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Project Coordinator: Family Planning and Urban Policy Development in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa

Posted: 4/23/2018 (Employment)

The IUSSP is seeking applicants for the position of Project Coordinator for a new project on

Family planning and urban policy development in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa

The IUSSP is seeking a part-time project coordinator for a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project to build a cadre of early-career researchers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia committed to research on family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH: measurement, determinants of use of services, and consequences) of urban populations focusing on disenfranchised groups, and to influence policy by transmitting evidence on the value of FP/RH to urban policy specialists at local, national and international levels. The coordinator is needed for the period of June 2018 through to December 2021 (approximately 215 days or 1720 hours of estimated work) to coordinate project activities and monitor the progress of research fellows based at institutions in Africa and South Asia.

Applications will be reviewed as they arrive and the post will remain open until an appropriate candidate is found. IUSSP hopes to select a coordinator by 15 May 2018.

Project Description:

The project will provide 17 fellowships, each lasting 1-3 years, to early career sub-Saharan and South Asian scientists to produce new evidence on determinants and consequences of contraceptive use and reproductive behavior especially among the urban poor and disenfranchised, with the ultimate aim of improving urban policy agendas. Fellows will be recruited via two competitive calls for proposals in 2018 and 2019.  Fellows will be paired with mentors and expected to work with urban policy institutes/ stakeholders at the local and national level, and to disseminate the findings of their research to policy makers and the public as well as through scientific conferences and publications. In addition, they will receive feedback on drafts of scientific and policy papers resulting from their projects. The IUSSP will organize annual fellow workshops at hub centers in the regions that will provide opportunities for fellows to meet and share their research and participate in training.

Description of post:

The coordinator will work closely with the IUSSP Scientific panel chair (the project director) and the IUSSP secretariat to monitor and ensure fellows make timely progress on their research projects and carry out all monitoring and evaluation tasks.  The coordinator will:

  • Participate in the recruitment of fellows and in designing fellowship rules and guidelines.
  • Participate in meetings of the Scientific Panel and fellow workshops.
  • Monitor research fellows’ progress on their projects and assure they are adhering to project timelines and achieving milestones. This will occur through the review of written reports from fellows, through Skype calls to fellows and mentors, and visits to research sites.
  • Monitor pairings between mentors and fellows identifying difficulties and intervening when necessary to assure fellows get support needed to successfully carry out their research projects. The coordinator should be able to troubleshoot and help resolve issues with the assistance of the Chair and members of the Scientific Panel.
  • Coordinate the review and feedback of fellows’ research paper drafts.
  • Assist in the planning and organization of annual fellows’ workshops in coordination with the IUSSP Secretariat.
  • Provide information to fellows on scientific meetings, conferences and events on urban planning and development and/or on family planning and reproductive health, where fellows should be submitting the research results for presentation.
  • Prepare reports on fellow progress and activities for Panel, Secretariat and donor reporting.
  • Prepare other reports on project activities for IUSSP Secretariat and donors.
  • Conduct monitoring and evaluation of project activities with fellows and other stakeholders as stipulated in the project documents (results tracker).
  • Assist the panel chair in other project work, including the organization of international policy research seminars.

Time commitments and salary

A total of 215 days have been estimated for the Coordinators time – 40 in 2018, 70 in 2019, 75 in 2020 and 30 days in 2021. The final repartition of time may be modified as needed with approval of the IUSSP. The Coordinator will be employed on a consultant basis and will need to justify time spent on job related tasks and activities. He or she will be paid at a competitive consultancy rate.

Travel requirements

International travel to Africa and South Asia is required to attend annual fellow workshops and make site visits to fellows, though much of the monitoring work could be conducted via Skype or over the internet. The project coordinator is also expected to attend and participate in meetings of the IUSSP Scientific Panel. A total of 80 days of travel has been budgeted for travel, though actual travel may be less.


Project coordinator can work from his or her home or from an institution such as a university. The coordinator must be able to meet the time commitments and events described in the project calendar and timeline.


  • Masters or Doctoral degree in the social sciences, public health, urban health or a closely related field, or experience managing similar types of fellowship/research projects;
  • Knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and family planning, and/or urban policy field a plus;
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills in English; fluency in French a plus;
  • Strong project management, planning and organizational skills;
  • Ability to work autonomously as well as part of a team; excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to interact with diverse individuals;
  • Willingness and ability to travel; experience of working in Africa and/or Asia a plus;
  • Initiative, self-motivation, resourcefulness and dependability.


Please send a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and the names and contact information of least 2 references to the IUSSP Secretariat ( to the attention of Mary Ellen Zuppan, IUSSP Executive Director. Applications will be considered on a first come basis, and the post will remain open until filled. We hope to find a Project Coordinator before 15 May 2018.

Location: International Union for the Scientific Study of Population