The 2021 Global DATA Fellowship: Foreign Assistance Ownership for Sustainability in Uganda

The 2021 Global DATA Fellowship: Foreign Assistance Ownership for Sustainability in Uganda

Save the Children is seeking a policy research fellow with expertise in international development and specifically on country ownership of aid and fostering ownership for sustainability. The policy research fellow will work with our Washington, DC-based Department of Public Policy and Uganda County Offices and collaborate with local stakeholders to research best practices among USAID and PEPFAR for  the planning and implementation of long term ownership for sustainability with a focus on financial self-reliance. The research fellow for this project should be based in and available for field research in Uganda for the duration of the fellowship.

This fellowship will build on Save the Children’s longstanding research and advocacy on the importance of fostering local ownership for aid effectiveness and sustainability. The fellowship will provide an opportunity for the chosen individual to lead research on a cutting-edge aid effectiveness issue that is of high importance to donor agencies globally and particularly relevant to USAID and PEPFAR. The fellow will be expected to lead research design, data collection, and analysis in close consultation with our policy research and advocacy teams in Washington and East Africa.


  • Save the Children has led foreign assistance effectiveness policy advocacy through the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network to make aid more sustainable and accountable through increased local ownership.
  • Creating a framework for foreign assistance policymakers and practitioners to measure ownership has also been a research priority for Save the Children and in 2017 – in partnership with Oxfam America – Save the Children published the report, The Power of Ownership: Transforming US Foreign Assistance. The report outlined an analytical framework – the Local Engagement Assessment Framework (LEAF) – to assess the quality of ownership present in development programs.
  • This fellowship will build on this research with a focus on the LEAF “roots” which assess the long-term sustainability of U.S. foreign assistance projects as donors and international implementers prepare to transfer these projects to local leadership. The key variables to be explored are 1) local financing 2) evaluation and monitoring, 3) accountability for results to local stakeholders for the long term, and 4) capacity building.
  • The final research scope of work will be developed in consultation with the fellow, but this fellowship will be based in Uganda and will focus on two local development projects – one funded by PEPFAR and the other by USAID. The research project must draw on the LEAF framework, but we are looking for the fellow to be creative in adapting the LEAF tool to assess projects in the process of transfer to local leadership as part of building the global evidence base on empowering local stakeholders in their country’s and community’s own development.  
  • The fellow will be expected to conduct field research throughout Uganda and will be based in the country for the full duration of the research. The research fellowship will begin in March and end in the final quarter of 2021. A final research report is expected by November. We expect the duration of the project to be 8-9 months of full-time work depending on the final workplans decided in coordination with the fellow.  

Some of the expected research questions to be addressed include:

  1. How have donors and/or implementers shifted from international finance to local finance of development projects?
  1. How has accountability for results been shifted to local stakeholders, either government, private sector, or civil society?
  2. Based on project case studies, what are the biggest barriers to shifting ownership for sustainability to local actors?

Areas of Responsibility

The Global DATA Fellow will lead – in partnership with the Save the Children’s department of Public Policy Advocacy –the research design, data collection, and data analysis. While the research fellow’s workplan must coincide with Save the Children’s policy research goals, the fellow will have significant space to propose research strategies in partnership with our Washington- and East Africa-based teams. The fellow and Save the Children will collaborate on the final report and dissemination (see below).  


Early- and mid-career professionals are encouraged to apply. The fellow will be expected to work full-time for the duration of the fellowship. The fellow is also expected to be based in or near Uganda for the full duration of the fellowship. Some in country travel for field research is required as long as it is safe. Travel expenses including per diem will be paid by Save the Children, and the Save the Children Uganda County Office is available to host the fellow and provide workspace. High-level written English fluency is required for this fellowship.

Skills and Experience 

  • Ability to work independently and manage research projects from start to finish. Experience working in East Africa preferred. Experience working in Uganda a major plus.  
  • Ability to collaborate with a research and advocacy team; good teamwork skills and able to incorporate guidance into workplan and scope of work; able to design a research workplan, timeline, and concept note.
  • Demonstrated expertise in foreign assistance effectiveness and previous experience with research on local ownership is a definite plus.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office; skilled in computer-based quantitative data analysis programs preferred. Skilled in computer-based qualitative data analysis programs such as NVivo, Dedoose, or Atlas strongly preferred. Quantitative skills also a plus.
  • Strong English-language writing skills, solid interpersonal skills and ability to work within a team across operational areas and inter-culturally.
  • Demonstrated ability in data collection and analysis (either qualitative or quantitative) and able to translate analysis into compelling and concise evidence-based recommendations.
  • Must be fluent in spoken and written English.


Compensation is competitive, and commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Deadline to apply is March 12 and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early for quick consideration.

To apply, please attach your cover letter, resume, and one research writing sample, preferably related to country ownership or other aspects of foreign assistance effectiveness

Date advertised: 22 Feb 2021

Closing date: 12 Mar 2021 – 22:59 CAT

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Department: Business Support

Type: Contingent

Schedule: Part-time

Apply Now

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