Consultancy: Lead Researcher – Research on inclusive approaches to reintegrating violent extremists returnees in Morocco

Search For Common Ground



About Search for Common Ground

Search’s mission is to transform the way individuals, organizations, and governments deal with conflict–away from adversarial approaches and toward collaborative solutions. We seek to help conflicting parties understand their differences and act on their commonalities.

Headquartered in Washington DC, USA, and Brussels, Belgium, and with field offices in 36 countries, we design and implement multifaceted programs that aim to transform conflict.

Project Summary 

Search for Common Ground (Search) is seeking to hire research assistants to support a five-month study on the issue of the reintegration of violent extremists in Morocco and funded by the FCO.

This research will help Search and the broader policy community to better understand the current layout of legal frameworks regulating current reintegration activities, particularly those taking place inside prisons, and if or how these policies can be reformed to mitigate barriers to reintegration post-release.The aim of this research is to :

  • Identify the barriers to and opportunities for violent extremist returnees’ successful reintegration in Moroccan Communities
  • Provide recommendations on policy and programming to support Moroccan returnees successful social reintegration

Our research questions seek to address gaps in policy and practice at the institutional level, and within communities. Relying on the values of impartiality and inclusivity, the research will engage with the key Moroccan institutions and community leaders who shape the structural environment for the reintegration for returnees involved in violent extremists, alongside the community members whose attitude, perception and behaviour nurture barriers to their social reintegration .

The study will also directly engage returned violent extremists and their surrounding networks through key informant interviews and case studies to better understand their key emotional and psychosocial needs upon their return to their communities. In developing a multifaceted understanding of the institutional, social, and psychosocial barriers to reintegration, the study will seek to establish synergies between the needs identified at all levels.

The research will also take a broader, global perspective, seeking to identify current or proposed models of community-based returnee reintegration from around the world. Upon identification of these other models and initiatives, the research team will evaluate the efficacy and replicability of the initiatives in the target regions in Morocco. This evaluation will draw from prior expertise and further desk research on the context of violent extremism, existing prison administration and civil society resources, and legal frameworks at the national level and in each of the target regions. These models, in addition to responses from research participants, will help to inform policy and programming recommendations in the final research report.

Research Questions (non-exhaustive)

In order to conduct this study, Search will be guided by the following research questions:

  • What legal frameworks exist to guide authorities to support reintegration of Moroccans returning from foreign territories controlled by violent extremist groups?
  • What actions are currently being taken by authorities, the prison administration, and civil society to support reintegration processes for Moroccan returnees, including women and children?
  • What are the legal, social, economic, cultural, religious, and psychological barriers to reintegration for Moroccan returnees, including women and children? To what degree and how do these barriers inhibit the efficacy of existing efforts?
  • What are the target communities’ main concerns around the reintegration of former violent extremists in their communities?
  • What are the policy and programming opportunities for full socio-economic reintegration of Moroccan returnees, including women and children, in the communities that receive them?

Research Process and the role of the Lead Researcher

The Lead  Researcher will work with interview facilitator(s) and notetaker(s) who would be responsible for data collection. This team will work in close collaboration with the Search Research Coordinator based in Rabat.

The Lead  Researcher will be in charge of data uptake and quality control by reviewing the report submitted by the interview facilitator(s) and notetaker(s). These reports are submitted on an ongoing basis. These reports will also be shared with the Search Research Coordinator. Interviews will be transcribed, then translated into English, by the interview facilitator(s) and notetaker(s) who conducted the Interview.

The Lead  Researcher will be responsible for the review of transcripts and translations as soon as they are available to check data quality and provide feedback to the notetaker as needed. Once interviews are transcribed and translated under the supervision of the Lead researcher, he/she will be in charge of the analysis.

