Job ID: 183954


Tufts University

  • Apr. 14, 2022
  • Researcher
  • The Trustees of Tufts College
  • Tufts University
    Boston, MA
  • Open until filled
  • Available immediately
  • Research Scientist/Associate
  • Research Methods/Data Analysis
    Home Economics/Consumer Sciences
    Social Sciences - General


Established in 1981, the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy is the only graduate and professional school of nutrition in North America. Its mission is to improve the nutritional well-being of people worldwide through:

  • the creation of new knowledge
  • the application and dissemination of evidence-based information and
  • the education and training of future leaders in the field


The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) funds multi-year development activities in low- and middle-income countries. These activities, involving both financial support and food assistance, are implemented in-country by US-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which submit proposals in response to Requests for Proposals (RFAs) issued by BHA.  Starting in 2016, BHA began requiring applicants to incorporate explicit sustainability plans, detailing what strategies they would use to ensure that the activities and impacts of their activities would persist once the projects ended and support was withdrawn.  The requirement was substantially based on earlier work conducted at Tufts Friedman School which resulted in a set of criteria for sustainability; these were incorporated into the RFA process and now constitute an important component of evaluation of these proposals.


The present study will review the experience of NGOs in responding to the sustainability requirement both at the proposal stage and during implementation in the field, to determine the extent to which activities funded since 2016 have successfully incorporated the sustainability guidance in the RFA, whether and how activities were modified over the course of their implementation in ways that enhanced or reduced the likelihood of sustainability, and what challenges were encountered.  The objective is to enable guidance improvements by identifying specific strategy design approaches, contextual factors, and practical program implementation elements that appear most likely to achieve the promise of sustainability within USAID/BHA-funded development programs. We will assess the practicality and effectiveness of USAID/BHA’s guidance through documenting programs’ experience first in developing and then in implementing sustainability plans.

What You'll Do

This is a one-year grant funded, limited-term appointment with the possibility of extension based on available funding.


Position to start as soon as possible.


The study will involve desk review of RFAs, proposals submitted by successful applicant NGOs, related project documents (e.g., progress reports, evaluations, project modifications) and relevant BHA documents, as well as remote interviews with BHA staff, NGO staff, and project stakeholders.


The Researcher will work under the guidance of the Senior Researcher and the PIs, participating in the design of study instruments and protocols and contributing to implementing these protocols: reviewing project documents and extracting data using the approved instruments. The Researcher will participate in the design of interview guides and conduct relevant interviews as appropriate. The Researcher will assist the Senior Researcher in conducting qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts and will contribute to the synthesis and write-up of the results.

What We're Looking For

Minimum Required Experience, Education, Background, and Certifications/Licenses

  • Masters level degree or current enrollment in MS or doctoral degree program in social science field related to economic development, health and nutrition, agriculture and natural resource management, anthropology, or related field.
  • Work experience in low-income developing country settings
  • Experience with qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Knowledge of international nutrition, food, and agriculture policy issues
  • Proven ability to interact and effectively collaborate with diverse colleagues
  • Proficient in use of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Ability to meet deadlines with efficiency and accuracy
  • Ability to communicate with clarity, sensitivity, diplomacy, and tact with a range of international organizations, collaborating senior researchers, government stakeholders, and donor representatives.
  • Ability to write clearly and effectively
  • Capacity and commitment to function as part of a team
  • Cultural sensitivity, patience, respect, and a helpful attitude toward resolving problems and answering questions are essential.

Additional Preferred Experience

  • Experience working on USAID-funded activities is highly desirable
  • Experience using qualitative data analysis software
  • Foreign language capability is a plus (French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese)

Special Work Schedule Requirements:

  • The PIs for this study are based in Boston, but this position allows for on-site, remote, or hybrid work. Due to differing time zones, interviews may be scheduled outside of normal office hours.  Occasional research team meetings and project deadlines may also sometimes require working beyond normal office hours.

An employee in this position must complete all appropriate background checks at the time of hire, promotion, or transfer.


Equal Opportunity Employer - minority/females/veterans/disability/sexual orientation/gender identity.

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