Monday, August 8, 2016

Temporary Research Associate, Zambia


Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) seeks a qualified applicant for a Research Associate (RA) position starting 1 September 2016 to work on a teaching program that aims to address the problem of low literacy and numeracy levels of school children by targeting instruction to the level of the child. 
The position is based in Lusaka, and offers an opportunity to gain first-hand field and management experience on a cutting-edge development project. The RA will start as soon as possible and work on a full time for approximately 6 months, with a possibility of extension to 12 months (conditional on funding). 
The RA will work closely with other members of the Project Management Team comprising the Country Director, Policy Coordinator, Survey Coordinator, Field Manager and IPA Staff. The RA will ensure the successful execution of structured learning assessments and continuous monitoring of the project.

Project Description: 
Despite gains in enrolment, learning levels in Zambia remain low and large, heterogeneous classes mean that students who miss basic skills never have the chance to catch up. Research evidence has found that programmes which target instruction to the level of the child help consistently show strong impacts on learning outcomes.
The purpose of this pilot is to address the problem of low literacy and numeracy levels by training government teachers in the Catch Up pedagogy, grouping children according to their performance and providing dedicated instruction in basic skills, with the aim of improving learning outcomes. This process will be supported by a partner NGO and implemented under the Ministry of General Education.
Responsibilities 
The Research Associate will perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to:
•    Manage the field team: train and supervise the field team, team leaders and field manager.
•    Manage implementation of monitoring and learning assessment in accordance with the research design.
•    Coordinate field logistics and manage equipment and data processes.
•    Supervise data collection and data entry to ensure excellent data quality.
•    Carry out data cleaning, analysis and presentation.
•    Ensure project indicators are on track and independent monitoring is carried out successfully.
•    Ensure that the project complies with IRB and J-PAL data collection and security protocols with the help of the Research Manager.
•    Assist with the overall project management, administration, monitoring and implementation.
•    Assist with writing of reports and presentation to funders and other stakeholders.
•    Co-ordinate and communicate with the range of project stakeholders and maintain productive relationships with them (most importantly, school staff).
•    Co-ordinate with IPA staff, Research Manager and other members of Project Team.

Qualifications 
•    A minimum of an Honours degree in economics, social sciences, political sciences or other Honours level degrees that include coursework in quantitative research methods.
•    Fluency in English. Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills.
•    Fluency in Nyanja and Tonga a strong plus.
•    Excellent management and organisational skills, detail-oriented, and ability to work independently and be supervised remotely.
•    Excellent knowledge of MS Word, MS Excel and Stata.
•    Experience managing teams and working in groups.
•    Excellent interpersonal skills and conflict resolution skills.
•    Ability to work under time pressure and solve problems in field.
•    Experience with data cleaning and analysis and strong quantitative skills is preferred.
•    Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and a team player.
•    Experience working or living in developing countries desirable.
Application Instructions 
Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Temporary Research Associate, Zambia”.  Most applications for research positions require you to include at minimum two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts.
Note that you are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application.
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 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. 

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.


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