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Consultancy: Research Assistant -Political Economy Analysis (PEA), Bangladesh



Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2024

Position Description

EnCompass LLC is seeking two (2) Research Assistant consultants to support with a Political Economy Analysis (PEA) in Bangladesh. Encompass is implementing the four-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bangladesh Upoma Activity, providing a range of analytical and advisory services in support of USAID’s design, performance monitoring, evaluation, and operational learning and adapting efforts.? Under Upoma, EnCompass has been tasked to undertake a Political Economy Analysis (PEA). The objectives of the PEA are to:

1) Advise USAID/Bangladesh on the changing high-level dynamics of the political-economic forces in Bangladesh that would affect issues such as political stability, human rights, labor rights, macroeconomic and exchange rate stability;

2) Identify the strategic political-economic forces at work affecting the trade and local governance and provide recommendations to USAID on how to be more effective in this environment;

3) Provide USAID/Bangladesh with an understanding of the political forces affecting trade that hinder efforts by donors to simplify business export processes, expedite customs clearances, and diversify the export sector.

The PEA will focus on two sectors:

  • Local Governance
  • Trade and Customs

The PEA team will be led by a Team Leader who will be supported by two local PEA Research Assistants who will collect and process primary and secondary data.

The PEA team will produce quarterly reports and presentations to answer specific learning questions chosen for each quarter. The methodologies to answer these questions will include primary data collection through Key Informant Interviews, focus group or panel discussions, and targeted surveys of key stakeholders. Relevant secondary data pertaining to the two sectors will be compiled and tabulated. The local PEA research assistants will support the Team Leader by undertaking primary data collection and compiling and processing relevant secondary data.

The local PEA Research Assistants must be highly skilled professionals with proven experience conducting research in the sectors and topics relevant for the political economy analysis. Significant knowledge of the political economy of Bangladesh is required. The individuals must possess proven experience participating in analyses or studies that assess the interaction between political and economic processes, including power dynamics and distribution in Bangladesh. The local PEA Research Assistants should have proven experience in conducting KIIs and group discussions and in undertaking stakeholder surveys in Bangladesh. The PEA Research Assistants should have proven ability to work independently and produce high quality, on-time deliverables.

The total Level of Effort (LOE) for each of the local PEA Research Assistants is expected to be up to 50 days.

Position Duties and Responsibilities

Essential functions:

  • Primary data collection: carry out the primary data collection tasks assigned by the Team Leader in each quarter including, but not limited to conducting key informant interviews, focus group interviews, panel discussions, target stakeholder surveys/questionnaires. Submit audio files (when informants have provided their consent for audio recording) to Upoma for transcription (if in English) or translation and transcription (if in Bangla or other non-English language). For interviews and group discussions for which permission to audio record has not been provided, submit detailed notes in English. For stakeholder surveys/questionnaires, tabulate the results in the software specified by the Team Leader (e.g. Microsoft Excel).
  • Secondary data collection: Carry out the secondary data tasks assigned by the Team Leader in each quarter, including obtaining, processing, summarizing, and tabulating secondary data from the relevant source using the methodologies specified by the Team Leader

Deliverables and timing:

The PEA Local Research Assistants will be responsible for the timely and quality production of the following deliverables:

  • Primary data collection: Audio files of key informant interview and group discussions for which informants have provided consent for recording. Detailed notes in English from interviews and group discussions where consent has not been provided.
  • Secondary data collection: bibliography of secondary data sources. For quantitative secondary data, tabulated data in Excel or other software specified by the Team Leader. For qualitative secondary data, a report that summarizes the main points and key findings of the secondary data.

Period of Performance Level of Effort (LOE) for each of the two local PEA research assistants is approximately up to 50 days each from on or about June 1, 2024, to April 1, 2025.

Travel This consultancy will require travel within Bangladesh.

Position Requirements

Qualifications Academic Qualifications

  • Masters preferred in business administration, economics, finance, trade, private sector development, international development, or a related field. A minimum of bachelor’s degree is required

Experience and Skills

  • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience conducting research related to political economy analyses
  • Significant knowledge of the political and economic dynamics in Bangladesh with extensive knowledge of the political economic situation in Bangladesh underlying either a) Local Governance; or b) Trade and Customs
  • Familiarity with the political economic situation in Bangladesh in one or more of the following sectors: economic growth, agriculture, energy, education, governance, and/or health
  • Professional level English writing skills and excellent communication/interview skills in both English and Bangla. Working knowledge of other Bangladesh languages is desired

How to Apply

Please complete the application and submit a cover letter and CV demonstrating how your experience aligns to the requirements above and complete the application.

EnCompass LLC is a progressive Equal Opportunity Employer. We promote, celebrate, and support a diverse and inclusive organizational culture and workforce. We are committed to providing all of our employees with an environment free from discrimination and harassment, where all are treated with dignity and respect. We do not tolerate, and explicitly prohibit, discrimination or harassment of any kind, at any time, in all aspects of employment. This includes recruitment, hiring, promotions, disciplinary measures, terminations, compensation, benefits, social and recreational programs, and training. EnCompass also does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who report discrimination or harassment. Our continuing commitment to the principle of Equal Opportunity Employment for all means all employment decisions are based only on the job requirements, the candidate’s qualifications, and the needs of EnCompass as a business—not on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, belief, sex (including pregnancy and related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability status, veteran status, genetic information, HIV status, family/marital/parental status, or any other status protected by the laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we work.