Gender Research Lead, Transforming Lives through Nutrition

Gender Research Lead, Transforming Lives through Nutrition

Gender Research Lead, Transforming Lives through Nutrition

Gender Research Lead, Transforming Lives through Nutrition

Helen Keller International
June 4, 2024
Any country where Helen Keller has a presence will be considered; Africa preferred, United States of America
Position type
Experience (minimum)
Not specified
Education (minimum)
Not specified
Travel required?
Not specified
Base salary (minimum)
Not specified


Helen Keller Intl Job Announcement

Gender Research Lead, Transforming Lives through Nutrition

Any country where Helen Keller has a presence will be considered; Africa preferred


Guided by the remarkable legacy of its co-founder, Helen Keller, Helen Keller Intl partners with communities that are striving to overcome longstanding cycles of poverty. By delivering the essential building blocks of good health, sound nutrition, and clear vision, we help millions of people create lasting change in their own lives. Working in 20 countries – across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States – and together with a global community of supporters, we ensure every person has the opportunity – as Helen did – to reach their truepotential.


We are seeking a Gender Research Lead to design and oversee the implementation and analysis of mixed methods participatory research studies to understand the range of barriers women face in seeking and accessing five lifesaving health services (prenatal supplements, support for optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding, vitamin A supplementation of children 6-59 months, and the early detection and treatment of acute malnutrition in children under five) to inform improved delivery models.


We envision designing the research to engage local women in formulating research questions and testing the identified solutions for more gender-responsive service delivery. The Research Lead will engage with governments and communities to reflect on the implications of key findings and determine how best to apply them to inform policies and learning materials to overcome the barriers identified by the research. They will then help consolidate learnings to strengthen the delivery of these five nutrition services by the respective health systems.


Functional Relationships

Reporting to the Program Director, the Gender Research Lead will be a member of the central Project Management Team (PMT) for Transforming Lives through Nutrition. To ensure congruity and consistency of technical approaches and cross-organizational learning, the position will also have a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Monitoring Evaluation & Research Advisor for Africa and will be a key resource person for the global nutrition team.


The Research Lead and other members of the PMT provide oversight and guidance to country office teams. They liaise with Country Directors, and Project Managers and their teams to facilitate the integration of all facets of the program work with the common goal of ensuring that project objectives are met. The position will also serve as a co-manager of the research leads in implementing country offices.


Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork are essential to make this structure thrive.


Helen Keller’s programs require close relations with governments, partner NGOs, and donors, including UN agencies. The Research Lead will contribute to nurturing and overseeing some of these cooperative relationships and will represent Helen Keller to donors and the international community, as needed.


Key Responsibilities

Overall Management and Leadership

  • As a member of the PMT, participate in strategic planning and direction setting and the development of a growth strategy for the multi-country portfolio, lending you’re their unique perspective and expertise to the
  • Collaborate with relevant colleagues to develop and guide high-quality research planning, management, execution and analysis, including oversight of program activities in the assigned portfolio.
  • Provide regular updates on the research and learning to the PMT and make recommendations based on analysis of progress to date and challenges
  • Review and assess the status of the portfolio research, tools, procedures, and workflows, identify gaps or outdated approaches, and prioritize
  • Participate in work groups, as assigned, to develop global policies and approaches and/or optimize systems, procedures, global indicators, training modules,

Manage Research Portfolio; Disseminate Findings

  • Collaborate and coordinate with relevant colleagues to define the research design for the assigned
  • Draft research protocols for identified research questions to include: objectives, methods (study population, sample size, study procedures, data collection, entry and management, ethical approval), analysis and reporting plan, and
    • Align design with donor requirements such as the gender-responsive strategies and interventions with the Global Affairs Canada Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) key performance indicators (KPIs).
    • Integrate safeguarding
  • Coordinate and guide the implementation of research in the assigned portfolio:
  • Develop and/or adapt data collection
  • Develop and roll out
  • Oversee work of local managers to ensure gender equality indicators and outcomes are accurately reported and inform the project's logframe and performance management
  • Conduct regular analyses of the performance of the assigned research
  • Aggregate and synthesize data for analysis and/or reporting for assigned portfolio.
    • Conduct and/or review data analysis in partnership with country
    • Write and/or edit donor reports, lessons-learned reports, policy briefs for government partners, and manuscripts for peer-reviewed
    • Draw from findings to identify indicators that can be integrated into organization-wide


  • Based on research findings and in collaboration with the program MERL team, lead the creation, testing, adaptation, and dissemination of training materials and counseling tools for health and community workers, policy guidelines for health managers, and other relevant solutions to reduce gender-related barriers to Transforming Lives program
    • Develop tools for monitoring the impact of these interventions on women’s receipt of the key lifesaving
  • Review and contribute to writing all Transforming Lives reports, internal and external, their quality and
  • Upon request, provide technical advice and guidance to other teams on approaches to reduce gender-related
  • Collaborate with country office and Transforming Lives leadership to:
    • Contribute to the development of country-specific budgets, procurement plans, and financial monitoring tools linked to activities, implementation plans, and donor
    • Review work planning tools and financial reports to monitor the project budgeting and activities and course correct, as


Human Resources Management

  • Collaborate with program office leadership to build highly effective research teams to carry out studies. Delegate authority, consult with and guide staff to achieve goals, and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development of team
  • Model collaboration for your matrixed team. Consult with and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing and integrate guidance and direction from subject matter experts in each country team and elsewhere in the global organization to optimize
  • Provide ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect to ensure accountability to clients, partners, colleagues, and


Required Qualifications/Competencies

  • Demonstrated experience in:
  • Designing and conducting operational research, including use of both qualitative and quantitative methods;
  • Implementing surveys and research protocols that integrate safeguarding measures and training and supervising survey and/or research teams in Africa or Asia;
  • Conducting gender analyses, applying participatory methods, and utilizing data for program improvement;
  • Developing and implementing gender-responsive strategies and interventions; and
  • Undertaking both local and high-level representation and advocacy to strengthen the delivery of services within health
  • Track record in publishing in peer-reviewed
  • Experience working in Africa and/or Cambodia, with a deep understanding of the cultural and gender dynamics in at least one of the priority


  • Very good oral and written English language skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues into concise communications.
  • Ability to communicate in
  • Well-established and practiced organizational and planning
  • Experience collaborating across departments to contribute to fulfilling the finance and administration requirements in project

o Examples include: preparing budgets and procurement plans; reviewing work plans and program and donor deliverables; and monitoring budget vs. actuals.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including an ability to lead multicultural teams, communicate a vision, make timely and transparent decisions, and manage
  • Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented. An ability to maintain balance when under
  • High computer literacy including:
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite or equivalent;
  • Strong Excel skills, including pivot tables; and
  • Proficiency in statistical analysis using
  • Prior experience developing and delivering training in data collection methods is strongly preferred, alongwith demonstrated knowledge of effective adult learning techniques.
  • Ability and willingness to:
  • Flex schedule to accommodate the availability of colleagues in other time zones;
  • Travel at least 20% to project country offices and/or to meetings and conferences.
  • NOTE: All staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel internationally.
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical
  • Personal commitment to Helen Keller’s mission and the values embodied by our namesake and co-founder: courage, integrity, rigor, and



  • Master's degree or higher in Gender Studies, Public Health, Nutrition, Epidemiology, Statistics or a related field, plus
  • A minimum of 8 years of experience in gender analysis, gender-responsive programming, and research design and management, preferably in the context of nutrition or public health, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.



In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity in all its forms is fully valued.

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