Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is developing a transaction cost index (TCI) for digital financial services (DFS), a resource to systematically capture and report the cost of DFS transactions across multiple countries. The TCI will capture the full cost of completing mobile money transactions, including official listed prices, additional “off-the-books” agent fees, and non-pecuniary costs such as wait times, incidence of failed transactions, and agents asking to view customers’ sensitive account information. The index will capture three different transaction types: depositing cash into digital wallets, withdrawing cash from wallets, and transferring funds between individuals.

The goal of this project is to develop an index that can be scaled in a cost-effective manner. To that end, we will test four methods to capture transaction costs: mystery shopping, customer intercept surveys, “remote mystery shopping,” and crowdsourced data. We will compare results from these approaches --both their cost and their pricing accuracy --to determine which delivers the highest value for money. This project will be implemented in Uganda, Bangladesh, and Tanzania. This recruitment is for an RA to manage the Uganda aspects of the project, while coordinately closely with the teams in Bangladesh and Tanzania to ensure harmonization of research. 

The Research Associate will work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to: designing survey questionnaires, programming survey tools into SurveyCTO, conducting refining study design and survey plans, submitting and managing IRB and other research approvals, training and managing survey teams, monitoring field work using high frequency data checks, cleaning and analyzing data, assisting in the writing of project reports and policy memos, and coordinating with key partners.

The Research Associate reports to and falls under the direct supervision of the Research Manager and works closely with the Principal Investigators on the project. The Research Associate may from time to time perform other duties not listed in the job description.

Responsibilities 
  • Liaise with Principal Investigators and Research Manager in the design of survey questionnaires
  • Work with the data manager to program survey tools using SurveyCTO, high-frequency checks and data flows
  • Develop data collection protocols and data quality assurance protocol
  • Develop a data collection plan (procurement, logistics and route plan) that ensures adherence to data collection budget
  • Manage the project budget
  • Lead training of team leaders, auditors and enumerators
  • Conduct daily data quality checks
  • Ensure implementation of survey spot checks and back-checks
  • Compile clean databases
  • Assist the PI team in data analysis as requested
  • Assisting in managing relationships with donors, partner organizations and researchers
  • Produce technical reports for donor and/or other stakeholders (e.g. fieldwork reports)
  • Keep the Research Manager and the PI team appraised of all project activities
Qualifications 
  • Bachelor's degree in economics, business management, social sciences, public policy, political science or related fields, Master’s degree preferred
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Stata and experience with data management, cleaning, and analysis
  • Experience with quantitative research, particularly with randomized controlled trials
  • Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills;
  • Must be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines, while maintaining a positive attitude
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations
  • Experience running a large-scale survey and managing the survey implementation and data entry process
  • Experience with Computer-Assisted Interviewing is preferred, but not required
  • Fluency and excellent communication skills in English language.
  • Ability and willingness to be based in Uganda for project duration
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Associate, Uganda”.  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 600 leading academics to conduct over 900 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

IPA's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) 

As an organization, IPA is dedicated to improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable populations through evidence and policy. We also recognize how important it is for our staff to reflect the diversity of the places where we work and the communities we work with. As such, IPA is committed to hiring from a diverse pool of candidates, from a range of backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. We know that this makes our work stronger and more responsive to the challenges faced by those we work with and for and we encourage people from historically underrepresented groups to apply. Click here to learn more about IPA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Innovations for Poverty Action is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer. 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 1-202-386-6200. 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.