Subject Matter Expert – Citizen Security Data LACLEARN Task Command: Alternatives to Investigative Measurement for Activity and Context Monitoring


About NORC NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC) has over 75 years of experience conducting high-quality analytical, research, and survey work, and sets the standard for monitoring and evaluating government programs and international development projects. Since its founding in 1941, NORC has been an industry leader with a distinguished record in generating unbiased and rigorous evidence to guide critical programmatic and policy decisions. NORC’s core competencies include designing and conducting rigorous program evaluations of development projects; conduct analytical research and sector assessments; design and implement large-scale surveys; transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge; and building partnerships with evidence users to ensure evidence informs decision-making. Over the past decade, NORC’s International Programs Department (INPRO) has conducted more than 250 research projects in 89 countries around the world and has become a leader in generating and promoting the use of evidence in the areas of democracy, human rights, governance and education. INPRO implements several ongoing research projects, many in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), infrastructure and related sectors, and has developed collaborative relationships close relationships with researchers, survey companies and policy think tanks in many countries.

Introduction The Latin America and Caribbean Rapid Learning and Response (LACLEARN) Task Order is a USAID-funded four-year activity (October 2020 – September 2024) that was awarded to a consortium including Development Professionals , Inc. (DPI), Making Cents International, Tetra Tech ARD and NORC at the University of Chicago under USAID Analytical Services IV IDIQ to help improve USAID’s work in democracy, human rights Rights and Governance (DRG) in the LAC region. Among LACLEARN’s main lines of work are cutting-edge gender-sensitive analytical work, assessments, research and special studies; results management support; and trainings that contribute to sector learning in the region and provide an evidence base for effective programming.

One of LACLEARN’s planned activities between June 2022 and October 2022 is the development of a practitioner’s manual to improve the use of alternatives to survey data to monitor citizen safety, crime and violence. The Guide to Alternatives to Survey Measurement will present alternatives to survey measurement for monitoring program performance and assessing illicit, hard-to-observe, or underreported activities, based on literature reviews and case studies. outstanding examples in the region. Potential examples of alternatives to survey data include administrative data, big data, complexity-aware monitoring, crowd-sourced data, remote sensing, text mining, and trained observer assessments. The guide will identify up to five survey data alternatives. For each, the guide will develop a 1.5-2 page section describing the alternative and the indicators it can measure, providing an example or use case of how the alternative can be used to support the citizen security programming, identifying key parameters that should inform USAID procurement. relevant measurement services, and giving considerations for CORs in the direction of implementing partners or MELs that could be relied upon to operationalize these measurement alternatives. Given the complexity of these alternatives to investigative measurement and the significant cost and specialist skills required to pursue some of them, the guidance will focus on raising awareness of situations where any of these alternatives may to be helpful and next steps for obtaining relevant services. The guide will not provide step-by-step methodological guidance for implementing these measurement approaches. NORC anticipates that the workflow for this task will proceed as follows:

  • Literature Review – Review academic and gray literature to identify existing alternative measurement resources and refine alternative measurements to include in the guide. Additionally, we will identify relevant examples or case studies of ALC citizen security. We plan to use only existing data sources.
  • Advise USAID on layout – Prepare a presentation detailing proposed survey measurement alternatives for inclusion in the guide, proposed citizen safety use cases, and a sample layout for each section of the guide incorporating the results of the literature review.
  • Prepare Draft – Prepare and submit the Survey Alternatives Guide.
  • Finalize – After receiving feedback from USAID, revise and finalize the survey measurement alternatives guide, engage the services of a graphic designer to prepare the guide for broader USAID use, and submit it to USAID approval.
  • Dissemination – Once the final version of the survey measurement alternatives guide is approved, work with USAID to disseminate it through relevant USAID channels (eg, DRG Center, Learning Lab, etc.). Host two virtual meetings to introduce the guide: one to DC-based USAID stakeholders and another to MEL staff at USAID missions throughout the region.

Role of the Citizen Security Data Subject Matter Expert (SME) The Citizen Security Data SME will support the MEL Practitioner’s Guide team, as needed, with the quantitative and qualitative research expertise needed to complete the MEL Practitioner’s Guide workflow.


  • Identify relevant gray and academic literature, and/or opinion leaders whose scholarship should be incorporated into the literature review
  • Review and provide feedback on literature review
  • Help select up to five proposed measurement alternatives to include in the guide
  • Provide technical input to the briefing PowerPoint presentation to USAID prior to preparing a first draft of the Practitioner’s Guide
  • Provide technical input to the draft Practitioner’s Guide and respond to all USAID comments on the draft for the final version.
  • Provide technical input into informational PowerPoint presentations and participate in USAID outreach activities and consultations, as requested by USAID, DPI and/or NORC
  • Qualifications required
  • Masters or PhD in economics, criminology, sociology, public policy, political science, public health, measurement and evaluation, or related social science field
  • Minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in citizen security, ideally in the LAC region
  • Familiarity with academic literature on citizen security and violence prevention, and crime dynamics in the LAC region
  • Experience implementing and/or investigating one or two alternatives to investigative measurement to monitor citizen security indicators, including but not limited to: administrative data, big data , complexity-aware monitoring, crowdsourced data, remote sensing, text mining, and trained observer assessments.
  • Demonstrated experience in results management or evaluation of citizen safety and violence prevention programs preferred
  • Experience working on evaluations, research, or program evaluations to inform USAID programming preferred
  • Experience in writing research or evaluation articles or reports
  • Fluency in spoken and written English required
  • Fluency in spoken and written Spanish is also preferred

Proposed Level of Effort (LOE) and Timeline This assignment will be a part-time commitment, requiring a total of 15 days of effort from June to October 2022. Certain months may require a higher or lower commitment, depending on the relevant volume of work on the activity. All work will be carried out remotely.

How to register

Application Instructions To apply, please submit the following in an email to [email protected] with the subject line “LACLEARN Subject Matter Expert – Citizen Security Data”:

  • CV with list of publications with hyperlinks if published online
  • Cover letter with proposed daily rate and highlighting your specific experience relevant to the assignment. Please indicate the specific measurement alternatives you have used and describe the settings in which they have been applied in this letter.

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