Regional research officer

Location: Any country in Africa where Helen Keller International has an office.

Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. We combat the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health and malnutrition with more than 120 programs in 20 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States. Renowned for our reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, Helen Keller International promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health.

Program overview

When delivered twice a year to at least 80% of children aged 6 to 59 months in countries with high under five mortality and high rates of vitamin A deficiency, Vitamin A supplementation (VAS) can contribute to a reduction of U5M by up to 24%.

VAS is delivered to children twice a year through multiple delivery mechanisms. Some countries are organizing mass distribution campaigns where teams of distributors visit every household to give the vitamin A to children. Others have integrated VAS into their facility-based delivery systems alongside routine immunization or growth monitoring. A third group of countries are using a hybrid system between campaigns and facility-based delivery. Finally, some countries are transitioning from one approach to another. Helen Keller International has been providing support on VAS delivery to Ministries of Health in 13 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa for several decades and is currently supporting distribution of more than 30 million VAS capsules per year.

Job Description

Under the supervision of the Regional Research Manager, Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) program, the Research Officer will support the development and implementation of research projects for the VAS program. The Research Officer will provide technical support for the planning, monitoring, implementation, and administration of research activities in the VAS program.

He/she will be responsible for supporting the development and design of research projects, data collection, conducting data analysis, monitoring study activities, and assisting in the writing of reports and knowledge mobilization products (e.g. papers for publication in international, peer-reviewed journals).

Specific Task Descriptions

1. To support the development and design of research projects for the VAS program
  • Conduct literature reviews.
  • Generate research ideas and contribute to the development and operationalization of concept notes and research proposals.
  • Participate in the planning of research activities.
  • Support the development of data collection and reporting tools.
  • Contribute to the development of statistical analysis plans, collect data on activities and analyze them.
  • Actively participate in research planning meetings with other implementing partners.
  • Develop research workplans and budgets.
2. To support the implementation of research projects for the VAS program
  • Serve as a focal point and liaison between the Helen Keller Intl team and the contracted research team in countries with ongoing research.
  • Attend research team meetings to share new ideas and discuss constraints and issues.
  • Coordinate the research project with other Helen Keller Intl programs in the field and travel to oversee field activities XX% of time
  • Actively participate in research coordination with other implementing partners.
  • Promote close coordination between country teams and health authorities in the research implementation areas.
  • Identify and analyze ongoing research activities and propose modifications as needed.
  • Provide training for data collection, as needed, and assist in data collection.
  • Assist in the maintenance of the data repositories and/or databases.
  • Analyze data, as needed.
  • Prepare research-related articles, reports and presentations.
  • Monitor the research project budget(s).
3. Assist in the analysis of research projects for the VAS regional program
  • Extract data from primary and secondary sources.
  • Develop and maintain databases.
  • Use statistical tools to identify, analyze, and interpret patterns and trends in data sets.
  • Prepare final analysis reports, research-related articles, reports and presentations.
4. To support the development of research tools and guidance for the VAS program
  • Identify training needs for the country offices and the regional team and develop appropriate training, as needed.
  • Support initial and ongoing training of staff involved in activities, as needed.
  • Provide technical support on research projects concerning the costs and coverage of VAS, costs of VAS delivery models/programs, cost-effectiveness evaluations of the VAS programs, decision models of VAS transition from bi-annual door-to-door health event (campaign) to routine, facility-based VAS distribution.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, Epidemiology or Public Health, or any other related field deemed relevant.
  • At least 2 years of field experience in the implementation of research projects.
  • Experience in operations research.
  • Good knowledge of the functioning of African health systems.
  • Good knowledge of MS Microsoft Office package, DHIS2 and/or ODK.
  • Good knowledge of database management.
  • Good knowledge of statistical analysis software (Stata, R, etc.).
  • Knowledge of cost-effectiveness analyses.
  • Ability to travel at least 30% of the time


  • Good communication skills.
  • Flexibility.
  • Good understanding of confidentiality.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to read and write French and English.

How to Apply

To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to noting the job title in the subject line. Deadline for applications will be 27 January 2023 at 5 pm East African time.

In the spirit of our namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity of all types is fully valued.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to ethnicity, race, caste, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic that has no bearing on the ability to perform the required job duties.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.

If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need to request an accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact us at the email above or Tel: 0732804486