Child Marriage in West Africa Researcher Consultant

Research Fellowship: Assessing Policy Implementation and Funding for Ending Child Marriage in West Africa

Save the Children is seeking a policy and budget research fellow with expertise in international development and particularly on budget analysis, gender equality policy. The policy and budget research fellow will work with our Washington, DC-based Department of Public Policy and Advocacy (PPA) and our West Africa regional office in Dakar, Senegal  .

This fellowship will analyze the extent to which recent policy commitments and legislation on ending child marriage has impacted children, families, and communities and the extent to which these new laws and policies are being supported by governments, particularly in terms of providing sufficient budgets. The fellowship will provide an opportunity to engage in cutting-edge budget analysis and gender policy implementation research through stakeholder engagement in close consultation with our policy research and advocacy teams.


Save the Children has an extensive history in the region advocating for legislation on child marriage, but there is a need for research and analysis on the extent to which the policy changes been implemented on the ground and how and if governments have funded and kept their policy commitments to end child marriage.

In 2017, with strong leadership from Save the Children and in collaboration with partners, the government of Senegal organized the first West and Central Africa High Level meeting to End Child Marriage (ECM). Following on this and other work, Save the Children will be hiring a policy research fellow and coordinating with the West Africa regional office to assess overall policy progress made since the high-level ECM meeting, with a focus on government funding for ECM policies.

The final research scope of work will be developed in consultation with the fellow, but the research will focus on ascertaining the barriers to policy implementation – with a focus on budgeting – and generate research-based advocacy recommendations on to accelerate implementation and  unlock funding to support the increasing number of ECM laws and policies.

We expect the fellow to travel in the region to carry out case study research in 1-4 countries, depending on the final research scope of work developed with the fellow. The research will focus on countries form the following list: Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone. The research fellowship, projected to last between 3-6 months of full-time analysis (with travel period in each country), would seek to address the following research questions:

  • How did the regional meeting contribute to political momentum and policy change on child marriage?
  • To what extent has funding been allocated to these new ECM laws, policies and national plans?
  • How do national and global factors interact to create policy change?
Areas of Responsibility

The Policy Research Fellow will play a central role – in partnership with the PPA policy research and West Africa regional office teams – with the research design, data collection, data analysis, and report writing, and dissemination. While the research fellowship must adhere to Save the Children’s policy research goals, the fellow will have significant space to propose research strategies in partnership with our Washington- and Dakar-based project teams. The fellow will be expected to lead on the research design, data collection, and analysis, with significant support and guidance from Save the Children. The fellow and Save the Children will collaborate on the final report and dissemination (see below).  

Educational Background

Advanced graduate students currently enrolled in a doctoral or working policy and budget research professionals are encouraged to apply. The fellow will be expected to work full-time for the duration of the fellowship which could last from 3-6 months depending on the scope of work developed through the collaboration of the fellow and the Save the Children team. Compensation is competitive and the fellow will be provided a workspace at Save the Children’s Dakar, Senegal regional office. Some regional travel in West Africa will be required and travel expenses will be paid for by Save the Children.

Skills and Experience 
  • Ability to work independently and manage research projects (especially budget advocacy) from start to finish. Experience working in West Africa preferred.
  • Able to collaborate with a research and advocacy team; good teamwork skills and above to incorporate guidance into workplan and scope of work; able to design a research workplan, timeline, and concept note.
  • Demonstrable expertise on girls’ empowerment and gender equality required. Expertise on gender finance and budget analysis and advocacy strongly preferred.
  • 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.
  • Possess strong written 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 ability to translate analysis into compelling and concise evidence-based recommendations.
  • Must be fluent in spoken and written English and French.

The Organisation

We employ approximately 25,000 people across the globe and work on the ground in over 100 countries to help children affected by crises, or those that need better healthcare, education and child protection. We also campaign and advocate at the highest levels to realise the right of children and to ensure their voices are heard. 


We are working towards three breakthroughs in how the world treats children by 2030:

  • No child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday
  • All children learn from a quality basic education and that,
  • Violence against children is no longer tolerated

We know that great people make a great organization, and that our employees play a crucial role in helping us achieve our ambitions for children.  We value our people and offer a meaningful and rewarding career, along with a collaborative and inclusive workplace where ambition, creativity, and integrity are highly valued.

Application Information:

Please apply using a cover letter and up-to-date CV as a single document. Please also include details of your current remuneration and salary expectations. 

We need to keep children safe so our selection process reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply

Applicants are advised that Save the Children International does not require any payment or expense during the entire recruitment process. Any request in this direction should be immediately reported as contrary to the values and practices of our organization.

Date advertised: 11 Sep 2019

Closing date: 27 Sep 2019 - 00:59 WAT

Location: Worldwide, Worldwide

Department: Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning

Type: Contingent

Schedule: Full-time

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