This is a paid, full-time, one year position, with possibility to extend conditional upon funding.

IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program is seeking a Post-Doctoral Researcher to serve as a principal investigator on research projects which seek to inform effective financial consumer protection policymaking in four emerging markets, with attention to questions on digital finance, big data and data protection, and behavioral research. The contract duration for the position will be one year. Successful candidates may have the potential to extend their work with IPA, conditional upon funding. The researcher will work with the initiative’s Academic Lead Xavier Gine of the World Bank, along with Project Director, Consumer Protection Rafe Mazer of IPA, to design and implement research projects in four markets, and ensure timely delivery of results. There will be opportunities to collaborate with other top economists in IPA’s research network on a project-by-project basis, from institutions such as Northwestern University and Dartmouth College. The position also offers the opportunity to write a literature review.  The position is open to a candidate who has earned or will earn by 2021 a PhD in Economics.

IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program has recently launched a new financial consumer protection project. The project will partner with financial services providers, regulators, and civil society to conduct both experimental and nonexperimental research projects in order to inform improvements in financial consumer protection practices in four markets: Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, with a focus on four priority risks in digital financial services:

  • Fraud affecting financial consumers such as loss of money, excessive charges or unauthorized account access.
  • Access and use of complaints channels to resolve problems when they arise in financial services.
  • Product information—e.g. pricing information and key terms—and its role in facilitating consumer choice.
  • Gender issues related to consumer protection in financial services.

The project will develop and fund two types of research activities:

  • Measurement & data analysis projects to demonstrate enhanced market monitoring techniques. This research will focus on exposing partners to new methods for collecting and analyzing data that can measure consumer protection issues. This could include the use of transactional data, consumer surveys, mystery shopping and consumer feedback mechanisms such as consumer hotlines or social media chat channels; 
  • Experimental research to advance evidence around consumer protection solutions to address the project’s consumer protection priorities. This research will include design of new interventions or improvements in existing ones, development of A/B testing and randomized control trail experimental design, and impact analysis on how these interventions impact key consumer protection outcomes.
Responsibilities 
  • Collaborate with the Academic Lead, Project Director and other partners in research design.
  • Monitor project implementation to ensure quality control and adherence to the research specifications agreed upon.
  • Coordinate between local partners, research organizations, and principal investigators to facilitate the successful implementation of the research projects.
  • Sort, clean, analyze and report out on data and findings from the research projects.
  • Draft reports, working papers and other materials to disseminate the findings of the research.
Qualifications 
  • Candidates currently enrolled in the final two years of a PhD in Economics or Public Policy with a significant focus on quantitative research methods, OR a PhD in Economics or Public Policy
  • Demonstrated research interests and experience in financial inclusion, behavioral economics, consumer protection, or related topics
  • Significant applied econometrics skills are expected
  • Experience working on both quantitative and qualitative data collection.
  • Evidence of independently managing complex partners with multiple stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of statistical packages such as STATA, R, Python.
  • Evidence of organizing and analyzing large data sets, in particular administrative data, financial data, and/or alternative data such as social media data.
  • Superior analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills.
  • Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally.
  • Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and strong multi-tasking skills.
  • Passion for making data-driven decision making a reality in the development sector.

Preferred additional qualifications

  • Professional experience in financial services; international development; or financial sector policy, compliance, or supervisory experience.
  • Experience working in the four focus countries or similar markets.
  • Locally relevant languages in the four focus countries.

Position duration: 12 months, with further opportunities available with IPA for successful candidates

Application Instructions 

To apply click here.  Please include a cover letter and CV/resume in your application.

About IPA 

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. In recent decades, trillions of dollars have been spent on programs designed to reduce global poverty, but clear evidence on which programs succeed is rare, and when evidence does exist, decision-makers often do not know about it. IPA exists to bring together leading researchers and these decision-makers to ensure that the evidence we create leads to tangible impact on the world. Since its founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 575 leading academics to conduct over 650 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

Disclaimers 

Innovations for Poverty Action is an EO Employer-MF/Veteran/Disability. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected class. IPA will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please contact us at jobs@poverty-action.org or via phone at 1-203-772-2216. Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work to be performed by the specified position. The statements are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet organizational needs as necessary. Please note that IPA will never request any form of payment from an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to confirm the information listed above with IPA prior to releasing any extensive personal information to the organization. Please direct questions to jobs@poverty-action.org.

** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.