Research Associates: Digital Credit Scoring and Tractor Projects


Organisation Profile

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a United States-based non-profit organization dedicated to discovering, and promoting effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA designs, rigorously evaluates, and refines these solutions and their applications together with decision-makers to ensure that the evidence created is used to improve opportunities for the world’s poor.

Job Description

Reports to: Research Manager, Research Coordinator or Deputy Country Director

Location:  Accra or Tamale, Ghana

Length of Commitment: 1 or 2 years (renewable)

Desired start date: Various start dates in the coming months

Deadline to apply: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year

Job Code: RA/SRA-MULT-6122017

IPA seeks qualified applicants for Research Associate (RA) and Senior Research Associate (SRA) positions for research projects to be based in Accra and Tamale, with frequent travel to remote field locations within Ghana. A Research Associate at IPA is generally in charge of one specific long-term research project, which can be related to various sectors, including education, financial inclusion, public health and agriculture.

IPA is recruiting Research Associates and Senior Research Associates throughout the year through a common application process. The shortlisted applicants from that common application process are then considered for any RA/SRA position that opens in the following 6 months. If you have applied to an RA/SRA position less than 6 months ago, you do not need to reapply.

Here are profiles of specific projects at IPA that need Research Associates within the next few weeks:

1/ Digital Credit Scoring: IPA will partner with an innovative provider of agricultural financial services to test different variations of their products with the purpose of finding ways to reduce default rates and improving farmers’ business. Key activities include refining the interventions together with the researchers and the firm, supporting the roll-out of the interventions, leading a baseline and an endline data collection, and helping with the cleaning and analysis of the administrative and survey data. The project will cover several regions. This position will be based in Accra.

2/ Tractor Coordination: In collaboration with local partners in the agriculture value chain, the project aims to explore and promote adoption of improved agriculture technologies, timely access to land preparation inputs, as well as access to output market among small-holder farmers in northern Ghana. Key activities will include conducting preliminary studies, doing a census and baseline survey in northern Ghana, assisting in monitoring the implementation, and keep a good flow of communication among parties involved. The position is based in Tamale.

The following projects are also in preparation at IPA and will need Research Associates or Senior Research Associates in the coming months:

Public Health: Anemia among women of reproductive age remains an intractable public health problem in many low- and middle-income countries. The primary objective of this proposed research is to develop, adapt, and pilot test a set of interventions into fisheries value chains in Ghana aimed at mitigating anemia among women. This proposed pilot study will be carried out in two regions of Ghana – the Central and Volta regions. Data collection will include interviews, anthropometric measurement, and blood and fecal sample collections.

Education: IPA will be conducting an impact evaluation of a program aimed at improving teachers’ take-up of new teaching methodologies through more efficient monitoring and supervision from Head-Teachers and Circuit Supervisors. Research activities will include intervention monitoring, large-scale classroom observations, various surveys, and student assessments. This position will be based in Accra with frequent travel throughout the country.

Position Summary

The RA/SRA will assist the Principal Investigators in the design of survey instruments, coordinate surveyor training and surveying activities, be responsible for the collection of high quality data, perform data management duties, and ensure compliance to research ethics. S/he will also manage recruitment and finances for surveying and evaluation activities.

In particular, the RA/SRA will:

* Plan, conduct and lead field research activities including training field staff, team planning and logistics, and data collection;

* Conduct pilot survey exercises, provide feedback on field operations and survey instruments, and refine and finalize survey instruments in collaboration with the Principal Investigators;

* Provide quality control during the data collection and cleaning processes, and assist in preparing preliminary analysis;

* Ensure that research data and outputs are stored in a confidential and systematic fashion;

* Assist in the preparation of research reports, briefs and other documents for management, the Principal Investigators, donors and other external parties;

* Ensure close collaboration with implementing partners and other high level stakeholders involved with the project;

* Create annual project plans;

* Manage surveyors recruitment, training, management and evaluation;

* Assist in the enforcement of all IPA Ghana human resources and security policies;

* Develop and monitor activity-specific budgets for the project;

* Work with IPA Ghana’s Finance Team to keep detailed records of all project activities and establish systems to ensure the efficient disbursement and reconciliation of project funds;

* Directly supervise up to 1 permanent research or field staff; and

* Perform other work-related duties that may be assigned.

In addition to the duties listed above, individuals at the Senior Research Associate level may, depending on the needs of the project:

* Play an increased role in budgeting and financial management, including developing and updating a project’s operating budget and division across multiple grants, leading ongoing budget management, and generating and analysing financial reports for internal and external use;

* Work with Principal Investigators on donor deliverables and other reports;

* Conduct advanced analysis of data;

* Engage with external stakeholders in the areas of program implementation, policy engagement, research dissemination, and other topics;

* Supervise some of IPA Ghana’s larger and more complex projects;

* Directly supervise 2 or 3 permanent research or field staff, with an eye on their professional development; and

* Perform all duties with an increased independence.

Required Skills or Experience

* A Bachelor’s degree in Statistics, Economics, Public Health, Agriculture, Development studies or related field. A Masters degree is preferred;

* Fluency in written and verbal communication in English, and the ability to draft reports is essential;

* At least two years of experience in project management, preferably in relation to supervising, designing, and implementing data collection and/or field work activities, and managing teams of field staff.

* The ability to outline project objectives and to plan work in a structured and systematic manner in alignment with stated objectives, assessing progress and making changes to project plans to reflect changing timelines and field realities;

* Strong computer skills including proficiency in MS Word, MS Excel and email;

* Quantitative data processing and analysis skills. Knowledge of STATA is preferred;

* Curiosity and willingness to learn;

* The ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences including the Principal Investigators, the IPA Ghana management team, implementing partners, government officials, and field staff;

* Demonstrated experience in budgeting and financial management;

* Excellent problem solving and analytical skills and a strong attention to detail;

* Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively in a diverse team and high level stakeholders;

* Demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks, work under pressure and meet deadlines, often with limited supervision;

* Strong organizational skills;

* Experience in education, financial inclusion, agriculture and public health research is a plus.

* Authorization to work in Ghana

How To Apply

To apply, please fill out the online application form by clicking the link below:

https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4555824/IPAG-Research-Staff-Application-Form-2018-2019

Please take note of the following instructions:

* This position is only open to Ghanaian nationals

* Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until suitable candidates are found

* Your CV is required to complete the application form

* Incomplete applications or applications not completed through the web-form will not be considered

* Due to high volume of applications received, IPA will only contact shortlisted candidates

* Candidates who have applied for similar positions with IPA within the last 6 months are not eligible to apply.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that IPA will never require monetary compensation as part of its application process. Any requests for monetary compensation by persons claiming to be IPA employees or persons claiming to represent IPA should be disregarded and reported. Please direct questions to: jobs-ghana@poverty-action.org.

 

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