RWI seeks individual research consultants to support the data gathering for the 2012 Revenue Watch Index. Researchers associated with research or advocacy institutions in resource rich countries are also encouraged to apply. Researchers will be responsible for answering a detailed questionnaire for each country under their responsibility, providing information on the government's reporting and disclosure practices and information about the country's legal framework for the extractive sector.
Institutions in resource rich countries interested in supporting the Revenue Watch Index would also be eligible to receive funding for dissemination projects related to the Index after its completion.
RESEARCH FOCUS: The Revenue Watch Index
The Revenue Watch Index is a tool for measuring transparency across a diverse range of countries with considerable oil, gas and/or mineral reserves. The Index aims to provide useful information to help civil society demand higher standards of transparency and accountability in the extractive sector as well as to guide policymakers with specific recommendations for responding to such demands.
The Revenue Watch Index 2010 provided information about crucial elements of resource revenue transparency in 41 countries. Since its publication in early October 2010, the Revenue Watch Index has got more than 3,000 hits in the RWI website and the report has been one of the top downloads. As an example of its impact, the government of Trinidad and Tobago mentioned the Index when it announced its decision to resume implementation of the EITI in early December 2010. For more information about the RWI index go to: www.revenuewatch.org/rwindex2010.
In its second implementation the Index will cover up to 55 countries in six global regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Caucasus & Russia, Latin America, the Middle East & North Africa and OECD countries. RWI will determine the set of countries in each region, as well as the specific resource (oil, gas or mineral) that will be the target of research in each country.
Researchers will cover between one and three countries, depending on their country expertise. For each of the assigned countries, researchers will complete a detailed questionnaire. In order to complete the questionnaires, researchers will consult publicly available official documents and conduct interviews with relevant government officials, civil society activists and local industry experts. Researchers will provide evidence (including but not limited to official web site links, governmental reports, academic references and interviews) for their responses. Answers to the questionnaire should be consistent with the guidelines provided in the Guide to the Revenue Watch Index Questionnaire, which will be provided to all researchers at the beginning of the research process. A project management tool will be available for the entire research process. This tool will provide online access to all the documents necessary for the research and it will include instructions for researchers. The entire data gathering work, including answers to the questionnaire, will be conducted using this online platform. RWI will provide assistance to researchers during the entire process to answer questions about the methodology and ensure high quality, consistent research.
Once the researchers have completed the questionnaires, RWI will review them for accuracy and consistency. After this initial vetting process, the questionnaires will be submitted to anonymous peer reviewers with country expertise, who will cross-check all the answers and communicate any concerns to RWI and the researcher. Researchers may be asked to provide further evidence or clarifications in response to concerns raised by peer reviewers. RWI will act as referee when conflicting answers are suggested to ensure consistency of assumptions across countries.
For each of their assigned countries, researchers are expected to return a completed questionnaire. In order to support each answer, researchers will be expected to supply one or more of the following:
i. a reference or citation to an official document that supports or provides foundation for the researcher's answer choice;
ii. a reference or citation to an interview with a government official, civil society activist and local industry expert;
iii. a comment explaining or providing evidence or support for the answer chosen; or
iv. a reference to relevant newspaper articles, academic papers, books or reports by international institutions.
Researchers will also be expected to supply electronic (PDF) versions and/or websites of publicly available "key documents" used in answering the questionnaire. These include, but are not limited to:
- Environmental and social impact reports
- Petroleum, gas and mining statistical reports or databases
- Annual and in-year Reports
- EITI reports
- Auditor's reports
- Other documents such as interview notes or transcripts of responses
- All documentary evidence and references will be provided using an online project management tool defined by RWI.
Finally, researchers will provide a brief summary (approx. 500 words) of their main findings in every country.
All researchers will possess the following qualifications:
- Graduate degree in international affairs, political science or similar disciplines.
- Demonstrated desk-based research skills.
- Strong interviewing skills and familiarity with survey and research methodologies.
- Detailed knowledge of extractive industries operating in the given region as well as of the political context of the region.
- Familiarity with movement for greater transparency in the extractives sector, including initiatives led by RWI, as well as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Publish What You Pay (PWYP).
- Attention to detail; ability to meet deadlines.
- Responsiveness to inquiries and excellent communication skills.
- Independence from government and extractive companies currently operating in the region.
Institutional researchers should be able to demonstrate:
- Experience with research on public sector policy and ability to complete consulting projects.
- Staff should be familiar with transparency in the extractive sector initiatives.
- Previous record working with research for transparency or governance projects.
- Institutional researchers should also identify a person in charge of research and responsible for contact with RWI.
- Staff should have sufficient time as part of their existing work plan to fulfill the obligations laid out above.
In addition, researchers for the following regions should possess the following specific qualifications:
- Caucasus – fluent in Russian
- Latin America – fluent in Spanish
- Middle East & North Africa – fluent in Arabic
- Sub-Saharan Africa – fluent in French or other local language
- Asia – fluency in local languages such as Bhahasa preferred
The entire research process for the Revenue Watch Index will take place between November 2011 and May 2012. Researchers are expected to be available for the duration of this period, though the time required will vary.
Research for the Revenue Watch Index 2012 is expected to start in November 2011 and finish by April 2012. Based on a test of the methodology and past experience, it is estimated that research on each country can be completed in approximately 60 hours. Actual dates of implementation for each country will depend on the date when work is started and researchers will receive deadlines for deliverables based on the date they sign their contracts.
The peer review process will be completed between January and May 2012 and researchers are expected to be available for consultation during this period. Revision and consultation time per country is estimated at about 20 hours. However, researchers will not bill at an hourly rate, but instead are compensated for the completed project.
RWI will compensate each researcher for satisfactory performance of the work, assignments and tasks outlined in this Terms of Reference at a rate of $2,000 for every assigned questionnaire. A first installment of 20% the total rate will be paid up front when researchers sign their contract and the remainder 80% will be paid upon successful completion of the project, defined by final approval of results after the peer review process.
How to Apply
Please send an expression of interest including the organization's name, name of the person responsible and contact information directly to email@example.com or email resume, cover letter, brief writing sample (no more than 15 pages, academic papers acceptable) and three professional references to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the cover letter please be sure to specify the region for which you are applying and list any applicable language skills and country experience. No phone calls, please. The deadline for this announcement is November 7, 2011. Positions will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found, so we encourage you to apply at your earliest convenience.