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Free Lance Junior Researcher

Background
ecoper is a team of economists experienced in international cooperation and development. Its mission is to support public administrations, NGOs and international organizations to continuously improve the efficiency, effectiveness and impact of their policies, projects and organizations.
ecoper has been selected by Caritas Española (CE) and COERR to provide knowledge management services in the framework of the following project “Strengthening capacities and developing sustainable livelihood opportunities for the Myanmar refugees largely encamped along the Thai-Myanmar border in preparation for eventual repatriation.” The project is funded by the European Union and CE.
In Thailand, there is a population of more than 100.000 refugees settled in 9 camps bordering Myanmar. COERR, assisting Myanmar refugees since 1984, is present in all nine camps and runs a livelihood program funded by the EU and CE. This project, launched in January 2017, is actually a new edition of a long-term livelihood program that has already proven to be effective in improving refugees’ life conditions by means of organic low-cost agriculture.
32 years of refugee camps has inevitably resulted in external aid-dependency, a situation that is neither sustainable nor desirable. However, projects like this, and other activities going on in the camps, have reduced significantly the dynamics of self-dependence.
The refugees involved in farming activities sponsored by COERR not only produce their own food, but also contribute to a voluntary community fund which benefits the most vulnerable individuals. Moreover, they obtain a surplus that can be exchanged in the market, and that favors other economic activities, including external trade. In other words, although aid dependency is an issue of concern, the vision of a refugee camp as an isolated and fully subsidized economy is too simplistic and unrealistic, at least in the case of these camps.
With political changes in Myanmar signaling the possibility of repatriation in the near future, the livelihood program has reinforced its focus on skills, as greater attention is paid to the refugees’ preparation for voluntary return to their homeland or integration somewhere else. From this perspective, the knowledge and skills acquired by refugees in productive activities like farming must help them to become self-reliant also outside the camps.
Despite poverty is generalized in the camps, some individuals are more vulnerable than others. Consistent with its identity and values and those of CE, COERR has put in place a specific program for Extremely Vulnerable Individuals (EVIs), i.e. physically and mentally disabled people, elderly, unaccompanied separated children, single parents, etc. These individuals also benefit of the livelihood program in a share of 8%.
The livelihood program is also intended to contribute to reduce gender inequality. Around half of the participants will be women, and the project design has taken into account the women’s customary household responsibilities.
The development of farming and other economic activities in the camp demand collective arrangements. This has been taken by COERR as an opportunity to foster community institutions and leaders, improve their capacities and contribute to a better integration of the community in camp governance.

Our consultancy
The role of ecoper in the above-described project consists in producing useful and transferable knowledge on economic development in refugee camps (livelihoods) drawing on COERR’s experience. More specifically, the consultants will try to achieve the following objectives in the timeframe of the consultancy. This includes the following outcomes:

1. A full and precise methodological proposal will be defined
2. “Good practices” and “lessons learnt” will be identified and systematized
3. Knowledge management tools will be implemented
4. A knowledge-sharing proposal will be precisely defined

Your job
We are seeking a young professional / post-graduate student / researcher based in Bangkok, Thailand, interested in a part-time freelance position, flexible and compatible with other occupations. His/her role would be to assist the main consultant based in Spain during the systematization consultancy (12 to 18 months). Your tasks will include:
- Translating corporate documents from Thai (or Karen) to English.
- Producing additional standardized documents by collecting primary information through interviews, focus groups and discussion groups and producing in COERR headquarters and in the camps.
- Organizing, featuring and classifying the documents by using an on-line document manager
- Assisting COERR and Caritas Española staff in the use of a document manager
- Assisting the leading consultant in the elaboration of the systematization report and a case study on COERR experience in promoting livelihoods in refugee camps
On-line training and diverse briefings in Bangkok will be provided prior to the beginning of the systematization activities, and addressing the use of the on-line document manager.

Profile
Our ideal candidate is a young professional / post-graduate student / researcher based in Bangkok, Thailand, interested in a part-time freelance position and highly motivated in humanitarian issues and development cooperation. He/she should have a social science degree and excellent academic records.
Education and professional background
- A social science degree (ideally, a post-graduate student or a PhD candidate)
- Excellent academic records demonstrating analytical skills and some research experience
Core Competencies
For this role, the following competencies would be particularly important: achievement focus, analytical thinking, drafting skills, multi-cultural sensitivity.
Languages
Proficiency in English and Thai and good understanding of Karen
Miscellanea
- Time flexibility and availability to travel along the Thai-Myanmar border occasionally is expected from the researcher
- He/she will work for a religious humanitarian organization and will show respect for other’s believes.
- Ecoper is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from any candidate meeting the above-listed criteria, irrespective of their racial or ethnic origin, opinions or beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, health or disabilities.


How to apply?
Interested candidates are requested to send their CV and motivation letter to ecoper@ecoper.eu by August 23rd. Those preselected will be asked to hold an interview in Bangkok in the week of August 28th

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