Consultancy: Research Assistant (Interviewer Facilitator and Notetaker Positions) – 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

The consultants will join the research team composed of :

  • Research coordinator
  • Lead Researcher
  • Interview Facilitator(s)
  • Notetaker(s)

Together with the Lead Researcher, the interview facilitator(s) and notetaker(s) will be in charge of undertaking the following activities:

Qualitative Interviews

Qualitative interviews

To articulate current efforts to reintegrate former violent extremist detainees, the research team will conduct KIIs with up to 12 prison officials religious leaders who have worked with violent extremist detainees.

The research team will also conduct up to 8 KIIs with individuals who have returned from territories controlled by violent extremist groups, and their friends and families

12 FGDs with Civil Society and Community Members in the Target Regions.

The FGDs will identify current programmatic 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.


Research assistants positions – interview facilitator(s) and notetaker(s) – will submit a report to the Leader Research and Search on each interview immediately following the data collection. Interviews will be transcribed, then translated into English for submission. The interview facilitator and Lead Researcher will review transcripts and translations as soon as they are available to check data quality and provide feedback to the notetaker as needed. The Leader Research and Search will ensure ultimate quality control. Once interviews are transcribed and translated, thematic analysis will be performed by the Lead Researcher to examine specific themes.

Interviews and focus group transcripts (verbatim) for approximately 20 KIIs and 12 FGDs

Translation of the transcripts in English

Start date: June 2019

End date: October 2019

Experiences and Qualifications of the researcher

  • Master’s Degree in sociology, psychology, political science, translation or related field.
  • Strong understanding of and ability to conduct interviews on sensitive thematic.
  • Knowledge of conflict analysis, knowledge of behavior change communications tools and approaches
  • 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.
  • Able to work in security sensitive environment with flexibility.
  • Experience utilizing qualitative research methods (interviews, focus group discussions, etc.)
  • Strong communications skills, both written and oral.
  • Excellent research, reporting writing and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated capacity to analyze data/statistics.
  • Experience integrating research teams.
  • Demonstrated understanding of issues related to confidentiality, data safety etc.
  • Excellent command of Arabic
  • Relevant computer skills: Word, Excel, Internet, SPSS.

How To Apply

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

  • curriculum vitae;
  • cover letter

Application will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, starting from May 29 and weekly thereafter. Incomplete application packages will not be considered.

Type: Contract

Application Deadline: 06/30/2019