South Asia’s 340 million adolescents account for almost 20% of the total population in the region. Despite this, governments in South Asia have only recently begun to give due attention to policies addressing issues that specifically affect adolescents, like early marriage, reproductive health, access to education and safe work. In Pakistan, approximately 40 million adolescents are facing the same issues as adolescents globally, further compounded by contextualised religio-cultural, political and social changes.
UNICEF’s ‘Improving Adolescent Lives in South Asia’ is a regional programme across Pakistan, India and Afghanistan to provide information, change the attitudes and behaviour of adolescents, their families and community while also creating an enabling environment for such change to be achieved. To provide granular in-depth insights into annual monitoring of the programme in Pakistan, UNICEF has commissioned the Palladium RCA team to conduct a series of longitudinal qualitative research using the Reality Check Approach (RCA). The longitudinal RCA studies will be conducted once every year for three years (2018-2020) and the insights will provide an evidence base for yearly comparisons of change in knowledge, attitudes and behavior of programme beneficiaries.
About the Reality Check Approach
RCA is an internationally recognised qualitative research approach combining elements of listening studies and immersion with researchers actually living with people. Researchers stay several days and nights in the homes of study participants to engage with, listen to, observe and ‘hang out’ with a family and the wider community. Sharing in people’s lives helps diminish power distances and builds trust between the researcher and study participants, and provides opportunities to better understand the complexity of people’s experiences and perspectives. Using multiple methods and working in small teams, RCA is able to triangulate the perspectives of multiple stakeholders; for example adolescent beneficiaries and non beneficiaries the programme, their families, influencers like religious leaders, community leaders, service providers like teachers etc.; allowing on-the-ground realities to emerge to help improve policies and the targeting and design of services for beneficiaries.
During immersion, the RCA does not rely on a pre-determined set of research questions; instead, it uses programme literature to develop areas of conversation, guiding researchers’ pursuit of information and ensuring certain lines of query are explored with participants. In general, the approach aims to track changes in how people live and experience their lives.
The following research principles highlight the key ways that RCA differs from other methods:
Role and Responsibilities
To support the objectives of the programme through the longitudinal RCA studies, the Palladium RCA team requires Research Associates to be part of the study team. RCA Research Associates receive a unique opportunity to learn the RCA approach by being involved in fieldwork as well as being mentored and supported throughout the study process. Roles and responsibilities of research associates are:
3. Attend ad-hoc training if required
Skill and Competencies
A. Technical Competencies:
B. Other Qualities and Experience:
The position is for Pakistani nationals only.
The Research Associates will be contracted through a short-term Consultant Agreement for up to a period of 50-55 days for the duration of the assignment. The expected timeframe for fieldwork (when the Research Associates are expected to provide input) will be April-May 2018 for the baseline study; October-December 2018 for the midline study; and September-November 2019 for the endline study. Accepted candidates that participate in the Baseline RCA study will be expected to participate in the midline andendlinestudies. It is very important that this consistency is maintained, therefore please consider your schedule carefully.
Selected candidates must participate in the RCA Level 1 Training which will be held in Islamabad around mid-April 2018. Contracts will only be provided only to those satisfactorily complete the mandatory level 1 training.
If you are interested, please submit your full CV to firstname.lastname@example.org stating the position title on the subject of the email.
Applications close at 5 pm Islamabad Time on 28 March 2018.
Only shortlisted candidate will be contacted.