The Urban Institute
Training and Technical Assistance Specialist(Research to Action Lab) (R&D)
At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. Our employees are empowered to influence policy, open minds, shape decisions and offer solutions. We encourage intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect, and our analysis elevates the debate, wherever it takes place.
Urban's greatest asset is our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community. Our employees drive Urban's mission through entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, effective communication, results-orientation, and relationship cultivation. Our success depends on engaging individuals who possess and value these attributes. Public policies work best when they are rooted in facts, and our research sparks solutions in programs and practice. Our analyses and recommendations help expand opportunities and equity for all people, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the fiscal health and effectiveness of government.
The Research to Action Lab serves decisionmakers in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors eager to advance social change. Our multidisciplinary team draws on the breadth and depth of Urban's economic and social policy expertise to design research-driven strategies, deliver tailored technical assistance and training, and curate effective convenings that infuse critical debates with evidence. Nimble and innovative, the Lab engages directly with policymakers and practitioners, providing strategic guidance to help navigate the most pressing policy and programmatic challenges and spark disruptive solutions tailored to meet the moment. Our team also works collaboratively with Urban scholars and external partners to design and manage evidence-based programs that leverage Urban's expertise and capacities to catalyze meaningful change for people and communities.
The goal of the Lab's technical assistance is to help nonprofit and government leaders increase their capacity, advance priority outcomes, and create systems change by embedding research into practice. Grounded in the principles of data and evaluation, the TA creates meaningful connections between Urban Institute researchers and local stakeholders to find data-driven strategies to deepen understanding, improve performance, and develop the tools to measure success.
This position will support the design and delivery of tailored technical assistance and the management of communities of practice for community-based organization (CBO) subgrantees. While project responsibilities may change, the TTA Specialist is expected to spend most of their time in year one on a project advancing health equity through improving vaccine confidence in communities of color. This work will be completed by forging and maintaining relationships with community-based organizations, identifying and helping to address learning needs, and collaborating closely with a range of technical and operational colleagues and external experts.
Work with external stakeholders, including nonprofit leaders and CBOs, to identify technical assistance approach, including needs, goals, and outcomes
Contribute to TTA planning in the short- and long-term: help to set team goals, develop work plans, track workflows, monitor deadlines, and support the achievement of milestones on specific TTA activities
Facilitate virtual and in-person TTA through different formats (e.g., webinars, 1:1 TA, peer learning and coaching sessions) that fosters community engagement, equity, and inclusion
Support TTA teams and coordinate the activities to ensure successful execution of TTA engagements; provide direction, coaching and guidance to support professional development of junior team members
Develop meeting agendas and help facilitate effective internal and external meetings through diligent pre-meeting planning and the engagement of relevant stakeholders
Liaise with Urban subject matter experts, TTA recipients, and other stakeholders, establishing and maintaining positive working relationships that advance project goals
Contribute to the development of products and resources that distill and translate TTA lessons learned to the field and transfer knowledge among community of practice members
Support the management of communities of practice, summarizing lessons, undertaking regular outreach to community members including through one-on-one or group interactions or online platforms to prioritize engagement and the achievement of project outcomes
Collaborate with Urban's Health Policy Center and external partners to ensure technical assistance leverages expertise on health equity and evidence on effective health communication strategies.
Contribute to the training and technical assistance practice development within the Lab
Cultivate and support team responses to business development opportunities, particularly opportunities with technical assistance components
When COVID-19 travel restrictions have been lifted, limited travel to support TTA activities outside of Washington, DC is expected.
We are seeking a candidate who values diversity and inclusion; thrives in a fast-paced, dynamic office environment; and possesses strong writing, oral communication, problem-solving, time management, and relationship management skills. It's anticipated that the successful candidate will bring three to five years of experience to this role and possess a Bachelor's or Master's degree in education, public policy, heath policy, nonprofit management, or a related field. However, candidates with a variety of educational and professional backgrounds will be considered if they meet the above desired qualifications.
The successful applicant will:
Possess at least three to five years of experience either working in a TTA role, supporting the management of communities of practice, or working within a policy or social service organization in which responsibilities included substantial engagement with stakeholders, such as local government and/or nonprofit organizations, to build their capacity
Have direct work experience with community-based organizations
Show strong interest in and understand the essential need for racial and socioeconomic equity and addressing structural racism as a cross-cutting issue, with a particular emphasis on health equity
Demonstrate experience with the design and delivery of training and technical assistance through different approaches and strong problem-solving skills; familiarity with adult learning principles and the ability to apply them to strategic TTA engagements is a plus
Understand complex social science research content and/or evaluation methods in order to effectively manage collaborations between site personnel and Urban subject matter experts
Display outstanding interpersonal skills and a demonstrated ability to manage relationships with multiple partners at high levels, as well as experience and comfort managing complex projects where client needs and work products may quickly evolve
Exhibit exemplary organizational ability, and a knack for managing competing priorities and multiple processes
Adapt easily to changes in work assignments, deadlines, and project management styles; willingness to adjust team roles and responsibilities to achieve results
Be able and willing to travel once in-person meetings and convenings have resumed
Working in the Nation's Capital- the epicenter of public policy- among a network of policy experts, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative. You will blend evidence-based rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters and enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination and intolerance. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Urban is currently operating virtually until at least July 2021.
In addition, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes: medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage. Competitive paid time off allowance, and eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan plus elect a pretax benefit for commuting expenses.
The Urban Institute is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status under applicable law.