Research Director

Community Partners International, Myanmar

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Email for CV Submission: 
Closing Date for Applications: 
22nd April, 2020

Job Description

Community Partners International (CPI) is a U.S. nonprofit organization working in partnership with conflict-affected, hard-to-reach and underserved communities in Southeast Asia to expand access to quality health services and generate the resources, local capacity and coordination necessary to meet their own health, learning, and development needs. CPI’s Asian headquarters are located in Yangon, Myanmar, and the organization maintains field offices throughout Myanmar.

Research at CPI. Founded in 2016, CPI’s Research Unit aims to make CPI the go-to organization to generate evidence to inform Myanmar’s transition to equitable, efficient and inclusive systems of high quality universal health and social care. The Research Unit builds on our organization’s extensive background in working side-by-side with partners to guide health reforms that respond optimally to the needs of underserved communities and lay the groundwork for universal health care (UHC). CPI’s Research Unit serves as an applied participatory research hub enabling CPI and community-based partners to generate evidence-based health programming, methodologies, and findings that can be incorporated into health policies, program design, and implementation. Participatory research is an approach in which community stakeholders and researchers collaborate and equitably share in the decision-making, design, conduct, analysis, and dissemination of findings for research projects. The Research Unit works with partners to identify research priorities, design, and conduct high quality community-based participatory research resulting in robust data. The Research Unit also enables data-driven advocacy efforts with the Government of Myanmar (GoM) and other stakeholders, and helps CPI and its partners to strengthen and expand research partnerships with international academic and research-based organizations.

Primary Responsibilities

  • · Conduct high-quality, high-impact research to support health programming and planning of CPI and its partners, and forge a new vision for UHC in Myanmar.
  • · Share research findings with stakeholders to support evidence-based health programs and policy-making.
  • · Conduct research with partners who operate in rural, complex humanitarian and conflict-affected areas of Myanmar, as well in peri-urban areas.
  • · Development and documentation of CPI’s participatory research model, drawing upon existing methods, and improving these models as the work progresses.
  • · The primary responsibilities of this position are akin to a non-tenure track research series at a high-level academic institution in the U.S. or Europe, with deep expertise in grant writing, research and public health programming.
  • · Serve as research advisor for existing (non-‘research’) CPI service delivery and programs, with a specific focus on methods for data collection, analysis and interpretation that emphasize participation of local communities.
  • · Write and submit grants and proposals and create visibility about this initiative among key academic, partner and donor institutions.
  • · Submit dedicated research proposals to donor agencies in line with CPI’s programmatic priorities.
  • · Supervise research manager(s) in all their responsibilities, from technical research methods to the management of personnel, data and project finances.

Regular Responsibilities

  • · Provide technical inputs during proposal development for CPI.
  • · Replicate the virtuous cycle of the proven partnered research model of CPI-CBOs and academia.
  • · Document the Participatory Research process itself, with the goal of developing and publicizing a model for partnered learning adapted to the local health context of Myanmar.
  • · Contribution to the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of qualitative and quantitative research/evaluation studies that will be conducted by CPI programs, including Institutional Review Board/Ethics Review Board applications and writing manuscripts for peer review.
  • · Collaborate with external researchers on peer-reviewed publications and advocacy reports.
  • · Identify opportunities to leverage existing CPI and partner data and programs to generate new knowledge through publication of secondary data analyses and the augmentation of existing data platforms.
  • · Contribute to use of program data to respond to partners’ needs and to inform iterative cycles of continuous program improvement.
  • · Work with the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team to design data collection instruments and corresponding electronic databases for data entry based on validated measures and research project needs, and that facilitate future learning and research, whenever necessary.
  • · Work with the M&E team to develop data collection policies and practices and monitor uniform data collection compliance and quality across the organization, whenever necessary.
  • · Ensure compliance with research project requirements for data collection and reporting.
  • · Develop and prepare internal reports of status, progress and outcomes of evaluation activities.
  • · Conduct research and analyses of issues as requested by CPI Senior Management Team, including preparation of reports, white papers and journal publications recommendations and other materials.

Partner Support

  • · Increase capacity of community based organizations to participate in all aspects of partnered research, from problem identification to hypothesis generation to data collection, analysis, dissemination and incorporation into health policies and programs.
  • · Ensure community members themselves are active participants in the research process.
  • · Formalize training in partnered research approaches for staff at CPI and CBO partners.
  • · Oversight, with appropriate CBO partner designee, of all research initiatives.
  • · Assisting CBO partners with formation of advisory boards representative of local communities to ensure research priorities and findings are responsive to community priorities.**
  • · Oversee a Research Fellowship program the leverages the skills of recent graduates of high quality academic programs to support CPI research projects and enhance the capacity of CPI partners.**

Capacity Building and Supporting Other Staff

  • · Technically support and strengthen the research capacity of CPI staff, providing ongoing coaching, feedback and support to build their capacity to further improvement of the organization.
  • · Regular supervision and mentorship of research staff at CPI and partner organizations.
  • · Formalize trainings in partnered research approaches for staff at CPI and CBO partners.
  • · Coordination and communication with staff of CPI, CBOs and academic partners.

Operations and Administration

  • · Ensure appropriate organizational policies and guidelines are followed.
  • · Be part of the organization’s leadership team and contribute to the development and execution of strategic decisions.

Organization Representation

  • · Strengthen relationships between CPI, local CBOs, academic partners and research funders.
  • · Presentation of research findings at national, regional and international scientific meetings, in partnership with local CBO members.
  • · Representation of CPI (and of CBOs if designated) at national and donor meetings related to planning health policies and programs and reporting of health program information.
  • · Coordination and communication with staff of CPI, CBOs and academic partners.

Represent CPI at partner and donor meetings and events.


  • · Advanced degree in public health: DrPH or PhD strongly desired; we will also consider applicants with Masters-level training and a proven track record of Participatory research leadership and publication.
  • · At least 5 years’ public health research experience.
  • · Experience of working in a multicultural, low-resource setting.
  • · Excellent English Language especially in Speaking, Research Presentation and Academic Writing.
  • · A burning passion for CPI’s mission, and a commitment to improve the health and well-being of people in Myanmar.
  • · Ability to communicate technical information to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • · Ability to establish priorities in a time sensitive environment and meet deadlines with strong attention to consistency, detail, and quality.
  • · Ability to provide technical assistance in all aspects of research design and implementation.


  • · The position requires maintaining a close relationship with partners based on the Thai side of the Thai-Myanmar border as well as with groups based inside Myanmar. It is thus a significant benefit for the individual to have existing relationships with one or both of these groups.
  • · Multilingual in local languages or other demonstrated ability to work across cultures or engage communities.

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