Early Childhood Development Specialist 612 views

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Job Description

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Globally headquartered within the Economics Department at MIT and anchored by a network of 261 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty.

J-PAL Southeast Asia (J-PAL SEA) is one of seven independent regional offices, based at the Institute for Economic and Social Research, Faculty for Economics and Business at the University of Indonesia (LPEM FEB UI), leads J-PAL’s work in the Southeast Asia region. J-PAL SEA conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs. We work with central and local governments of Indonesia to help build a culture of evidence-informed decision-making in the region.

Currently, J-PAL SEA seeks qualified applicants for an Early Childhood Development specialist position to support the Reach up and Learn (RL) project, an early childhood parenting intervention program based on Jamaica Home Visit Programme that has been successfully adapted in dozens of developing countries. This program will be adapted in Indonesia with support from local and international researchers from J-PAL Southeast Asia and TNP2K (National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction).

The objective of the Reach up and Learn program is to improve parenting quality, particularly in low-income households, raise their awareness on the importance of early childhood stimulation, and promote and facilitate caregivers of children 0-3 years old to implement nurturing child-rearing activities. The candidate is expected to lead the curriculum adaptation process (including conducting qualitative data collection), develop the psychometric assessment, support the research design as well as the implementation of the pilot study in the field, and report the process and findings. This position offers a great opportunity to have hands-on experience in research, contributing to the development of Early Childhood Development programs for low-income households in Indonesia. Furthermore, the successful candidate will have an opportunity to work and collaborate with leading experts and a psychologist in the early childhood development field.

Scope of Work

J-PAL SEA is seeking an ECD specialist, preferably a PhD-trained/ PhD student psychologist or minimum Master graduate with developmental psychology, or child psychology, or early childhood education background, to support the adaptation and pilot implementation of Reach up and Learn (RL) in Indonesia. The consultant position requires knowledge and experience in early childhood development and psychometrics, as well as research and fieldwork experience in psychology. The selected candidate will analyze the gap in existing early childhood development programs in Indonesia, lead the curriculum adaptation process, evaluate the feasibility of the program in the Indonesian context (including conducting qualitative data collection and developing survey instruments). Responsibilities include creating the research progress report, supporting the pilot implementation of the program, as well as conducting the qualitative research of the Reach up and Learn program in Indonesia.

The consultant should have strong research interests as he/she will be a key member of the research team. Also, the consultant must be willing to travel or relocate to a medium-sized city in East Java (to be determined) to conduct fieldwork activities for around 12-13 months.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Provide expert consultation to support the overall research agenda of this project. For example, but not limited to, performing gap reviews to identify areas of early childhood development or related to psychology where greater knowledge is needed; and support efforts to prioritize the agenda with this evidence-based research.
  • Conduct desk review needed to adapt the Reach up and Learn curriculum into the Indonesian local context.
  • In coordination with the Research Associate (RA), conduct the desk review until field research activities (pilot implementation). The description of the stages will be elaborated in the timeline.
  • In coordination with the Research Associate (RA), develop the instruments to be used in the intervention evaluation, including psychometric analyses.
  • In coordination with the Research Associate (RA), conduct the field research activities planned as part of the project. These activities include qualitative interviews with relevant local government stakeholders, potential program facilitators, supervisors, as well as caregivers (mothers and fathers). Also, the RA and psychologist will conduct practice RL sessions with facilitators, supervisors, and families as part of the curriculum adaptation.
  • After being trained by the RL expert on our team, the RA and psychologist will train the facilitators and supervisors before piloting the intervention.
  • In coordination with the RA, the psychologist is responsible for reporting the progress in the field activities during the adaptation and pilot implementation to the research team in a timely manner with the purpose of identifying challenges and solving them.
  • Provide expert consultation and support on the design and implementation of RL This includes conducting systematic reviews of the project curriculum, providing feedback to the curriculum and delivery mechanism, as well as providing feedback for the RL practice on the field.
  • Provide early childhood subject matter expertise to the project teams by developing/maintaining support tools, evaluating program effectiveness, or evaluating material, guidelines for the facilitator, curriculum intervention, and implementation.

Job Requirements

Basic Qualifications:
  • Master students in Psychology or Early Childhood Education or Psychologist focusing on early childhood development, clinical psychology, or other relevant applied discipline focusing on young children.
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise with multiple research methods (qualitative and quantitative).
  • Demonstrated experience in the implementation, evaluation, or research of community and early childhood intervention programs focusing on low-income communities.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills are required to translate evidence to practice for client uptake.
  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate directly with beneficiaries/participants, facilitators, and the research team, i.e. Research Associate (RA), Research Manager (RM), and Principal Investigators (PIs) while supporting the projects to successful completion.
  • Strong organization skills to manage multiple tasks and timelines, and complete tasks quickly within the constraints of clients’ timelines and budgets.
  • Willing to do the fieldwork, including travel or relocation.
  • Very strong MS Office skills, specifically Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
Preferred Experience (Not an absolute requirement):
  • Demonstrated experience in the implementation of randomized evaluation particularly in the early childhood development field targeting low-income communities.

How to Apply

Please send an email with your application before June 30, 2022 to Nurul Fadilah <nfadilah@povertyactionlab.org> following these instructions exactly:

  1. Use the following as the email subject line: “J-PAL SEA ECD Specialist”
  2. Please do not include any other text in the body of the e-mail. Adding extra text will interfere with the processing of your
  3. Attach PDF copies of your CV, your academic transcripts, and a cover letter no longer than 500 words. The cover letter should discuss how you meet the aforementioned position requirements, emphasizing relevant skills and experience, as well as why you are interested in working with J-PAL SEA on this project and how this experience will contribute to fulfilling your future academic and professional plans.
Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates are advised to apply at the earliest. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.
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