More specifically, the team led by the Lead Researcher  will undertake the following activities:

  1. Desk-based review on Moroccan Reintegration Policy/Programmes
  • of violent extremists during and after their release from prison. This will include, researching and analysing Global Models of existing Community-Based Policy/Programmes supporting  former Violent Extremists’ Reintegration.
  1. Field data collection
  • Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with Prison Officials, Religious Officials, Community Leaders, and Reintegration Specialists to articulate current efforts to reintegrate former violent extremist detainees, the research team will conduct KIIs with at least three prison officials and three religious leaders who have worked with violent extremist detainees
  • KIIs with Returnees and/or Members of Returnees’ Immediate Social Circles.The research team to conduct KIIs with individuals who have returned from territories controlled by violent extremist groups, and their friends and families
  • Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with Civil Society and Community Members in the Target Regions.The FGDs will identify current initiatives to support the reintegration of returnees into their communities, as well as communities’ concerns and entry points around the reintegration of former violent extremists. FGD participants will also illuminate local social, economic, cultural, and religious norms and practices, and how these may support or hinder reintegration of returnees.
  1. Report Writing


In collaboration with the Search Research coordinator, the Lead Researcher will manage the elaboration of expected deliverables :

  1. Data  collection tools (see output activities)
  2. Inception report detailing the methodology used for the data collection and methods of analysis
  3. Final research report that consists of:
  • Executive summary of key findings and recommendations
  • Table of contents
  • Objectives, methodology, and limitations of the study
  • Research findings, analysis, and conclusions with associated data presented (should be structured around the main objectives/evaluation criteria)
  • Conclusions and recommendations for future action
  • Appendices, which include detailed research instruments, list of interviewees, bibliography

As per the objective and scope of the research, the formulation of strong and applicable recommendations will be essential to guarantee successful delivery.

The report should be written in english in fully publishable quality.

Start date: June 2019

End date: October /November 2019

Experiences and Qualifications of the researcher

  • Minimum seven years of experiences of leading research on conflict dynamics and social issues
  • Master’s Degree in conflict transformation and peacebuilding, sociology, political science, human rights and democratization or related field.
  • Strong understanding of and ability to apply conflict sensitivity, cultural sensitivity and gender sensitivity in research and communication.
  • Knowledge of conflict analysis, knowledge of behavior change communications tools and approaches
  • Familiarity with Community level information management approach and process and its challenges in Morocco, especially around former violent extremist
  • Strong understanding of participatory research methods and tools.
  • Strong understanding of the Morocco conflict dynamics, violent extremism, reintegration and reconciliation process
  • Excellent reading, writing, and speaking ability in English language (near native level). to work in security sensitive environment with flexibility.Experience utilizing qualitative research methods (interviews, focus group discussions, etc.)
  • Experience in working with secondary data analysis/desk reviews.
  • Experience in training data collector and working with local teams in culturally sensitive ways.
  • Strong communications skills, both written and oral.
  • Excellent research, reporting writing and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated capacity to analyze data/statistics.
  • Experience leading and training participatory research teams.
  • Demonstrated understanding of issues related to confidentiality, data safety etc.
  • Knowledge of Arabic is an asset
  • Relevant computer skills: Word, Excel, Internet, SPSS.

In addition, the Lead researcher  is required to respect the following Ethical Principles:

  • Comprehensive and systematic inquiry: the Lead Researcher should make the most of the existing information and full range of stakeholders available at the time of the review. He or she  should conduct systematic, data-based inquiries. He or she should communicate his or her methods and approaches accurately and in sufficient detail to allow others to understand, interpret and critique his or her work. He or she should make clear the limitations of the review and its results.
  • Competence: the Lead Researcher should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of his or her professional training and competence.
  • Honesty and integrity: the  Lead Researcher should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information.
  • Respect for people: the  Lead Researcher respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age and ethnicity.

How To Apply

To apply, interested candidates should send the following items  to our employment portal  here:

  • curriculum vitae;
  • cover letter
  • Writing Samples

Application will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, starting from May 29 and weekly thereafter. Please compile your writing sample and resume into one document as the system only has the functionality to upload two documents per application. Incomplete application packages will not be considered.

Type: Full Time

Application Deadline: 06/30/2019

, Rabat,Morocco