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21 August 2014

Now Hiring for Fall 2014

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law has fall 2014 GRA and student coder position openings for qualified undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin. Job descriptions and application information for each of the three positions are outlined in detail below.

Graduate Research Assistant: ACLED-Asia Data Manager

The Strauss Center is seeking a Graduate Research Assistant to assist in tracking political violence in Asia as part of an expansion of the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED). ACLED is the premier armed conflict dataset for Africa and select other high-risk countries, providing near real-time, detailed data on conflict patterns, actors, and dynamics.

This expansion of ACLED to South and Southeast Asia is part of the Strauss Center's new program on Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. As part of this program, the ACLED expansion aims to (a) identify emerging conflict trends to inform early warning; (b) allow assessment of conflict impacts on development, security, and diffusing political violence, and (c) aid in targeting assistance to vulnerable communities and locations. The Program will focus on six countries in South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) and five countries in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam).

Overview of the position:
The position holder will support the ACLED Director in the collection, review, analysis, and publication of ACLED data in 11 high-risk Asian countries by taking the lead on the day-to-day management of the coding team; assisting in the review of data quality; assisting in data analysis; taking the lead on the coordination, design, and production of publications and reports; and leading in the maintenance of the project's online presence on various platforms.

Specific roles and responsibilities:

  • Data collection team management (approx. 35% time):
    • Assisting in the recruitment and interviewing of candidates for coding team;
    • Providing training and capacity building to coding team members;
    • Providing feedback on a weekly basis to members of coding team on quality, comprehensiveness, and accuracy of coding;
    • Maintaining a record of team members' efficiency and speed in coding;
    • Allocating and adjusting workload based on coding team members' availability (vacation, study periods), skills (language, comprehension, analytical) and performance (speed, accuracy, reliability);
    • Developing and maintaining resources for training, guidelines, and capacity building in the form of internal documents (including, inter alia, Frequently Asked Questions, guides to improving coder speed and efficiency, and data quality and review).
  • Data review (approx. 25% time):
    • Assisting in the review and cleaning of data for quality, comprehensiveness, and accuracy;
    • Assisting in the verification and maintenance of a comprehensive list of actors for coding team members (including assigning interaction terms to new actors in growing actor list based on qualitative review of groups' strategies and goals within a conflict environment);
    • Assisting in the comprehensive review of the full dataset on an annual basis for official publication;
    • Making note of ad hoc data corrections and necessary amendments as they arise (either flagged by users or when analyzing particular incidents / actors).
  • Data management and analysis (approx. 15% time):
    • Assisting in analysis of data for publication (Trends Reports, working papers, country profiles) and for Twitter and blog content;
    • Ad hoc production of country-, actor-, or subject-specific data files and resources for the Director and public audience (for example, the creation and updating of specific files on group activity in the wider public interest).
  • Publication coordination, design and production (approx. 15% time):
    • Providing training to coding team members on data analysis and written work;
    • Coordinating the allocation of workload to contributors to publications (Trends Reports, working papers, and country profiles);
    • Reviewing and editing contributions to publications;
    • Providing feedback and capacity building in the areas of data analysis and written work;
    • Compiling contributions for each publication and completing the design and layout of publications.
  • Online presence management (approx. 5% time):
    • Managing online content through maintenance of website and uploading content (publications) and data files;
    • Coordinating contributions for blog posts and other online content.
  • Project representation (approx. 5% time):
    • Responding to content-specific questions from users about project practices and procedures; or qualitative questions about the inclusion, dynamics, or collection of data pertaining to particular groups;
    • Assisting in the representation of the project to media, policy makers, and external stakeholders through ad hoc media interviews, presentations at conferences and panels, and engagement with external partner and prospective partner organisations in the wider, relevant conflict / regional academic, policymaker, and practitioner communities.

Recommended knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Context-specific knowledge of the countries being coded to aid in the identification and collection of data relating to valid conflict actors, the allocation of actor categories (interaction terms), and the analysis of conflict dynamics.
  • Organisational skills to facilitate the management of team members' workloads and schedules; the maintenance of multiple data files and formats; and the coordination of publications and contributions across a range of platforms and formats.
  • Communication skills to aid in the (often remote) management, training, and capacity building of coding team members; eliciting contributions for publications; and providing constructive and detailed feedback; and to facilitate the effective communication of project goals, practices and outputs to a diverse range of audiences (drawn from academic as well as non-technical, policy, and practitioner fields).
  • Experience in large-scale data management and quantitative analysis to carry out data management tasks, support review and quality checking of data, and inform analytical content of publications and output.

