Consultant: Virtual Research Expert (Social Impact)


Consultant: Virtual Research Expert

Research Team / Hanoi, Vietnam

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Social Impact (SI) is a global development management consulting firm which provides monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, and  capacity building services to advance development effectiveness. In Vietnam, SI is implementing the USAID/Vietnam Learns program to support USAID staff and partners to implement more efficient, effective, and transparent programs. Today, SI seeks qualified consultant to lead a new assignment in support of ongoing research studies.

Position Background:

With the emergence of COVID-19 as a global threat, it is important that ongoing activities Learns is conducting in support of USAID/Vietnam continue. Over the next six months Learns anticipates a minimum of six special studies involving either qualitative or quantitative research, and for many of them, a mix of both.

In order to meet the demand, and ensure necessary interventions continue on schedule, Learns is looking to identify and implement strategies for transitioning to virtual research projects. This may include, but is not limited to, collecting data (surveys, interviews, and focus groups) virtually and training Vietnamese consultants on new, virtual techniques.


The objectives of this assignment are to:

  1. Provide SI with actionable recommendations to transition from in-person to virtual data collection and

  2. Build the capacity of data collectors to use agreed upon approaches.

In order to do this, the consultant will review ongoing and planned studies and research methods, identify how to transition data collection methods and approaches from in-person to virtual and provide the necessary training, coaching, and on-the-job technical assistance to Vietnamese data collectors.

As a result of this consultancy, SI will be able to continue to deliver timely and relevant studies to the USAID Mission upon request – even if the data collection cannot be conducted in person.

Position Description:

SI is seeking an experienced researcher with a track record using software or applications for virtual (synchronous and asynchronous) data collection and sense-making. This position will allow USAID Learns to adapt to the changing situation and continue to produce quality research as requested by the Mission.


Activities the consultant will be expected to conduct and deliver include the following:

  • Review of existing and planned research projects to inform other responsibilities outlined below;
  • Conduct rapid assessment of existing and planned research projects to understand virtual research needs and opportunities
  • Provide immediate/actionable recommendations and technical support to SI research teams. Approaches should be specific to the different research methods required to complete a study, include information on software or application needed, cost and technology requirements, good practices and practices to avoid, and other relevant information for each project. Common recommendations that can be scaled across research projects should also be identified.
  • Provide capacity building to data collectors by:
    • conducting a rapid assessment of hired researcher consultants’ capacity gaps and capacity-building needs to collect data virtually (introduction/greater familiarization to platforms or reinforcement of skills, tool usage…)
    • Provide virtual training, coaching, and technical assistance to data collectors in approved virtual approaches;
    • Develop user-friendly/visually friendly capacity-building training tools in close collaboration with the USAID/Learns Capacity-Building team to help train consultant and technical team members remotely and on the longer-term. Tools should be user-friendly and quickly actionable for consultants. Tools will likely include but are not limited to easy to use “how-to” job aids for selected virtual data collection approaches.
    • Reviewing outputs from researchers based on agreed upon standards, providing feedback to researchers and suggesting corrective measures. These may need to be shared with the entire cadre of researchers, as appropriate, and may require regular reporting to SI on virtual research challenges identified, corrective measures, and any other observations.
  • The consultant may also be asked to provide input on transitioning to virtual MEL support to the USAID Mission. For example:
    • Potential to review USAID site-visit monitoring requirements and develop virtual site-visit protocols for the Mission (through SI/Learns) to achieve minimal monitoring requirements in due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, particularly if those restrictions continue for longer periods of time.

This assignment is scalable, adjusted depending on rapidly evolving needs and priorities. The consultant will initially draw from a consultancy contract with SI with an overall minimal and maximum day level of effort (LoE). Assignments will then draw from the LoE ceiling through tasks/deliverables defined on a rolling basis with assigned LoE, in close consultation with the consultant.


Virtual Research Expert

  • Extensive experience in the area of qualitative and quantitative research studies;
  • Advanced skills and experience using innovative software or methods for virtual data collection;
  • Experience training researchers and/or overseeing research teams in multiple country settings required;
  • Experience USAID assessments/studies and familiarity with associated compliance requirements, required;
  • Advanced skills and experience conducting interviews with a wide array of stakeholders for USAID-funded projects, required;
  • Ease with the facilitation of multi-person events and/or training, ideally on online;
  • Strong pedagogical adult-learning skills and ability to convey complex ideas using visual and practical tools and platforms;
  • BA, in Political Science, Social Science, Research, or related field with at least 10 years relevant experience or Masters’ degree in related field and at least 8 years of relevant experience
  • Excellent writing and spoken English skills are required;
  • Fluency in Vietnamese spoken skills, desirable;
  • If based outside of Vietnam, ability and willingness to adjust work hours to allow for live coordination and capacity-building work with the Vietnam-based team members and consultants.

Come join our energetic and innovative team!  We offer you the opportunity to work as part of a creative and committed team and make a difference in the well-being of our world.

To learn more about Social Impact, please visit our website:

SI is an EEO/AA/ADA Veterans Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. Please, no phone calls.

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