The Institute of International Education (IIE) seeks applications from qualified individuals for a part-time Democracy Fellow to help conduct a retrospective analysis of legislative strengthening programs funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). IIE manages the Democracy Fellows and Grants (DFG) Program for USAID and the Fellow will be contracted as an IIE consultant on a part-time basis (20 hours per week) for 18 months. The Fellow will work closely with staff at USAID’s Center for Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center).
According to a recent study commissioned by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), parliamentary development assistance remains an under-evaluated area of donor support. The report authors state that “[t]he evaluation literature consists mostly of either ad hoc single programme evaluations … or broad thematic reviews that draw quite general lessons from a diverse set of programmes. For this reason, there is almost no comparative data on funding levels and activities, and little detailed analysis of what has worked under different conditions and why.”  To fill this gap, USAID has decided to conduct a retrospective analysis of legislative strengthening programs, which it sees as a major contribution to the legislative strengthening field.
USAID has an extensive history in legislative strengthening programs. Over the past 35 years, USAID has funded these activities in over 60 countries at a cost of more than $600 million. Legislative strengthening programs have increased in number, scope, and mandate over the past two decades. While anecdotal evidence suggests that this support has helped strengthen democratic governance and improved citizen access to policymaking, systematic research is required to measure the impact of this assistance.
Scope of Work Summary
This legislative strengthening retrospective analysis project will be implemented under the joint leadership and management of the DRG Center’s Governance/Rule of Law Team and Learning Team. The USAID Governance Advisor will be responsible for overall project management. The Democracy Fellow will work closely with the Governance Advisor on the design and implementation of retrospective project, help analyze the results thereof, and assist in using the findings to draft revisions to the USAID Handbook on Legislative Strengthening. A Senior Evaluation Specialist on the DRG Center’s Learning Team will advise both the Governance Advisor and the Democracy Fellow on methodological issues.
The overall goal of the retrospective analysis project is to better understand the results and impact of USAID’s support to deliberative bodies to improve the overall effectiveness of USAID legislative strengthening assistance. The project will seek to identify, measure, and better understand the relationships between USAID legislative strengthening programs and the dynamics of change, reform, and performance of legislatures with which USAID works.
In 2002, with the assistance of a working group of legislative strengthening practitioners and academics, The DRG Center developed a proposed research methodology for this retrospective analysis. The methodology consisted of a comparative case study approach and a modified version of the field network approach to gather data on a broader set of cases. One of the Fellow’s early responsibilities will be to convene an expert review of this methodology and, with the DRG Governance Advisor, chart a course for the remainder of the research project. That course is likely to combine a mix of case study methodologies to achieve the depth and breadth necessary for conclusions. The Fellow will conduct the research, complemented by other independent in-country evaluation support as necessary, according to the research protocol.
Once research is conducted, the Fellow will help to systematically analyze the data collected and draw conclusions. S/he also will help to prepare a draft report with findings and recommendations for future USAID legislative strengthening programs, as well as organize a peer review of the draft. Once the report is finalized, and based upon its findings and conclusions, the Fellow will work on revising USAID’s legislative strengthening handbook and developing other technical leadership tools to ensure the design and implementation of more effective USAID legislative strengthening programs.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Democracy Fellow will be responsible for the following tasks.
- Serving as technical organizer for a one-day evidence summit bringing together legislative strengthening academics and practitioners to review the proposed research methodology for the retrospective analysis, discussing the state of the art in retrospective analyses of legislative strengthening or similar programs.
- Facilitating and participating in a small advisory group tasked with drafting, revising, modifying, editing and/or rewriting the research methodology.
- Serving as liaison with USAID/Missions in making decisions on the selection, conduct, organization, and implementation of country case studies analyses.
- Participating in one or more in-country evaluation teams (to be decided prior to the research phase of the study).
- Analyzing the results of the retrospective studies, assisting in the preparation of the draft report, organizing a peer review of the draft report, and assisting in the preparation of the final synthesis report.
- Assisting in the drafting of revisions to the USAID Handbook on Legislative Strengthening and other USAID tools.
Required Skills, Knowledge, and Experience
- A minimum of five (5) years of experience in legislative strengthening, either as a practitioner working on legislative strengthening programs in the international development context or as an academic conducting research in the field of legislative development and institutions, required. Graduate-level education can be applied toward this experience. Previous experience with USAID programming preferred, but not required.
- Relevant graduate degree preferred, but not required.
- Demonstrated research skills and strong written and oral communications skills required.
- Basic familiarity with legislative development programs and practices, including demonstrated experience in monitoring and evaluation; impact evaluation design, methodology, and implementation; and basic qualitative and quantitative research approaches required.
- Willingness to travel required.
- US citizenship or permanent residency status required.
Supervision and Guidance
The Fellow will serve as a member of the DRG Center and will be supervised on a day-to-day basis by the DRG Center’s Governance Advisor. The Fellow will be an IIE consultant and will report for administrative purposes to the Democracy Fellows and Grants (DFG) Program Director at IIE.
Washington, DC, area preferred but not necessarily required.
Duration of the Position
This fellowship is for 18 months, at 50 percent level of effort (20 hours per week).
The daily rate for this fellowship will be competitive and commensurate with the candidate’s salary history and experience.
The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm on December 13, 2013. Only complete applications will be considered.
Apply now: http://www.iie.org/Programs/USAID-Democracy-Fellows-and-Grants-Program/Fellowship/How-to-Apply
 Report Brief, Mind the Gap: Lessons Learnt and Remaining Challenges in Parliamentary Development Assistance – A SIDA Pre-Study, UTV Working Paper 2012:1, found at http://www.sida.se/publications.