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Qualitative Research, Consultant


School Leadership is a vastly understudied area of research in low and middle-income countries. GSL aims to address this challenge by collaborating with our partners, researchers, practitioners, and other similar organizations. GSL research consists of two broad functions: Program Research and Ecosystem Research. Our Program Research focuses on generating practice-based evidence to strengthen school leadership to improve student outcomes through our innovative school leader training programs. Our Ecosystem Research aims to understand better the educational contexts and systems within which school leaders operate. We conduct and review research to understand school leader stories and what enabling factors make the most significant difference.


The Qualitative Research Consultant position is critical for Program Research. The consultant will contribute to ongoing studies to capture learning on school leadership training across our network and contribute to the analysis of our qualitative research. The studies cover our work in Kenya, Malaysia, India, and Indonesia. The consultancy assignment covers four tasks to be completed over the course of six months. The consultant will work directly with our Senior Director of Research. 

School leaders have the potential to make incredible changes in the lives of students by building a strong school culture and helping teachers provide great instruction. Yet, school leadership has not been prioritized in low and middle-income countries. GSL works to change that through the following workstreams:

  1. We catalyze and support local partner organizations to deliver and scale high-quality training to school leaders. 

  2. We generate insights from our partners and the broader research community to inform education policymakers, researchers, and practitioners on the best ways to support and develop strong school leadership. 

  3. We connect our partner organizations with each other for deep learning between themselves and the broader school leadership community - governments, funders, and policymakers.

We are a small but mighty remote team spread across the globe. We care about each other, and we care about the work. You can learn more about our culture here. In five years, we have: 

  • Partnered with organizations in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, and Brazil that work with over 3,500 school leaders, impacting approximately 920,000 students.

  • Published an evidence review on what is known about school leadership globally, as well as two surveys that help the policy community hear from teacher and school leader voices.

  • Become one of the leading voices in conversations about school leadership in the global south, being asked to speak at conferences and webinars throughout the world, and be recognized for our work. In 2021, HundrED in partnership with the World Bank, recognized GSL as one of the top ten impactful and scalable solutions that support teachers' professional development. 

  • Established the School Leadership Network with the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 hosted by UNESCO and the Varkey Foundation to convene online meetings with 100+ experts and 400+ school leaders from 50+ countries to foster peer learning and share innovative practices and strengthen school leaders' voice in policy circles.

  • Expanded our work to support needs during COVID in the Philippines, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, and Peru.

Scope of the role:​

The consultant will contribute to ongoing studies to capture learning on school leadership training across our network and contribute to the analysis of our qualitative research. The scope of work for the position includes:

  • Learning Capture from the first five years of the GSL network (~12 person-days). We have conducted a set of interviews with our first four partners in Kenya, Malaysia, India, and Indonesia to reflect upon the school leadership training that our partners implemented. The consultant will code the interview transcripts and identify common and divergent themes, and write a report to highlight the findings. 

  • Learning Capture from studies on gender-responsive leadership (~7 days). In 2022, our partners in India and Indonesia implemented gender-responsive training programs for school leaders. While the studies utilized similar gender surveys, the approach to improving gender responsiveness differed in the two countries. The consultant will participate in interviews with our partners, create and code the transcripts, identify common and divergent themes, and write a report to highlight the findings. 

  • Qualitative analysis of research in India (~15 days). In 2021 our partner in India implemented a randomized controlled trial (RCT) on phone tutoring to address learning loss in numeracy during the pandemic. The RCT showed significant improvement in student numeracy outcomes. GSL complemented the RCT with a qualitative study to better understand the mechanism for the impact achieved. The coding has been completed. In collaboration with the research team, the consultant will conduct further analysis and write a report for academic publication. 

  • Qualitative analysis of research in Indonesia (~25 days). In 2022 our partner in Indonesia implemented an A/B testing on group and individual targeting to improve student numeracy outcomes after the pandemic school reopening. All interviews and observation data have been transcribed. In collaboration with the research team, the consultant will code the transcripts, conduct analysis, and co-write a report for academic publication. In 2023, we will conduct a follow-up study, which will be impact evaluated through RCT and qualitative research. In collaboration with the research team, the consultant will revise the questionnaires, code the transcriptions, analyze the data, and write a report for academic publication.

The reports may be accompanied by thought pieces and policy papers to be circulated in global education forums, networks of education-focused organizations, and governments.

We are looking for an inquisitive and organized individual to join our team as a Qualitative Research Consultant.


In this role, you will be able to:

  • Manage: You will manage the analysis of qualitative studies on school leadership in low and middle-income countries that will build on improving school leadership training programs. 

  • Collaborate: You will work closely with the Research Team at GSL, and program and M&E teams in other organizations. 

  • Contribute: You will contribute to shaping how GSL research answers important learning questions for our network. The results of your work, knowledge, and expertise will benefit public-good resources for school leaders and organizations that support school leaders in low and middle-income countries.

  • Publish: You will co-identify key findings from the studies, conduct literature review to frame and situate the findings, and co-write publications.

Candidate Qualifications

  • You should have a Master’s degree in a relevant field with experience in conducting qualitative research. We very much welcome current PhD candidates whose research interests align with this role. 

  • You have completed a few qualitative research-based articles independently. You will be asked to submit a sample of such an article (this can be a blogpost/ newspaper article/ policy brief). 

  • You are familiar with qualitative data analysis software and ideally have your own subscription (we use NVivo). 

  • You have excellent English proficiency.

Work Location and Remuneration


The candidate can be based in any country. The candidate must have work authorization in their place of residence, as GSL is not able to sponsor employment visas. Travel is not part of this consultancy. 


We expect the assignments to take around 60 person-days to complete, which can spread over six months (February - July 2023). Remuneration will be commensurate with experience and competitive with the non-profit education sector in the country in which candidates are based. The remuneration range for this task will depend on the cost of living of the candidate’s home country and the candidate’s level of experience. As examples, in India, the remuneration will be between 420,000 INR-700,000 INR; in Indonesia, the remuneration will be between 105,000,000 IDR - 175,000,000 IDR.


Commitment to Diversity

GSL is an equal opportunity employer. We value diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all employees - across nationalities, races, ethnicity, religions, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, disabilities, languages, ages, genders, and prior experiences.In our hiring, we seek those who have an inclusive mindset and who notice and correct inequities when they arise. 

Child Safeguarding

GSL is committed to safeguarding children. Background checks may be conducted as part of the hiring process. All team members are asked to agree to a safeguarding policy.

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