Associate/Sr. Associate, Research and Data Analysis

Evidence Action
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Who We Are

Evidence Action aims to be a world leader in scaling evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty for hundreds of millions of people in the poorest places. Our two flagship at-scale programs, Deworm the World and Dispensers for Safe Water, reached over 270 million people this year. Three of our programs – Deworm the World, No Lean Season, and Dispensers for Safe Water – have been named “Top” or “Standout” charities by GiveWell in 2017, with Deworm the World being named a Top Charity for the 5th year in a row.

Evidence Action’s Beta incubator explores interventions with initial evidence of impact that might be suitable for massive scale up to become our next flagship programs. Similar to beta testing for software, we pressure-test interventions to ensure that they can deliver cost-effective impact at scale without unintended consequences. Beta explores the mechanisms at work behind compelling results, runs fit-for-purpose experiments to find appropriate models for scaling, and builds service delivery and financing models suitable for the contexts where there is demand. The Beta portfolio includes a diverse range of initiatives, ranging from programs in the later stages of incubation such as No Lean Season (seasonal migration) and Winning Start (remedial education) to earlier-stage incubation efforts, such as our collaboration with the Government of India on strengthening its national school-based iron-folic acid supplementation program.

Evidence Action has a presence across 10 countries, with major offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Delhi, India; and Washington, D.C.

What We’re Looking For

Evidence Action seeks one or more highly motivated Associates/Senior Associates, Research and Data Analysis, to provide research assistance and conduct data analysis in support of the growing Beta portfolio. S/he will be deeply involved in experimental and non-experimental research design, project management, and data analysis of Beta programs. The Associate/Senior Associate will assist in developing and updating program monitoring frameworks and data systems. This role requires systematic engagement in and documentation of the analytical efforts used to reach evidence-based recommendations and will contribute to developing appropriate measurement, sampling, and survey strategies to gather quantitative and qualitative data.

Whether a candidate is considered at an “Associate, Research and Data Analysis” or “Senior Associate, Research and Data Analysis” level will be based on our assessment of the candidate’s overall qualifications and experience. As Beta is continuing to grow, we expect that we will hire more than one Associate/Senior Associate from the candidate pool in this open call, with the specific program focus and location of a particular new hire to depend on both Beta’s needs and a candidate’s experience and interests.

Our most immediate need under this open call as of August 2018 is for an Associate/Senior Associate, Research and Data Analysis, to be based in Nairobi and focused on Winning Start, is a late-stage pilot program being incubated within Beta.

Winning Start connects a community workforce of highly educated volunteers to primary schools, where they offer competency-based remedial support to struggling children using the evidence-based ‘Teaching at the Right Level’ approach. The research behind Winning Start has pointed towards an incredible opportunity to positively and substantially improve the lives of millions of children. Designed around evidence showing volunteer-led models to be among the most effective, this large-scale youth volunteer model leverages governments’ political appetite to engage their working age youth while improving learning outcomes, and may lend itself to the distribution of other public goods and services.

The evaluation of Winning Start is being conducted in partnership with Michael Kremer (Harvard University), Willa Friedman (University of Houston) and Guthrie Gray-lobe (Harvard University) and in collaboration with the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics. The Associate/Senior Associate will support the critical day-to-day data management and analysis needs of the evaluation and will serve a crucial role in analyzing implementation processes and program performance.

The ideal candidate will:

●       Be excited and passionate about engaging in an environment focused on the twin goals of “Evidence” and “Action,” contributing his/her relative strengths in research and data management/analysis to testing and scaling evidence-based interventions;
●       Have strong critical and analytical thinking skills, with an outstanding attention to detail;
●       Be motivated and take initiative to manage multiple demanding requests while adhering to program deadlines and priorities;
●       Be quick to learn, motivated to self-teach, and capable of independently translating new knowledge into practice;
●       Be comfortable and effective at engaging with colleagues in the field every day; and
●       Thrive in a collaborative, cross-functional teams.

What You’d Do

The Associate/Senior Associate, Research and Data Analysis will ensure quality research management and data analysis and will be responsible for supporting a Beta initiative’s learning agenda, including, but not limited to: overseeing instrument design and data collection; contributing to monitoring and research designs; developing visualizations and dashboards; developing and implementing improved data management systems; and conducting desk research.

Although some of the specific roles and responsibilities may vary based on the program(s) to which an Associate/Senior Associate, Research and Data Analysis, is assigned, generally, the four primary areas of responsibility for this role will include:

1) Research Assistance

●       Oversee field research activities, including the implementation of research, according to the research design and in coordination with supervisor, PIs, program team and partners
●       Design and pilot survey questionnaires and instruments, conduct qualitative research, and provide inputs to experimental and non-experimental research design
●       Supervise data collection and data entry, and ensure data quality at each stage; assist with data cleaning and preliminary data analysis
●       Work with supervisor and program team to keep detailed accounts of all research-related activities, including monitoring expenses in the field and summarizing current expenditures and forecasting expected expenditures
●       Ensure project activities are on schedule; support project update reports according to agreements with funders and partners

2) Data Management

●       Develop and implement procedures for data management and quality assurance on data storage and management platforms
●       Liaise with the program team to ensure that activities performed in the field are consistent with the data, and communicate regularly to ensure all corrections/updates from the field are accurately captured in data systems
●       Highlight recurring data quality issues with the program team and provide recommendations for course correction when necessary
●       Document all data management procedures and lessons learned to increase the quality and reliability of data collection for future years and for other geographies
●       Update and maintain data collection forms and surveys for the program, and develop new administrative data collection forms and surveys as needed
●       Support data requests from the program team, as needed

3) Data Analysis and Visualization

●       Conduct data analysis of key performance indicators to inform programmatic and evaluation decision-making
●       Conduct statistical analysis using STATA or R, including: identifying and producing well-designed regressions, correlations, conditional means, and other statistical measurements to accurately express results of program data; maintain proper documentation of all analyses for ease of replication, and explain methodology used
●       Maintain and update programmatic dashboards

4) Program Improvement and Learning

●       Collect, categorize, document, and analyze secondary data to support or revise theory of change
●       Contribute to ongoing iteration of the program monitoring framework, and support the development of future frameworks
●       Provide inputs to cost and impact models for key program decisions and metrics
●       Conduct background research and literature reviews to aid in expansion decisions, and programmatic improvements
●       Contribute to writing policy briefs, reports, blog posts, academic articles, and grant proposals and reports

What Qualifications We’re Expecting in Candidates

Evidence Action places strong value on relevant personal qualities: innovation, responsibility, tenacity, motivation, and work ethic. We seek a highly committed and adaptable individual with the ability to take the initiative when asked, to work effectively in a high-pressure environment, and to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Minimum Requirements:

●       Bachelor’s degree in economics, statistics, public policy, or related field
●       A minimum of 2 years’ work experience in a highly analytical and quantitative role
●       Working knowledge of and substantial practical experience using STATA or R
●       Proven data management and statistical analysis skills
●       Prior experience in managing data collection, preferably for a field experiment
●       Excellent communication skills in English (both spoken and written)
●       Adaptable, self-motivated, curious, and a team player who is interested in being part of a fast-paced, growing and diverse team with a start-up atmosphere
●       Ability to travel up to 20%

Preferred Requirements:

●       Master’s degree in economics, statistics, public policy, or related field
●       Prior working experience in a developing country
●       Experience with digital data collection platforms
●       Experience in working with data visualization tools

Evidence Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.

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