan.
  • Work with USAID Advancing Nutrition partners and collaborators to embed learning activities into program approaches and ensure that program implementation is adapted to emerging learning.
  • Lead the translation of existing learning from research and evaluations into global, national, and local policies and programs, and share with the global nutrition community, in collaboration with other MEL and KM colleagues.
  • Integrate nutrition financing and costing perspectives into project activities in support of USAID’s commitment to assist countries along a “journey of self-reliance.”
  • Collaborate with Director of Measurement to ensure that data from M&E activities and systems are used to advance learning objectives.
  • Collaborate with the Knowledge Management Director to ensure that learning and KM activities are complementary and that results and learning are packaged and shared in engaging formats.
  • Ensure high quality and consistent research standards are applied across the project along with strong feedback loops to the learning agenda(s) of the project and USAID Bureaus.
  • Support USAID Advancing Nutrition technical teams to effectively integrate learning approaches into their work.
  • Represent USAID Advancing Nutrition at global and country fora to share project learning and establish the project as a leader in global learning strategies.


  • Eagerness to push the boundaries of learning, adaptation and evaluation and help to develop new methods and ways of working.
  • Good grasp of quantitative and qualitative research methods and experience translating insights from research and learning activities into program design and/or organizational processes.
  • Experience with adaptive management processes such as creating feedback loops to inform real-time decision-making and to improve operational effectiveness.
  • Skilled in collaborative approaches to strengthening the quality of research and learning activities across the project.
  • Knowledge of adult/peer learning practices and/or organizational learning modalities.
  • Strong facilitation and communication skills; Ability to prepare compelling presentations, written reports, data visualizations, and effectively present work/findings in international and country-level forums.
  • Familiarity with global nutrition financing and costing approaches, highly desired.
  • Ability to work with US government-funded cooperating agencies and contractors, host-country counterparts and government officials, USAID Mission staff, and representatives from other key stakeholders such as NGOs or other donors.
  • Ability to effectively set priorities and handle competing time and resource demands for self and others.
  • Experience working with USAID HQ and/or Missions is highly desirable.
  • Comfortable working independently and with limited oversight in a fast-paced environment.


  • Education: Master’s (or other relevant advanced degree) in nutrition, public health or fields related to multi-sectoral nutrition with a focus on leading learning activities to improve nutrition, health, or related outcomes.
  • Experience: 5-7 years of experience in designing and implementing research and learning activities. Particular emphasis is on incorporating and documenting learning across a range of sectoral interventions and approaches. USAID experience highly desirable.
  • Languages: Fluent in spoken and written English. Knowledge of another language, French, Spanish, or Portuguese preferred.
  • Travel: Ability to travel 20% of the time.
  • Communications: Strong written and verbal communication skills.
How to apply:

Please click here to apply.