Research and Policy Analyst

Horn and East Africa Regional Positions,
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Research and Policy Analyst

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Research and Policy Analyst

Sector: Research

Location: Horn and East Africa Regional Positions

Employee Type: Regular

Employee Category: Full Time


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive, recover and gain control of their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, IRC offers life-saving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in more than 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities, the IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted by conflict or disaster.


The IRC’s East Africa region consists of some of the world’s most complex ongoing crises – South Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia – as well as the neighboring countries most-impacted by the conflict and natural disaster induced migration caused by these crises – Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Zimbabwe, which is an increasingly fragile state, is also part of this dynamic region. Given its regional footprint, IRC is at the forefront in tackling the complex humanitarian issues affecting the region. IRC serves as co-chair to the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) based out of Nairobi, Kenya. IRC is also member to the global Solutions Alliance, based out of Geneva, and has been a founding member of the Solutions Alliance Somalia, of which we are participant to the Steering Committee. IRC is an active participant in fora of the Interagency Working Group (IAWG) and other regional refugee and emergency response working groups in Nairobi.

Position Summary       

The Research and Policy Analyst is a member of the IRC’s East Africa regional advocacy team.  The purpose of this team is to support IRC’s country teams and partners in the region to influence humanitarian, displacement and refugee policies in the region. The position reports to the Regional Advocacy Coordinator and provides technical support to country teams and partners for the delivery of effective advocacy interventions. With a focus on research and policy analysis, the position holder will be responsible for ensuring that IRC’s advocacy is underpinned by robust evidence with clear causal linkages to legal and policy frameworks. S/he will work closely with country teams, partners, and consultants to identify knowledge gaps and matching research opportunities. S/he will seek out those initiatives that can be translated into compelling recommendations for humanitarian, displacement and refugee policy reform.

S/he is a practiced researcher and policy analyst with substantial experience and knowledge of the East Africa region, as well as humanitarian and displacement related norms and policies. The position is based in Nairobi with travel in the region.

Scope of Work 

The position holder will deliver two major research outputs over 12 months. These outputs are intended to provide a substantive base for IRC and partners’ advocacy. Subject matter will cover the status of displaced populations in the region, with particular focus to durable solutions. The position holder will produce periodic briefings and position papers that will enable IRC teams and partners to remain updated on emerging humanitarian and displacement scenarios in the region.

S/he will contribute to the planning and management of resources to ensure that IRC meets its advocacy objectives. The position holder will specifically track initiatives related to the 2016 New York Declaration, to make sure that IRC research provides recommendations that positively impact Comprehensive Refugee Response Frameworks and the proposed Global Refugee Compact in 2018.

The position will also provide capacity to country teams at the discretion of the supervisor.

Specific responsibilities 

  • Contributes to the definition of research and policy analysis priorities. Works with country teams to identify trends and indicators on the status of durable solutions, and how to translate these into research questions.
  • Originates research proposals and works with technical advisors, consultants, and country teams to develop appropriate research methodologies and standards.
  • Organizes and takes part in field research and other missions involving information-gathering, fact-finding, analysis, and assessment of humanitarian and displacement situations.
  • Creates opportunities for engagement of stakeholders in the review and validation of research findings, thereby ensuring participation and inclusion.
  • Plays an active role in the drafting of research reports and other publications, and coordinates inputs and reviews by appropriate technical teams.
  • Contributes to the identification of advocacy priorities based on research findings and recommendations, to support the development of effective advocacy strategies.


  • At least three years of experience in delivering advocacy and policy analysis to complex humanitarian crises and post-conflict environments;
  • At least five years of professional experience in humanitarian affairs; protection; refugee affairs; and international human rights;
  • Demonstrated creativity, ability to apply innovative thinking, and problem-solving skills;
  • Excellent analytical, presentation, communication, and writing skills;
  • Fluency in English (written and spoken) is essential;
  • Must be willing to travel to remote sites under challenging conditions;
  • Ability to work well in unstable security environments, and under significant administrative and programmatic pressures.

Position reports to Regional Advocacy Coordinator for East Africa

Works closely with Global Policy & Advocacy team in the U.S. and Europe

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