Policy and Research Officer

  • Contract
  • Kenya
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

World University Service of Canada


Policy and Research Officer


Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)


Nairobi, Kenya

In the context of the ‘Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)’ initiative, funded by the MasterCard Foundation, WUSC is seeking to hire a Policy and Research Officer to provide strategic guidance, technical advice, effective coordination and capacity building for components of the project.


World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian international development organization that works with and through its southern partners to promote sustainable development. Founded in 1957 and currently working in more than 20 countries worldwide with an annual budget of approximately $45 million dollars, WUSC fosters youth-centered solutions for improved education, economic, and empowerment opportunities to overcome inequality and exclusion. We believe youth have the potential to provide for their families, build strong communities, and create positive social change for future generations. Globally, WUSC has a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty, and community leaders that can be leveraged to support our work.

WUSC’s members are Canada’s most globally engaged post-secondary institutions. WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference for youth around the world. Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, employment and empowerment.

Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM) project

WUSC through the DREEM project will play a unique role as a technical assistance and strategic learning partner to the Mastercard Foundation and Mastercard Foundation partners. The DREEM project will contribute to the Mastercard Foundation’s commitment to meaningfully include refugee and displaced youth in their Scholars Program and Young Africa Works initiative. As the Mastercard Foundation also works to develop a new refugee and displaced youth strategy, the DREEM project will engage with the Foundation to ensure that the project continues to support the overall goals of the Foundation.

The DREEM project will focus on three key pillars:

  1. Support Scholars Program (SP) partners and staff with the knowledge, capacity and networks to meaningfully recruit and serve refugees and displaced youth in higher education and transition to work and to work towards more inclusive societies;
  2. Support Young Africa Works (YAW) country partners and staff in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia to gain the knowledge, capacity and networks to meaningfully include and develop programming that meets the unique training and employment needs, opportunities and aspirations of refugee and displaced youth, especially young women;
  3. Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Refugees (SEOR) to complement WUSC’s existing Learning through Education and Access to Employment Pathways (LEAP) project and provide refugee entrepreneurs, especially young women with improved access to market-oriented business support services that improve business and employment outcomes in Kenya.

Job Role

Under the supervision of the Nairobi-based DREEM Senior Project Manager Director, the Policy and Research Officer will work closely and in collaboration with the WUSC team in Kenya, the WUSC team based in Canada and the Mastercard Foundation team.


  • In consultation with the DREEM and Mastercard Foundation teams, develop research and policy strategies that are aligned to the objectives of the DREEM project and the Foundation’s vision for refugee inclusion in East Africa and beyond;
  • Identifies academic and research institutions and other NGO partners to build effective research partnerships on particular areas of refugee inclusion that are of common interest;
  • In partnership with the MERL Manager and Senior Project Manager, coordinates DREEM research projects, from inception of partnerships to design of study and dissemination of findings to broader audiences;
  • Track, research and analyze policy and research developments in stakeholder organizations and current events, and contributes to Mastercard Foundation and WUSC’s (global and Kenya) body of knowledge by sharing summaries and presenting reports, studies, legislative updates, on issues of policy and research within the displacement context;
  • Builds strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders including UNHCR, higher education institutions, refugee led organizations, private sector, NGOs, INGOs, and government entities;
  • Seeks strategic opportunities for the network of partners to support policy action within countries or in the region;
  • Coordinates and convenes strategic policy discussions and other events with multiple stakeholders nationally and regionally to advance policy goals related to refugee inclusion;
  • Work collaboratively with DREEM team members to shape the strategic direction for the project and translate strategy into action plans that prioritize continuous learning and adaptive management;
  • Coordinates/manages other policy and research activities as identified over the course of the project.

Line Manager

Senior Project Manager – DREEM Project


The ideal applicant will combine technical expertise in one or more of DREEM’s sectors (higher education, durable solutions for refugees, vocational and technical training, support to entrepreneurs and businesses), a familiarity with the East African refugee context, a strategic and analytical mindset, excellent listening and interpersonal skills, and an ability to get things done.

Specific competencies:

  • At minimum, a Bachelor’s degree in a related field (International Development, Public Policy, International Relations, Refugee Studies);
  • Three to five years of relevant working experience
  • Experience working on displacement issues in Kenya and/or East Africa
  • Superior research, writing, and editing skills in English are highly desirable
  • Experience working in research or policy oriented institutions
  • Project management experience is highly desirable
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of WUSC
  • Candidates with lived experience of displacement are encouraged to apply
  • Must be motivated, entrepreneurial in mindset, hardworking, optimistic, and a team player

Other requirements

  • The role may require regular travel (up to 20%) to field sites in Kenya, and international travel for conferences, workshops and meetings;
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule.

How to apply


WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence, and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion, sexual exploitation or abuse of any form. Successful applicants will be required to undertake an enhanced criminal record check where appropriate.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you wish to apply for this exciting role, please submit your resume, covering letter, and 2 samples of previous written work here

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Please note that communications skills will be assessed at further stages of recruitment.

WUSC does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

Applicants must have the relevant immigration status to work in Kenya.