Empatika is an international people-centred research and training organisation committed to providing high quality, innovative, and adaptive qualitative and mixed methods studies and bespoke capacity building to bring policy making closer to the reality of people. Empatika is looking for flexible, proactive and curious individuals who are interested to receive a unique opportunity to learn and apply the Reality Check Approach to research and evaluation.
The Reality Check Approach (RCA) is an immersion research approach involving trained and experienced researchers living with people in their homes for several days and nights, joining in their everyday lives and chatting informally with all members of the family, their neighbours and others they come into contact with. The RCA builds on and extends the tradition of listening studies (see Salmen 1998 and Anderson, Brown and Jean 2012) and beneficiary assessments (see SDC 2013) by combining elements of these approaches with researchers actually living with people and sharing their everyday lives in context. RCA is sometimes likened to a ‘light touch’ participant observation. But while it is similar in that it requires participation in everyday life within people’s own environments, it differs by being comparatively quick and placing more emphasis on informal, relaxed and insightful conversations. It also differs by deriving credibility through multiple interactions in multiple locations and collective pooling of unfiltered insights so that insider perspectives are always privileged.
Lebanese and Syrian University students (especially postgraduate students) as well as professionals are encouraged to apply. This kind of research requires a particular commitment; living conditions are often challenging and researchers are expected to be able to engage easily with people and think on their feet. Candidates are expected to be:
- easy-going, ‘people persons’
- aware of own biases
- prepared to live simply
- generalists rather than necessarily sectoral specialists
The training will take place from February 14-February 20, 2019. It will take place in Beirut and will involve a two-night immersion in a nearby community to put into practice the learning from the training. Following the training, selected candidates will be asked to join an immersion research team which has already been commissioned to undertake RCA studies in Lebanon. This is likely to involve one or two secondments per year over at least two years, each of approximately 12 days. The first round of research is scheduled for late February/early March 2019 and will be preceded by an orientation to the study and Child Protection training.
Remuneration (out of pocket expenses and stipend) will be in line with other field research work in Lebanon. Please note there will be two levels of remuneration; field researcher and sub team leader.
How to Apply
To apply, please send your CV together with a short covering letter describing your interest in this type of research and your suitability for the role of field researcher. Please send as two separate attachments in an email to email@example.com. Please title the email ‘interest in Lebanon immersion research opportunity’
Application Deadline: January 25, 2019. Early applications are encouraged.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited for short interviews in Beirut, as applications are processed so these may be before January 25, 2019.