This position is full-time and works approximately 37.5 hours per week.
Department Name/Job Location
The position is in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis with frequent and extensivetravel to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The successful candidate’s major responsibility will be to coordinate the intervention in community based system dynamic under the supervision of the principal investigator and the co-investigators.
The postdoctoral research associate is knowledgeable in Community Based Systems Dynamic (CBSD) or Systems Dynamic for social sciences and will contribute to the following:
The postdoctoral research associate will work directly with the research team of Dr. Jean-Francois Trani. The study is expected to last 4 years. The postdoctoral position has a start date of as soon as the possible.
The research project is funded by The United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development. The project brings together several investigators from different organizations: Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), Afghanistan. National Rural Support Program (NRSP), Pakistan, Brown school, Washington University, USA, Center for Evaluation and Development, Germany, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.
Disadvantaged children in Low Income Countries (LICs) particularly children with disabilities are increasingly accessing schools, but not learning effectively due to social exclusion within the classroom and poor teaching methods, that perpetuate inequality.
Our project explores ways to improve child learning outcomes:
Promoting processes of accountability (to parents and children) is recognised as a way of promoting quality and equity in education.
We will develop, implement and evaluate a social accountability intervention - combined with inclusive education training - engaging parents, teachers and children.
We will assess the intervention’s impact on:
that run Government schools (GS) and Community Based Schools (CBS) in remote areas.
We will identify together the factors that can promote or hinder a meaningful learning experience.
We will use Community Based System Dynamics (CBSD) – a participatory approach promoting local ownership in the process of understanding complex systems from the feedback perspective of system dynamics.
We will carry out Group Model Building (GMB) sessions with school Management Committees (SMCs) and Village Education Committees (VECs) – a specific CBSD method- to identify insights about social accountability reforms.
SMCs and VECs supported by SCA/NAC/NRSP will implement changes based on these insights in intervention CBSs.
A randomised control trial (RCT) will evaluate this intervention. Qualitative methods will validate psychosocial assessment tools and explore stakeholders’ perception of education. In stage 1, investigators will (i) decipher existing mechanisms of accountability and monitoring being used in CBSs (ii) train teachers, 4 NRSP and SCA teams of 3 facilitators and 2 coordinators each on inclusive education and (iii) train SCA/NAC/NRSPteams on GMB to facilitate sessions in 80 randomly selected intervention schools. In stage 2, SMCs members (principals, staff, teachers and parents) will participate in separate GMB sessions to design a relevant school social accountability system and identify leverage points on which to focus the intervention. In stage 3, each school, with the support from SCA/NAC/NRSPteams and the investigators will implement the intervention. In stage 4 the investigators will measure the impact of the social accountability intervention on learning outcomes using a cluster RCT with two waves of interviews: baseline survey in all 160 schools from staff, teachers, students in classes 3 to 5 and parents in year 1; end line survey will take place at the beginning of year 4. In depth interviews and FGDs, games and audio-visual activities with children will take place in years 2 and 3. In stage 5, the investigators will develop capacity in countries (universities, education NGOs) and disseminate findings to a broad audience in various formats through academic, policy makers and practitioners’ networks.
Applicants must have a PhD in social sciences: preferably Systems Dynamic applied to social sciences or Applied/Development Economics but also Social Work, Public Health, Education, Sociology or a related discipline.
The salary range for this position is commensurate with experience.