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Consultant: Caritas Australia Research Agenda & Guidelines

Caritas Australia |
ACFID Member: 1
Location: NSW | Remote / Work From Home
Sub location(s):

Organisational Background 
Caritas Australia is the Catholic agency for international humanitarian relief and development in Australia. Through relationships with the Church, partners and communities in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Australia, Caritas Australia helps to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.

Our programs promote the good of every person regardless of their religious, political or cultural beliefs. We envisage a world in which children, women and men most vulnerable to extreme poverty and injustice are agents of their own change and architects of their own development.

Our commitment to safeguarding
At Caritas Australia, we recognise the personal dignity and rights of all people, especially children and vulnerable adults towards whom we have a special responsibility. If you are offered this position, you will be required to undergo relevant background checks, including police and reference checks.

You will also be required to sign our Code of Conduct, which includes a section on Professional Behaviour Standards for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, as well as to abide by our safeguarding policies.

Our commitment to diversity
At Caritas Australia, we support an inclusive and diverse workforce. In particular we encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants for all advertised positions.

Project Background and Context  
Caritas Australia’s Strategic Directions 2021-31 have a strong focus on ensuring Caritas Australia is a vibrant learning and impact-focused organisation. Over the first three years of our strategy, Caritas Australia has increased our focus on research; and see an opportunity to further refine our research agenda and approach. It is hoped that this will enable us to focus on key areas of inquiry that align to our strategic goals, build on the capabilities of our partners and global Caritas network, and leverage opportunities for research partnerships.

Purpose and Specific Objectives

Purpose: To support Caritas Australia to develop a clear research agenda and research guidelines, enabling the organisation to deliver impactful research which supports the realisation of mission and strategic goals.

Objectives:

1) Through a consultative process, support Caritas Australia to develop and document a clear research agenda which outlines:

  • the rationale for undertaking research through the lens of our vision, mission and strategic priorities;
  • critical areas of inquiry and research where Caritas Australia is best placed to contribute to an evidence base in line with our strategic priorities, existing or potential capabilities and partnerships, networks and gaps in sector knowledge;
  • the potential impact of research in the public sphere and benefits for Caritas’s brand and public awareness, as well as influence with national and international decision makers, of priority research areas, projects and strategies;
  • an overview of the types of research and research methodologies Caritas Australia will prioritise, the role we will play in these research activities, and the principles we will uphold.

2) To update and/or develop appropriate guidelines and procedures for the effective implementation of the research agenda which ensures:

  • alignment with sector standards of ethical research, including safeguarding and privacy considerations. These should apply to research undertaken by Caritas Australia; as well as research commissioned or funded by Caritas Australia and delivered by a third party.
  • clear roles, responsibilities, business case development and approvals procedures in relation to research design, implementation and dissemination.
  • approximate resourcing requirements
  • procedures to ensure effective knowledge management so that research is well utilised.

Scope: The research agenda and guidelines will apply to research conducted or commissioned by Caritas Australia. These will not focus on more operational research (such as project-specific contextual analyses or project evaluations) which is covered in Caritas Australia’s Design, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Guidelines. There should however be consistency in standards of practice, especially in relation to safeguarding, privacy and ethical research and so the consultants may highlight recommendations to bring these guidelines into alignment.

Accountability  
The consultants will report to the Associate Director, Impact who will liaise with relevant internal stakeholders.

Methodology  
The methodology will be determined by the consultant in collaboration with Caritas Australia. It is expected that the process will include a review of previous Caritas Australia research products, consultation with key stakeholders and a landscape analysis of knowledge gaps in relation to Caritas Australia’s strategic priorities.

Expected Outcomes and Outputs

Purpose
Inception
To clarify expectations for the consultancy and finalise consultancy plan.

Phase 1
To define the rationale, focus, audiences, potential partnerships and      approach to research within Caritas Australia.

Phase 2
To update/develop appropriate guidelines or procedures to support the implementation of the research agenda.

Deliverable
Inception
Inception Report / Final Consultancy Plan.

Phase 1
Caritas Australia Research Agenda

Phase 2
Caritas Australia Research Guidelines & Procedures

Payment
Caritas Australia will fund all aspects of the consultancy according to a budget agreed upon in writing prior to the commencement of the project.

If the consultant anticipates an extension beyond the agreed timeframe, Caritas Australia must be notified immediately.

Payment will be processed upon the submission of an invoice following the completion of milestones agreed upon before the consultancy commences.

All equipment required for the assignment are to be provided by the consultant.

Caritas Australia may request written evidence of necessary insurance (including workers’ compensation), superannuation, and taxation prior to commencement of the assignment.

Timeline  
The consultancy is expected to be completed by 30 June 2024. Timeline for key deliverables will be negotiated with the consultant during inception.

Selection Criteria  

  • Demonstrated expertise in research, preferably in a similar context or field.
  • Strong understanding of ethical principles and guidelines related to research, especially in the context of international development and humanitarian work.
  • Effective communication skills to convey complex concepts and guidelines clearly to diverse stakeholders within the organization.
  • Ability to facilitate discussions and workshops with staff members, and ability to engage with the organization’s team throughout the consultancy.
  • Strong analytical skills to identify potential challenges and propose effective solutions.
  • Ability to think critically and adapt research guidelines to specific organizational needs.
  • Experience navigating cultural considerations in research.

 Additional Information 
Interested individuals are requested to submit a cover letter along with the following to Sophie Jenkins, Impact Associate Director, on [email protected] by COB Monday 18th March.

  • a budget and brief technical proposal outlining how the consultancy will be conducted including proposed number of days (max 2 pages); and
  • curriculum vitae with references.
Closing Date: Mar 18, 2024
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