16 June 2017

Research Associate NGO Jobs - Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

Job Title:            Research Associate
Organization: Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
Research Project:  Ewallet Project, Uganda
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda
Reports to: Research Coordinator
Start Date: 1st July 2017

About Us:
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy non-profit 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 400 leading academics to conduct over 600 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.

About Ewallet Project:
The research focuses at generating high-quality evidence about the marginal impact of each of two innovative interventions both on women’s empowerment: (1) offering labeled mobile money ‘sub-wallets’ to make mobile money products more relevant to the way that women think about and use money, and (2) improve equitable household decision making through household financial counseling across 2 parishes in two districts of Western Uganda. The Principal Investigators for this study are Linda Scott (Oxford), Catherine Dolan (University of London) and Anna Custers (Oxford).

Digital financial services are potentially one of the most accessible means for the rural poor to access the formal financial sector. Cellular based services break down barriers to traditional financial services, which have failed to penetrate most of rural Africa, maintaining branches only in distant and difficult to reach urban centers. However, globally, women have lower adoption rates for digital technology, including mobile banking, compared to men. Indeed, in low- and middle- income countries, women are 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than a man (Cherie Blair Foundation 2010). Research in sub-Saharan Africa shows that, even when using mobile money, women are “passive” users; that is, they receive, but do not send money, probably a symptom of unequal authority over the deployment of funds.

CARE and Postbank Uganda will develop mobile money products that speak more directly to women’s priority needs, aimed at improving the relevance of mobile money specifically to how women plan and use money. CARE intends to address the socio-cultural barriers to women’s uptake of mobile money services by using existing Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) groups as the entry platform for promoting mobile money use amongst women, who form the majority of VSLA members.

Job Summary: The Research Associate will support the Ewallet Project, Uganda and work in close collaboration with the PIs.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:   
  • Throughout the timeframe of this position, the RA will be expected to work full-time on the research project. The major roles and responsibilities of the RA are expected to consist of:
  • Data Collection: The RA will take a lead role in designing and implementing all data collection activities. These include organizing focus group discussions, piloting survey instruments, programing surveys into hand-held devices, and training and supervising survey enumerators.
  • Data Management. The RA will take a lead role in cleaning original survey data and preparing fully labeled datasets for analysis. The RA will also be responsible for assembling information from official sources (e.g. Postbank customer information) and CARE’s respondent data.
  • Permissions: The RA will provide support in the development of material for IRB approvals and research permits from the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST), as needed.
  • Budgets: The RA will track expenses to ensure they align with the evaluation budget.
  • Support to partners:  The RA will help ensure that CARE and the implementing partners adhere to the research protocol. This role will require operating with considerable sensitivity, as well as establishing trust with and respect from our partners. In particular, the RA will work closely to track uptake of the digital sub-wallets from post bank customer data.
  • Maintaining the distinction between treatment and control until after the study period

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:  
  • The ideal candidate for the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)Research Associate job placement should preferably hold a bachelor's degree in economics, political science, cognitive sciences, public policy, or related field is required, Masters preferred. Coursework in statistics is a big plus.
  • Possess excellent management and organization skills, along with keen attention to details
  • Have advanced proficiency using data management software. Knowledge of Stata is a MUST.
  • Be interested financial inclusion, and social development issues.
  • Willingness to travel extensively in the field.
  • Possess excellent communication skills in English.
  • Previous experience in qualitative interviews is an added advantage
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations
  • Ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team.
  • Keen attention to detail, a strong work ethic, and a high level of comfort leading people.
  • Be able to command respect not just from the research team and other local partners.

How to Apply:
All suitably qualified candidates should send an updated CV (Including naming 3 professional referees), a statement of purpose (cover letter), and academic transcripts to  jobs-uganda@poverty-action.org with the E-mail subject line specified as “Research Associate, Ewallet Project, Uganda.”

NB: Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply

Deadline: 16th June 2017

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