Mixed Methods Research in the Middle East & North Africa Expert
USAID is requesting a situational analysis of non-state schooling in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The new USAID Education Policy  released in November 2018 differs from previous strategies in that it aims to increase engagement with non-state actors to promote finance for and the delivery of education innovations. In part, this interest comes from a desire to explore how non-state schools can help children and youth access quality learning opportunities. Non-state schools include private, for-profit, non-profit, community, faith-based, and other non-governmental organizations that provide education opportunities for students, including refugees and IDPs. Secondly, in 2019, USAID also released a new Private Sector Engagement Policy,  which highlights how this type of engagement is critical to support the Journey to Self-Reliance (J2SR).  These policies embrace market-based approaches as an alternative to support communities in achieving development and humanitarian outcomes at scale, including in the education sector.
The focus on non-state schools is new to the MENA region as the bulk of its basic education assistance supports public education and host country Ministry of Education capacity development. There is little knowledge about who, what, and where are non-state schools, the nature of support within the education communities, and the ways private and public schools engage (or do not engage) with each one another. Across the MENA region, there is also varying capacity and effectiveness of non-state schools. The goal of this situational analysis will thus be to gain both a regional overview and country-level perspective on non-state schooling and provide a summary of what are the opportunities and challenges for working with non-state schools in the ME region .
Social Impact Inc., is carrying out this study and is putting together team of experts in non-state schooling, mixed methods research in the MENA region, and international education policy in addition to working with numerous local researchers. The research will be carried out in two phases: 1) Desk review and National Quantitative Data Analysis, and 2) In-Country Qualitative Data Collection & Analysis and Dissemination. The duties and qualifications below describe those for a Mixed Methods Research Expert.
- Work with an education sector expert, a data analyst, and other team members to design and implement a multiphase, mixed methods study on non-state schooling in the MENA region, produce two reports, and disseminate the findings,
- Collect and examine primary and secondary qualitative and quantitative data,
- Travel up to four countries.
Phase 1 (LOE: 35 days, Oct 2019-Mar 2020)
- Review and summarize the existing literature on non-state schooling at the basic education level in the MENA region.
- Identify existing data sets with information about non-state schooling in the MENA countries and sub-regions from international, national, non-governmental, and other sources.
- Develop a taxonomy of non-state school types for use as an analytic framework in subsequent phases of this activity.
- To the extent that relevant data exists and is available, work with local researchers to collect and assist a data analyst in analyzing secondary quantitative data collected from national governments and other relevant regional, national, sub-national, and private sector institutions and networks in each MENA country where USAID has an active Mission (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco) and non-presence countries of interest (Iraq, Syria, Libya, West Bank/Gaza, Yemen).
- Assist a data analyst in comparing and contrasting conditions in each country based on the data available, and identify gaps in data and knowledge with regard to the research questions,
- Develop the focus and methods for Phase 3, and submit an interim situational analysis based on regional and national data and literature collected through Phase 2 along with a Phase 3 study design and workplan.
Phase 2 (LOE 80 days, Apr-Sept 2020)
- Work with local researchers to collect, analyze, and present qualitative data from 4 case-study countries in the MENA region that describes:
- the constellation of non-state schooling actors and their constituent communities, stakeholders, institutions, support networks, policies, regulatory frameworks, financing, and other related topics,
- the population of pupils and their families and communities served by non-state schools including those from vulnerable and marginalized populations,
- the variety of forms, functions, and outcomes (where data is available) of non-state schools,
- the perceptions of stakeholders in the role and effects of non-state schooling on national education systems including governmental, non-governmental, community, parental, and non-state school staff sources,
- Compare and contrast national and sub-national conditions of non-state schooling
- Investigate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to potential USAID partnerships with non-state education sector actors, and the ways these partnerships might support USAID educational goals and policies.
- Provide findings, conclusions, and recommendations in a report presenting results from all phases of the study.
- Conduct a series of presentations, events, webinars, and/or consultations to disseminate the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the non-state schools situational analysis for relevant USAID HQ and Mission staff, and to assist them in utilizing the research for strategic planning.
- 10 years of experience conducting mixed methods research on education or other relevant topic,
- Master’s degree in education, public policy, sociology, anthropology, economics, or other relevant field with a focus on topics related to international development,
- 5 years of experience conducting research in the Middle East and/or North Africa,
- Fluency in English speaking, reading, and writing.
Desired but not required qualifications
- Experience conducting research on non-state schooling, private education, for-profit education, privatization of education, or other related topics.
- Fluency in Arabic speaking, reading, and writing.