Research associate

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Research associate
Location Yangon, Myanmar
Application deadline 2 September 2018
Contract type Fixed term
Hours Full-time
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Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), is an international non-profit research organisation that discovers and promotes effective and innovative solutions to global poverty problems to support evidence-based decision making. IPA brings together international and local development partners and leading academic researchers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions to learn how they impact people’s lives. This evidence informs the decision-making of governments, bilateral and multilateral organisations, as well as non-governmental development organisations to fund and implement better and more effective solutions.

IPA has conducted more than 650 evaluations of agriculture, education, financial inclusion, health, and peace & recovery programs in 51 countries, building a network of more than 500 affiliate professors from the world’s top universities.

IPA started working in Myanmar in 2015, where the current socio-political context and emerging market dynamics signal a need for high-quality rigorous data to support programmatic and financial decision-making.

The role

IPA seeks a Research Associate to lead the implementation of one of IPA Myanmar’s largest and most policy-relevant RCTs in the Ayeyarwady and Bago Regions. This is a mixed-method study that will include a panel survey with +5,000 households as well as key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Some of the outcomes of interest are food security, women’s empowerment, tenure security, community participation, belief systems, economic activity, and migration.

The Research Associate will work closely with the Research Manager and a team of Economists and Political Scientists from Duke University, University of Notre Dame, Rutgers University, and University College London.

This position provides an excellent opportunity to gain extensive hands‐on experience in a field setting and to have important project management responsibility in a vibrant organisation undertaking cutting‐edge development research.

Key roles and responsibility

  • Preparing for data collection: digital survey programming, hiring and training field officers, piloting survey instruments, managing field logistics, procuring products, and getting approvals from local authorities.
  • Managing data collection: implementing data quality protocols, auditing enumerators, monitoring data collection, and conducting data quality audits.
  • Post-data collection: data cleaning and analysis, preparing reports and deliverables for donors.
  • Budgeting: keeping track of the project expenses and timeline.
  • Communication: permanent communication with the field team during data collection, direct reporting to Research Manager, and regular check-ins with Principal Investigators.

Experience and skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in a field related to the social sciences. Masters’ in development economics or a field related to international development or public policy is definitively a plus.
  • At least one year of relevant experience designing, implementing, or managing applied research projects. Ideally, this should include designing of survey instruments (particularly household-level surveys) and managing and supervising field teams in developing countries.
  • Proficiency in digital survey programming (SurveyCTO is a plus)
  • Proficiency in Stata (and other statistical packages is a plus).
  • Good understanding of randomised controlled trials.
  • Experience applying mixed-methods to economic research.

Other useful information

We are looking for someone that is curious, proactive, able to work independently, and possesses both integrity and the humility to seek advice when needed. The ideal candidate will communicate ideas in a clear and concise manner and be able to adapt messages to different interlocutors, including field officers, local authorities, PIs, and donors. The position is based in Yangon and involves overseeing projects in the Ayeyarwady and Bago Regions. This requires the candidate to have a strong sense of cultural sensitivity and ability to work in a diverse, multi-cultural environment.