APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR INTERNEWS LEAD RESEARCHER ROLE

Internews is seeking to hire a Lead Researcher. The Lead Researcher will manage the implementation of an Information Ecosystem Assessment focusing on Thai-language social media and other online sources of information about COVID-19, working with a team of field researchers and translators.

The Information Ecosystem Assessment will have a strong focus on how people use online platforms (including Facebook, messaging apps, WhatsApp and others) to access information about COVID-19 and related issues and how their use of online media intersects with their use of traditional media. Research activities will include desk research, social media monitoring, Key Informant Interviews, Focus Group Discussions, surveys, capacity assessment interviews and field observations. The research will result in a final Information Ecosystem Report. The Report will help to inform public health and humanitarian response agencies to better communicate key messages to the at-risk population.

SCOPE OF WORK:

  • Desk Research (3 days)

The Lead Researcher will conduct desk research to collate a wide range of factors that constitute the media and information landscape, with special focus on online platforms that influence and shape people’s engagement with information related to the COVID-19 response. Desk research will include the collation of: existing data on reach, audience, language and content orientation of the social media, messaging apps, text-lines, hotlines, internet penetration and mobile phone ownership and use – disaggregated by age and gender – hurdles and challenges related to information access and use. The research will explore how these platforms intersect with community radio as an enabling or inhibiting factor for information dissemination and audience engagement in a health emergency.

  • Recruitment of Field Researchers (8 days recruitment postings + 2 days interviews – in parallel)

In collaboration with the Internews Team in Bangkok, the Lead Researcher will recruit a team of field researchers that are members of the communities included in the assessment. The team will be recruited based on criteria of representation, aiming to get a diverse team to facilitate access to those members of the community that are identified as the most relevant for the research, including those who are most deprived of information and potentially have limited or no access to online or other information sources.

This team will include representatives across gender, age categories, and as many languages as possible from across the region. The Lead Researcher will be responsible for:

-Sharing the vacancy of Field Researcher across region, translated in local languages

-Organising job interviews with a focus on values, social skills and motivation (2 Days)

  • Design of Questionnaire and Field Research Approach (5 days – in parallel with the desk research & Start Up Workshop)

The desk research will provide preliminary findings that will inform the following:

-Selection of field research methods and approach

-Selection of online and physical communities and information providers

-Methods for social media monitoring and analysis

-Criteria for the selection of Key Informant Interviews

-Criteria for selection of Focus Groups

-Design of questionnaires drawn from Internews extensive database of previous work

-Identification of areas for additional exploration

  • Conduct Start Up Workshop with Field Researchers (3 days)

Organise a 3-day workshop with field researchers to train on qualitative and quantitative data collection, following humanitarian principles (dignity, consent, privacy). Translation of the questionnaire in relevant local languages, and testing adapting it based on input provided by the team of field researchers. Draft a Work Plan with the field researchers with an outline of selected audiences and the most appropriate methodologies to capture their insights.

  • Field Research (10 days)

The Lead Researcher will be responsible for the preparation for and conduct of the field research including:

-Key Informant Interviews (KIIs)
Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with key-actors within the community, including those collecting feedback for humanitarian agencies, local media & key members of the community, active online.

-Focus Group Discussions (FGDs)

At least 5 FGDs in target communities will help achieve deeper nuanced understandings on participants’ relationship with their information environment, with special focus on their use of messaging apps, their online access, how they validate and share information, and how their information environments influence their understanding and perceptions of the COVID-19 response. Discussions will focus on participants’ attitudes, needs, preferences and challenges in accessing, sharing, creating, and validating information, and how these have changed over time and in different circumstances. Focus groups will be conducted with men and women – either separately or together to understand the gender dimension.

-Social media monitoring and analysis (on-going)

The team will document the information environment and its social context. Researchers will document field observation and collect materials (e.g. charging stations, promotion of hotlines, etc.)

  • Workshops with field researchers (2 days)

After the first cycle of data collection on the ground is finished, the field researchers will gather again to discuss their findings with the lead researcher and to make sure that the findings are all aggregated and analysed together taking into consideration the local context.

  • Submit Initial Deliverables (2 days)

The lead researcher will be responsible for producing a four-page preliminary findings document to share and discuss with key stakeholders at the end of the fieldwork period. A slide deck summarising key points and featuring illustrative visuals will be delivered along with the report.

  • Second and third-wave research and deliverables updates (20 days)

The lead researcher will repeat steps 5-7 in two successive months to coordinate additional social media monitoring and analysis of the evolving situation over a three-month period. Updates to the preliminary four-page findings and slide deck will be submitted to the project director at an interval determined by the project director.

  • Final reporting (5 days)

A final report will be produced that will summarise all findings and analysis from the research period of three months. The final report will be approximately 20-25 pages long and should include:

  • Introduction
  • Executive summary of key findings and recommendations
  • Methodology overview
  • Narrative analysis of key findings

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Minimum five years of relevant working experience in qualitative research, social science, data analysis, anthropology, or similar
  • Strong experience with social media monitoring required, additional experience in humanitarian communications, media monitoring or related fields desired
  • Experience working in a humanitarian context and/or working in challenging environments and having a strong understanding of how to work with local authorities, international agencies like UN, INGOs, and local organisations and community representatives
  • Strong research skills, including qualitative and quantitative methodologies, like Focus Group Discussions, Key Informant Interviews, social media observation and analysis, data visualisation, etc.
  • Excellent information management skills, knowing how to work with Excel, nVivio, or similar software
  • Strong interpersonal communication, organisational, teamwork, facilitation and presentation skills.
  • Strong writing skills and proven ability to produce high quality reports and to work under tight deadlines.
  • Strong written and spoken English required; Thai language fluency highly desired
  • Understanding of and commitment to upholding Internews’ Core Values.

Full details about the position are available here.