Funding:
This is a paid research position of 20-30 hours per week, to be determined in consultation with the selected candidate. The position starts in September 2014.

Application process:
To apply, please send a cv, a cover letter detailing your familiarity with the politics of Asia and conflict research more broadly, and two writing samples to both This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates are advised to apply early.

For more information on ACLED, visit www.acleddata.com. For more information on the Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia project, visit www.strausscenter.org.
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ACLED-Asia Coders

The Strauss Center is recruiting several coders to assist in tracking political violence in Asia as part of an expansion of the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED). ACLED is the premier armed conflict dataset for Africa and select other high-risk countries, providing near real-time, detailed data on conflict patterns, actors, and dynamics.

This expansion of ACLED is part of the Strauss Center's new program on Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. As part of this program, the ACLED expansion aims to (a) identify emerging conflict trends to inform early warning; (b) allow assessment of conflict impacts on development, security, and diffusing political violence, and (c) aid in targeting assistance to vulnerable communities and locations. The Program will focus on six countries in South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) and five countries in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam).

Overview of the position:
ACLED is recruiting coders to assist in the collection, review, and management of its data for Asia. Collection of data is conducted by reviewing news articles and security reports from international organizations, NGOs, and security agencies on a list of assigned countries and recording the incidents of political violence into an Excel template. Coding is focused on real-time events: data is updated monthly, so team members develop an excellent understanding of on-going, current issues and themes in political violence, conflict, and Asian countries through their work.

Coding and review of data involves ensuring the quality, consistency, and reliability of the data produced. The role provides team members with experience conducting detail-oriented tasks and producing and managing quantitative data.

Specific roles and responsibilities:
The coding role will require 10-15 hours per week. Following initial training and periodic meetings, most work is conducted remotely (team members may work from home, the library, etc.) and at any hours that are convenient, in accordance with set submission deadlines.

ACLED is seeking applicants who have the following skills and experience:

  • Familiarity with Excel (essential);
  • Experience conducting desk-based research;
  • Experience working to deadlines with limited supervision;
  • A high level of attention to detail;
  • Research focus or professional experience in conflict, peace-building, and Asian regional or country-specific studies is a strong advantage.

Funding:
This are paid coding positions of 10-15 hours each per week. The position starts in September 2014.

Application process:
To apply, please submit a CV and cover letter detailing qualifications and experience to both This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates are advised to apply early.

For more information on ACLED, visit www.acleddata.com. For more information on the Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia project, visit www.strausscenter.org.
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ACLED-Africa Coder

The Strauss Center is seeking a coder to assist in tracking political violence in Africa as part of the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED). ACLED is the premier armed conflict dataset for Africa and select other high-risk countries, providing near real-time, detailed data on conflict patterns, actors, and dynamics. The data is publicly available along with information about the project at www.strausscenter.org/acled.html. The data is used for a range of purposes, informing academic research on the dynamics of conflict, diplomatic policy, and humanitarian and development work in conflict-affected contexts.

This position is part of the Strauss Center's program on Climate Change and Political Stability in Africa, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Overview of the position:
ACLED is recruiting a coder to assist in the collection, review, and management of its data for Africa. Collection of data is conducted by reviewing news articles and security reports from international organizations, NGOs, and security agencies on a list of assigned countries and recording the incidents of political violence into an Excel template. Coding is focused on real-time events: data is updated weekly for 30 high-risk countries in Africa and monthly continent-wide, so team members develop an excellent understanding of on-going, current issues and themes in political violence, conflict, and African countries through their work.

Coding and review of data involves ensuring the quality, consistency, and reliability of the data produced. The role provides team members with experience conducting detail-oriented tasks and producing and managing quantitative data.

Specific roles and responsibilities:
The role will require 10-15 hours per week. Following initial training and periodic meetings, most work is conducted remotely (team members may work from home, the library, etc.) and at any hours that are convenient, in accordance with set submission deadlines.

ACLED is seeking applicants who have the following skills and experience:

  • Experience conducting desk-based research;
  • Experience working to deadlines with limited supervision;
  • A high level of attention to detail;
  • Reading proficiency in French is a strong advantage;
  • Research focus or professional experience in conflict, peace-building, and African regional or country-specific studies is a strong advantage.

Funding:
This is a paid coding position of 10-15 hours per week. The position starts in September 2014.

Application process:
To apply, please submit a CV and cover letter detailing qualifications, experience, and French language proficiency to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates are advised to apply early.

For more information on ACLED, visit www.acleddata.comFor more information on the Climate Change and African Political Stability program, visit www.strausscenter.org.

 

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