Social researchers

We need experienced market or social researchers to enable NGOs and other organisations become more responsive to the needs of the communities they serve. 

Roles are generally longer term, ranging from one to two years, but we also have occasional short-term assignments for up to six months.

You’ll either have a degree in social science or be an economist with a strong research background. You’ll also need three years’ work experience in social research (five years’ experience for placements shorter than six months). You’ll have strong analytical and networking skills, and practical experience of advocacy work and monitoring and evaluation systems. Experience in the area of disability and HIV andAIDS is desirable.

What you’ll be doing

Most placements focus on planning, designing and conducting research and reporting. While carrying out field research yourself is not usually an important part of your role, you are likely to manage and train local research assistants.

Often, your research will be used to support existing advocacy work or strengthen your employer’s capacity to support the rights of minorities, such as people with disabilities or HIV and AIDS.

Current market-based research projects focus on market assessment of agricultural products to improve market chains and increase market value for farmers. Social-based research projects include exploring the role of women and Diaspora communities in development issues such as food security and agricultural development.

You could be working in countries such as Nepal.

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Learning to smile: child-centred teaching in Vietnam

Peter Thomas (Vietnam)

Only a tiny percentage of Vietnamese children with disabilities receive an education, and the long-suffering teachers at the Morning Star Centre for Disabled Children in Hanoi once struggled to cope with pupils’ challenging behaviour. That was before VSO volunteer Peter Thomas introduced them to the power of child-centred teaching.



What skills do volunteers need?

It’s vital you’re experienced in your professional field and able to train and advise colleagues in your area of expertise.