Urban Researcher

Norwegian Refugee Council, Geneva, Swaziland

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th July, 2019

Job Description


In 2018, IDMC started developing a number of key research areas to address existing knowledge gaps on internal displacement to inform development policy and humanitarian practice. This includes examining how internal displacement comes about in towns and cities across the globe, as well as understanding how the risk of displacement from, to, between and within urban areas can be addressed and reduced. Having successfully secured funding for a number of case studies in 2019, IDMC seeks to employ a new full-time Researcher to support this research activity.

Main Tasks:

In close coordination with the Head of Policy and Research, the Researcher will lead IDMC’s research agenda on urban internal displacement. This includes developing a coherent programme of research, drafting concept notes, conducting desk research, developing methodologies for primary data collection, coordinating fieldwork logistics, training and supervising local enumerators, and conducting interviews and other data collection in selected fieldwork locations. Drawing upon quantitative and qualitative analysis of primary and secondary data, the Researcher will also be responsible for drafting and publishing briefing materials, presentations and publications on urban displacement.

In addition, the Researcher will contribute to the production of the Global Report on Internal Displacement and provide support to other research themes as appropriate. The Researcher will develop new and strengthen existing partnerships, will identify funding opportunities, and support the development of research proposals in line with the department’s identified research priorities.

Specific responsibilities:

  • Lead research on the drivers, patterns and impacts of urban internal displacement and on urban solutions to preventing and addressing displacement and reducing displacement risk.
  • Conduct research in case study countries and lead research assistants and local research teams in primary data collection and analysis.
  • Draft and publish results from primary and secondary research in line with IDMC’s thematic priorities and policy agenda.
  • Identification of opportunities for positioning IDMC’s analysis and drafting of blogs, news items and analytical pieces, in coordination with the Communications Department.
  • Identify funding opportunities for the urban displacement research agenda and support the development of research proposals in line with IDMC’s identified priorities.
  • Contribute to the production of the Global Report on Internal Displacement and to other research themes as appropriate.
  • Perform other duties in the department as appropriate.


Generic professional competencies:

  • Master’s degree related to urban planning and development, architecture, international development, displacement and migration, disaster risk and climate change adaptation, humanitarian affairs or a related field.
  • Over 5 years of relevant work experience, including managing research projects.
  • Experience of designing research programmes and developing methods for primary data collection using mixed methods from qualitative and quantitative research.
  • Strong writing skills and ability to condense large amounts of data and analysis in an efficient manner.
  • Strong initiative and collaborative working style.
  • Excellent communication skills and good team worker.
  • Fluency in English, both written and verbal – knowledge of another official UN language a plus.

Specific skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Knowledge of urban planning and urban development.
  • Knowledge of human mobility issues in the context of disasters and climate change, conflict, or development projects.
  • Experience of conceptualising, planning and conducting primary research.
  • Proven experience of conducting primary research in Africa, Asia or Latin America.
  • Experience of processing and analysing large amounts of data and qualitative information into concise and communicable briefing papers and information pieces.
  • Ability to question, understand and evaluate quantitative and qualitative research on internal displacement.
  • Ability to convey complex problems in accessible concepts and terms, both verbally and in writing and to adapt language and messaging for different audiences.
  • Ability to clearly communicate research findings and their global and regional policy relevance.


  • This is a one year fixed-term contract.
  • The position is full-time, 40 hours per week.
  • Please note that for reasons related to the procedure for work permits in Switzerland, only candidates with an EU/EFTA nationality or a valid work permit for Switzerland can be considered for this role


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