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IS Academy seeking to hire researcher to review international policy on socio-economic development in fragile states

Gepubliceerd op
6 februari 2014

The IS Academy Human Security in Fragile States seeks to hire a researcher to review international policy on socio-economic development and entrepreneurship in fragile states, with special attention to Dutch policy. The review will complement ongoing IS Academy research and serve as a basis for positioning this research in the final year of the Academy.

Timeline

+/- 30 days of fulltime work over a 9 week period. Final report due Thursday April 24, 2014.

Remuneration

Wageningen University will be offering a consultancy contract depending on experience (daily rate up to 500 EUR). No other benefits will be offered as this is not an employment contract. The total budget for this research project should not exceed 15 000 EUR.

Deadline for submissions

Interested candidates are requested to submit (1) a brief letter of motivation, (2) a CV, (3) a sample of relevant work, and (4) a short tentative budget by Tuesday, February 18, 2014 to the coordinator of the IS Academy Human Security in Fragile States, Mr Bart Weijs.

Rationale

The IS Academy Human Security in Fragile States started in 2009, with the mission to better understand processes of socio-economic recovery and the roles of formal and informal institutions under conditions of state fragility. Since then, international and Dutch policy and discourse on fragile states have continued to develop. Issues of economic development, employment, entrepreneurship and trade have moved centre stage in the search for increasing stability. The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States has shifted initiative to the g7+ group of fragile states. The current economic crisis has led to budget cuts in the Dutch International Development budget.

The currently envisaged analysis of international policy on socio-economic development and entrepreneurship in fragile states will provide a broad overview of these developments and identify key documents and issues. This year the IS Academy comes to an end. The analysis will complement long-term in-depth research of the Academy, and will play a crucial role in positioning the research outcomes of the IS Academy. A thorough analysis will allow the application of IS Academy research to current policy issues and be an important factor in ensuring the uptake of this research.

The IS Academy is a collaborative project between research institutes, the Ministry, and five major Dutch NGOs. IS Academy research comprises several PhD trajectories and a number of shorter term research projects. It is geared towards catalysing cross-fertilizing exchange between the domains of policy, practitioners and academia in the field of socio-economic recovery in fragile states. For more information and publications of the IS Academy, see the website.

Purpose and objectives

The overall purpose of this paper is to provide an international policy review of socio-economic development and entrepreneurship in fragile states, with special attention to Dutch policy. The paper will serve as a reference document for the NGO partners of the IS Academy, and as input for applying IS Academy findings to current policy issues.

The specific objectives of this research are:
- Identify 5-10 key documents, through document analysis and interviews with key persons
- Analyse the key documents based on a predetermined questionnaire, to review policy themes, priorities and mechanisms regarding the socio-economic recovery, the role of the private sector and economic governance in post-conflict or fragile states
- Analyse (implicit) theories of change, (explicit and hidden) assumptions, convergences and contradictions in international policy regarding socio-economic recovery, the role of the private sector and economic governance in post-conflict or fragile states
- Validate the draft report with the Reference Group

Methodology

The methodology involves document analysis (desk research) and interviews with selected policy makers in The Netherlands. A broad survey of available documents and interviews with key informants will be discussed with the Reference Group/IS Academy coordination team, and will then lead to a selection of 5-10 key documents (e.g. the World Development Report 2011, OECD texts, the New Deal). These documents will be examined on the basis of a questionnaire to be developed in close consultation with the coordination team of the IS Academy, in line with the objectives described above. The draft report will be validated through going back to the experts that were interviewed.

The researcher can benefit from preliminary research conducted on this topic within the IS Academy.

Deliverables

1. A draft work plan outlining timeline, refined methodology, clarification of conceptual framework, list of definitions to be used, proposed list of key resources/key organisations to be studied, and refinement of research questions; plans will be discussed in a (Skype) meeting with the Reference Group/ coordination team of the IS Academy (week 1)
2. An inception report, outlining preliminary findings of desk review of available documentation, with full bibliography (week 3)
3. A draft structure for the paper, as well as list of key informants (week 3)
4. A draft paper (25-30 pages) providing answers to the specific objectives of the research (week 6)
5. A final paper (25-30 pages) incorporating feedback from the Reference Group, to be published as IS Academy Occasional Paper (week 9)
6. A short summary paper (2500 words) to be published as IS Academy Research Brief

Governance and duty station

The consultant will be supervised on a daily basis by the coordinator of the IS Academy Human Security in Fragile States, and the project will be overseen by the academic coordination of the IS Academy. A Reference Group will provide oversight to the research including providing contributions to help shape it and feedback on key outputs.

The consultant may work from home. Office space is available at the Special Chair Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction at Wageningen University, where the coordination of the IS Academy is located. The consultant will be expected to present draft and final report to the Reference Group.

Qualifications

- Demonstrable expertise in the field of policy analysis
- Excellent writing, conceptual and analytical skills including the ability to analyse policy documents and conduct interviews
- Demonstrated professional research and writing experience, including publications
- University degree in related field