Innovations for Poverty Action seeks a qualified Research Associate to manage a study that examines cash transfers to alleviate hunger and poverty among rural farming households in Malawi. The study will evaluate the impact of cash transfers, delivered by Give Directly, on rural poor households in Malawi.  In Malawi, small-scale agriculture employs the vast majority of the rural population, in spite of low levels of productivity and farming income. The team will examine the impact of transfers with a focus on these farming households, and will also develop an agricultural support intervention to amplify the cash transfer for farming households. 

The study will be implemented in close coordination with Give Directly and USAID. The Principal Investigators are Jon Robinson (University of California, Santa Cruz), Jenny Aker (Tufts University), Alan Spearot (University of California, Santa Cruz) and Shilpa Agarwal (India School of Business).

The Research Associate will work closely with the Research Manager, Principal Investigators, and other IPA country office staff to oversee all aspects of the research study. This position provides an excellent opportunity to gain extensive hands‐on experience in a field setting and to have significant management responsibility in a vibrant organization undertaking cutting‐edge development research, as well as the opportunity to work in close collaboration with a private sector developing country partner.  Key areas of involvement will include: coordinating and collaborating with the partner and donor, designing survey questionnaires, recruiting, training and managing survey teams, designing and supervising logistics for the field activities, cleaning and analyzing survey data, assisting in the writing of project reports and policy memos, and liaising with key government and nongovernmental stakeholders. The work will develop your analytical and management skills and require your full commitment in a challenging environment. 

Responsibilities 
  • Working closely with the implementation partner throughout the design and implementation of the study.
  • Coordinate research and implementation efforts with all relevant stakeholders
  • Developing and piloting the survey instruments, including programming digital data collection; managing the translation and back-translation of the survey into the local language.
  • Hiring, training, and managing the field teams that will conduct the data collections.
  • Managing all field logistics, procuring products, and getting approvals from local authorities.
  • Ensuring all data quality protocols are followed including auditing enumerators and performing daily checks of the incoming data; correcting the errors of staff iteratively to ensure the data is of the highest quality.
  • Managing the data from collection at the household to delivery of a final, cleaned dataset.
  • Managing the budget including tracking all expenses to ensure costs are within project funds.
  • Managing the project budget and field expenses.
Qualifications 
  • A Bachelor's or Master’s degree in economics, public policy, international development, public health or related fields.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills with strong quantitative skills.
  • Knowledge of Stata; programming and other technical knowledge a strong plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead staff efficiently to achieve project goals.
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and a team player.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience working (preferably in a research-related capacity) in developing countries.
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Associate, Malawi”.  Most applications for research positions require you to include at minimum two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts.

Note that you are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application.

Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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.