Senior Program Specialist (bilingual)

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The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is seeking a part-time limited appointment senior bilingual program specialist, to assist with supporting our work on issues related to migration, with a specific focus on Latin American and Caribbean.

Created by Congress and established as part of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1969, the Inter-American Foundation is an independent agency of the United States government that channels development assistance directly to the grassroots organizations and supporting NGOs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IAF responds with grant and other support to the best ideas it receives in response to its call for proposals. Since beginning operations in 1972, the Inter-American Foundation has awarded nearly 5,000 grants to fund projects in agriculture, enterprise development, education and training, environmental conservation, culture, housing, an and other areas. See for more information.

Under the supervision of the Managing Director for Networks and Strategic Initiatives (MD/NSI), the Senior Program Specialist will perform a series of analytical, planning and support activities associated with the issue of migration, including but not limited to ongoing analysis of the IAF migration portfolio; preparing suggestions for improvement of programming and grantmaking, especially in the countries of the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA), and for capacity building in this area; and development and management of learning and evaluation efforts related to this topic.

A particular area of interest is to: 1) better understand links of migration to violence, chronic poverty, community, civic engagement, governance, development assistance and others, by reviewing and extracting lessons learned from both IAF and global experiences and 2) determine the validity of our assumption that when communities’ capacities are enhanced and they are able to manage their own development process in a participatory and equitable manner, they become more committed to their locale and migration is reduced.

Duties and Responsibilities

a. Ongoing review and analysis of IAF work in migration (20%). Responsible for reviewing a list of IAF funded projects (current and terminated) that explicitly or indirectly address migration and/or reintegration of migrants. Projects could include economic development, job creation, community governance and empowerment, leadership, land recovery/tenure, violence prevention, youth and female empowerment, building resiliency, cultural awareness/reinforcement and others. The consultant will be responsible to analyze and summarize activities conducted, results, connection to migration/reintegration, and lessons learned. Two points of particular interest are:

  • to understand the impact of the project on out-migration and/or reintegration of returnees and
  • to identify approaches that could potentially support retention of “potential” emigrants. (An intern will help to compile the list of project and the specialist will do the analysis).

b. Conduct case studies (15%) - IAF and the specialist will select projects with some evidence of direct impact on migration/reintegration for more in-depth research. For each project/case study the specialist may:

  • review all project reports and discuss with the appropriate FR and other staff as indicated
  • do a field visit to conduct individual and focus group discussions with project participants and community leaders
  • review secondary data on out-migration in the region/community where the project took/takes place during the grant period, to be able to compare migration related data between the broader community and participants in the projects.

Each case study will summarize the impact that the project had on migration/reintegration and lessons learned regarding effective approaches to migration/reintegration, including factors of success and failure, with an attempt to understand and measure the impact of both economic and non-economic factors. The specialist will attempt to determine the validity of IAF’s assumption: that when community members are given voice, leadership and decision-making roles, good governance contexts, and opportunities to contribute to their community’s development along with economic development, they increase “rootedness” in home communities; thus decreasing the likelihood/appeal of emigration (without legal authorization in receiving country).

 c. Keep IAF current on trends/issues related to migration (20%) – The specialist will:

  • Conduct and articulate, on an ongoing basis, a literature review on:
  1. the push and pull factors of migration/reintegration, especially how the push/pull factors impact decisions by individuals and families
  2. the link between development assistance and migration/reintegration
  3. current trends/issues related to migration, especially any literature on rootedness and agency
  4. the impact that violence/insecurity/protection have on both decisions to leave countries and viability of re-integration and
  5. other relevant information;
  • summarize examples and lessons learned from community-based programs from other regions of the world that reduce migration, build resiliency, and/or effectively reintegrate returnees into communities;
  • summarize the status, issues, approaches and results of migration/reintegration in NTCA, including forced migration, refugee displacement, internal displacement, and reintegration. This should include a summary overview of all countries well as a separate overview for each of the three countries;
  • identify experts (individuals and organizations) to conduct further research and evaluation of migration programs; and
  • identify potential organizations to co-fund migration-related program efforts.

d. Provide technical support for monitoring and evaluating migration projects and provide expert advice to IAF regarding program support to address migration/reintegration in NTCA (35%). Specifically, the specialist will:

  • develop a framework and criteria to guide IAF funding and continued program-related research on migration/reintegration/internal displacement;
  • participate in review of proposals relating to migration;
  • as needed, conduct field assessments and recommend proposals related to migration; and
  • recommend metrics that the IAF might use to monitor impacts on communities of future IAF investments.

e. Other tasks as assigned by the Managing Director (10%)

Minimum Qualifications
Education, skills and experience:

  1. Master’s degree or at least 8 years’ experience in grassroots development, migration in Central America, and related topics
  2. Experience with qualitative research and evaluation methods
  3. Excellent analytical skills and the ability to summarize disparate information in a clear and concise manner
  4. Excellent research and data collection methodology skills
  5. Excellent communications skills
  6. Excellent computer skills, including word processing, spreadsheet programs, and various database management.
  7. Spanish and English fluency (speaking, reading, and writing)

Desired qualification:
       Experience and/or understanding of community-based development in Central America

To Apply
This will be a direct-hire appointment to a federal government position, beginning in July 2017, for one year. Total hours during this period will not exceed 20 hours/week, but will vary week to week depending on work requirements. Reappointment may be granted for an (1) additional year (through July 2019).

Work will be based in the IAF offices in Washington, D.C., with option for telework. The consultant may be called upon to travel as directed domestically and internationally. Successful completion of a U.S. government security certification will be required prior to start. Salary will be commiserate with experience, and will be within the GS-12 to GS-14 hourly range. No health or retirement benefits shall be offered as part of this appointment.

Interested candidates should send a resume, three references, a short (less than three pages) example of their writing, and cover letter c/o Lesley Duncan, subject line Senior Program Specialist/Migration, by close of business June 13, 2017.