Local Development Researcher – Lebanon

Position Title: Local Development Researcher

Assignment: Conduct field research and draft a policy brief on building resilience in local governance in Akkar, Lebanon

Form of Employment: Short-term Research Consultancy

Starting Date: March 2020

Duration: Six months

Location: Beirut and Akkar areas


Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is a non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit organisation registered in Berlin. DRI promotes political participation of citizens, accountability of state bodies, and the development of democratic institutions worldwide.

In Lebanon, DRI is working with Lebanese civil society organisations and public officials to promote local governance in line with good governance principles. Since 2018, DRI has supported the implementation of the “Resilience in Local Governance” (Reslog) project, led by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR).

Reslog aims to strengthen resilience, with a focus on livelihood opportunities and increased access to public services and is implemented in the Akkar governorate, a vulnerable area in the north of the country that hosts significant numbers of Syrians. Based on a holistic approach to local governance and resilience development, Reslog addresses issues such as capacity gaps, institutional framework, planning processes and decision-making procedures, looking at interactions between vertical and horizontal actors within the system, and the enabling environment.

In this framework, DRI is recruiting a short-term Local Development Researcher for its Country Office in Lebanon.

In collaboration with DRI Project Manager, the Reslog team in Akkar, and under the supervision of the Country Representative, the expert will draft a Policy Brief of ca. 3,000 words on building resilience in local governance in Lebanon, specifically in Akkar, taking into consideration institutional capacities, local development planning, inclusive public service delivery, citizen participation and accountability. The municipal unions of Dreib El-Awsat and Jurd El-Qayteh will serve as case studies.

Interested candidates are encouraged to consult DRI’s publications prior to applying. The copyright of the publication is the exclusive property of DRI and SALAR.

Your Tasks:

Under the supervision of DRI’s Country Representative in Lebanon, the expert will draft a Policy Brief according to the following guidelines:

  • Develop an annotated Table of Contents for the report that includes a proposed methodology and an analytical framework, and revise it based on DRI’s input;
  • Conduct primary research by attending select project activities (workshops, town hall meetings etc.) in Akkar and conduct field visits in Akkar to map and interview key stakeholders. Existing project documentation (e. g. area mapping, needs assessments, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning data) will be shared to guide the research;
  • Provide a forward-looking analysis on local governance and development in Akkar, identifying challenges and opportunities for building resilience in both host and refugee communities;
  • Produce a manuscript with no more than 3,000 words, including a bibliography, actionable policy recommendations and a highly readable Executive Summary;
  • The writing should be crisp and concise and follow a think tank style. The written language is British English;
  • The expert must be available for regular meetings with DRI to review and discuss the research progress;
  • Review and proof-read the final manuscript after copy-editing and layout, in the original language (English) as well as the translation (Arabic).

Your Skills and Experience:

  • Master’s degree or PhD in Social Science, Political Science, Public Administration, Development Studies, Public Policy, Economics, Law or equivalent;
  • At least five (5) years of research and practitioner’s experience in local development and/or governance in Lebanon. Comparative expertise is a strong asset;
  • Proven publication record on development issues, democratisation, local governance;
  • Proven experience in designing research methodologies and data collection in challenging environments;
  • Knowledge of the work of Lebanese municipalities and municipal unions in theory and practice;
  • Ability to write concisely in a think tank style requiring minimum revision.
  • Fluency in English and Arabic is a requirement.

DRI is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. We strongly encourage qualified females to apply for this position.

How to Apply:

If you are interested in this position, please send your application, consisting of (1) a cover letter, (2) your CV, (3) published papers on relevant topics, and (4) a proposed one-page draft outline of the Policy Brief to to [email protected], cc’ing [email protected].

Please mention “Local Development Researcher – Lebanon” in the subject line and refer to the source where you have found this opportunity.

Closing date for applications is 15 March 2020 at 12:00 pm, local time (Beirut). The position may be filled before the deadline, so early applications are encouraged.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview. If you are one of those shortlisted, we will contact you within one week after expiration of the deadline.


Organisation responsible for this vacancy:

Democracy Reporting International gGmbH

Prinzessinnenstraße 30

10969 Berlin, Germany

Tel +49 30 27877300

Fax +49 30 27877300-10

Data processing of personal data in third countries will not take place. We process your data in accordance with the provisions of § 26 German Federal Data Protection Act. More information about processing your personal data: privacy policy.

Note: This call does not entail any commitment on the part of DRI, either financial or otherwise. DRI may cancel the call any time without assigning any reason.

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