Qualitative Energy Researcher - Rwanda (2 posts)

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Practical Action is an international non-governmental organisation (INGO) with 50 years of expertise in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We have a strong heritage and track record of bringing communities and experts together to find practical, sustainable solutions which work for both people and the planet; solutions that enable people to meet their needs and lead dignified lives. Technology features in everything we do. We partner with people whose lives are transformed by these efforts and ensure local ownership and solutions that work in the longer term, without us.

Practical Action is implementing a three and a half year Renewable Energy for Refugees (RE4R) project in Rwanda and Jordan. This project will be led by Practical Action and UNHCR to deliver renewable energy investments through innovative approaches in humanitarian settings, working directly with refugees and host communities in Kigeme, Nyabiheke and Gihembe refugee camps in Rwanda and with urban refugees in Irbid in Jordan. The project will provide access to affordable and sustainable sources of renewable energy, and improve the health, wellbeing and security of target populations. It will draw on Practical Action’s considerable existing experience in renewable energy programmes in developing countries – working directly with communities to deliver the best energy services and products possible for local people. The Practical Action’s UK office will oversee and provide technical leadership for the implementation of the overall project.

Two roles are available for two qualitative energy researchers for the assessment phase of the project, from January to April 2018. One role will be based in northern Rwanda and the other in southern Rwanda, close to project activities in those area. These posts are only open to Rwandans who speak Kinyarwanda, French and English fluently. The qualitative energy researchers will work closely with the project’s technical lead, quantitative and markets analysts, field staff, with technical support provided by the project manager. These roles are temporary consultancy positions for the project’s assessment phase.

Date of expiry4th Jan
Full/Part timeFull Time
Employment statusFixed Term
Other terms

The roles will involve using a qualitative energy access methodology for displacement previously developed by Practical Action for a research programme on energy access and displacement. The roles will require considerable time spent in refugee camps, working directly with refugees, community leaders, NGOs and camp operators, to understand their energy needs and priorities. The project will also offer an initial week-long training programme on how to use the qualitative methodology and so offers researchers the opportunity to expand their skill set. The core role responsibilities and timelines include:

  • Decisions about how to apply the  methods to the study of energy in refugee camps will be arrived at collectively during a 7 day training programme in qualitative methods for research on energy and forced displacement. These training programmes will be led by researchers from the Practical Action East Africa team with the aim of meeting demand in the humanitarian sector for qualitative energy researchers and building research capacity around data collection and analysis. The workshop is initially scheduled for early January 2018.
  • This will be followed by 1-2 week pilot studies in the three Rwandan camps: Mid-January 2018.
  • Between January and March 2018 the research teams will work together in the 3 Rwandan camps, deploying these qualitative methods to collect data on the everyday energy practices of 50 Congolese refugees, humanitarian workers/emergency responders, and local providers of energy goods and services. The data will include situated observations, photographs, diagrams and sketches, as well semi-structured interviews.
  • In April 2018, the researchers, with support from the UK technical lead and analysts, local field staff, and operational support will document these methods and analyse the qualitative data, compiling everyday practices around lighting, cooking and charging into case studies and research findings.
  • This work will result in the production of a report on the Lived Experience of Energy in Rwanda (due in March 2018) and a methods toolkit on the application of this methodology in Rwanda (due in April 2018).

The roles will take 60 days of time between January to April 2018. The consultants will work together with the Rwanda project manager, lead technical researchers, field staff in Practical Action Rwanda, markets analysts, and PAC consultants to support on the following key activities:

  1. Qualitative and semi-structured interviews with refugees.
  2. Analysing qualitative material and developing qualitative surveys.
  3. Producing written outputs detailing local people’s understanding of energy access technologies including their willingness-to-pay, level of technological engagement and attitude to energy.
  4. Analysing data gathered in the two camps to establish levels of demand for various energy access solutions.
  5. Taking notes, transcribing interviews, translating from local languages to English.
  6. Producing site reports and community analysis of the interviews undertaken.
  7. Considerable time spent in Kigeme, Nyabiheke and Gihembe and liaising with local refugee communities.

Interested applicants may apply to Anna Okello (Anna.Okello@practicalaction.or.ke) by 4th January 2018 with a CV inclusive of a 1-page cover letter detailing the applicants interest in the role, and stating their daily fee rate. 

You can download the detailed Job Description as well as the TORs for the assessment phase of this project from the Download section.

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