One of the most pressing social problems in the world’s schools, neighborhoods, and jails is “what to do about delinquent, criminal, or violent young men?” What leads some people to these destructive behaviors? Can societies head them off? And what to do with the young men already manifesting them?

Almost a decade ago, Innovations for Poverty Action Liberia implemented the project The Impact of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Cash Transfers on High-Risk Young Men in Liberia which assigned high-risk young men to an intervention inspired by cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a cash intervention, both, or neither. One year after the intervention, men who received CBT and cash reduced their antisocial behaviors dramatically. Based on this and other studies that find positive short-term results, dozens of governments around the world have begun piloting and scaling CBT programs to target youth crime and violence. Yet we do not know the long-term impact of these types of interventions. This project will be the first long-term follow-up of a CBT intervention designed to reduce crime and violence.

Working with principal investigators Chris Blattman, Sebastian Chaskel, Julian Jamison, and Margaret Sheridan, and IPA Liberia staff, the Research Associate (or Senior RA depending on experience) will lead the challenging task of putting together a team and a strategy to identify, contact, and invite as many of the 999 participants in the original study to participate in a follow-up survey. The research associate will also work to explore potential administrative databases that may be possible to match with the survey data, and to develop relationships with the government and the international development community in order to promote policy take-up of the study results. This position is based in Monrovia, Liberia.

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. Key areas of involvement will include: 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 

Throughout the life of the project, the Research Associate (or Senior Research Associate depending on experience) will be expected to carry out the following activities:

  • Coordinate research and implementation efforts with all relevant stakeholders.
  • Develop and pilot the survey instruments, including programming digital data collection.
  • Hire, train, and manage the field teams that will conduct the data collections.
  • Manage all field logistics and coordinate procurement of products.
  • Ensure all data quality protocols are followed including auditing enumerators and performing daily checks of the incoming data; correct the errors of staff iteratively to ensure the data is of the highest quality.
  • Manage the data from collection at the individual level to delivery of a final, cleaned dataset.
  • Manage the budget including tracking all expenses to ensure costs are within project funds.
  • Manage the project budget and field expenses.
  • Provide supervision and training for project research staff (Field manger and National Research Associate)
  • Keep the Country Director and Research Manager apprised of all developments on the project and serve as key link between the field office, project staff, and Principal Investigators
  • Ensure project adherence in the field to general research design, sample selection, data management and analysis, and overall project management
Qualifications 
  • A degree (Master’s preferred) in economics, political science, public policy, international development, or related fields.
  • Excellent project management skills and attention to detail, with a quality-focused mindset.
  • Experience interacting with partners, government officials and other key stakeholders.
  • Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse constituencies.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
  • Ability to work independently, problem-solve, and enlist support when needed.
  • Strong quantitative skills and proficient knowledge of STATA.
  • Must be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Experience working in Liberia or the West African context would be preferable.
  • Knowledge of randomized controlled trials and econometrics.
  • Knowledge of measurement and instrument development.
  • Experience supervising data collection and teams of field workers.  
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “(Senior) Research Associate, Liberia”. Applications require you to include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts. Note that you are able to submit your application without the recommendation letters. However, please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview.

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.