Research Associate

Center for Economic Research in Pakistan, Islamabad, Pakistan

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Email for CV Submission: 
Closing Date for Applications: 
4th August, 2018

Job Description

CERP is recruiting a Research Associate for the Supporting Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Project. This is a full-time position based in Islamabad and will require significant field work in both urban and rural areas of the country. The Research Associate will contribute to data collection, entry, cleaning and analysis. Further, this position involves communication and coordination with BISP staff and authorities. You will also have the opportunity to engage with leading economists and public policy experts from Harvard University, LSE, and MIT.

Project Description BISP is the flagship anti-poverty program of the Government of Pakistan, and one of the largest cash transfer programs in the world. It targets social protection and poverty reduction by delivering unconditional cash transfers, conditional cash transfers, human capital development and income generation programs. The Research Associate will be part of the CERP team providing data analysis and policy support to BISP especially, but not limited to, on the poverty graduation experiment to understand how best to transition beneficiaries off of BISP and into sustainable livelihoods.

The Principle Investigators (PIs) of the project are Dr. Rema Hana (Harvard Kennedy School), Dr. Adnan Khan (LSE, IGC) and Professor Ben Olken (MIT/J-PAL).

Job Description Your primary responsibility will be towards the Supporting BISP Project. However, you may be asked to assist on other tasks/projects at CERP in consultation with your reporting supervisor(s). Your tasks will include:

Design and Developing Interventions

  • Assisting in the design and development of the RCT interventions
  • Monitoring and helping with the implementation of the RCT interventions
  • Responsible for identification of data sources

Relationship Management

  • Representing the project at meetings with senior bureaucrats and referring them to the Project Coordinator (PC) and PIs for further correspondence if needed.
  • Responsible for liaising with various government officials at relevant governmental departments.
  • Managing and troubleshooting any immediate concerns of stakeholders regarding the project

Field Management

  • Designing, pilot testing, and conducting any survey or administrative data gathering exercise based on discussions with PIs that the project requires.
  • Designing the exercise strategy, training surveyors, monitoring surveys through field spot checks, cleaning and analyzing data.
  • Travelling to selected tehsils for project implementation related work including monitoring, pilot testing, informal discussions/interviews, data collection etc.

Data Analysis and Management

  • Investigating collection, cleaning and verification methods
  • Creating processes for cleaning any errors that may stem from data entry or bad source material
  • Coordinating any data related questions or concerns with the PIs, PC and relevant officials in the government.

Project Management

  • Drafting weekly project updates for the PIs or government departments, or drafting any other documentation required by stakeholders of the project.
  • Responsible for helping draft communication with government departments incorporating feedback from government officials.

Other duties as assigned by the PC or PIs

The work can be challenging, yet very exciting given the scope and possibilities for growth within. CERP’s project teams are small, and the amount of work we accomplish is significant. The position is challenging but rewarding – only apply if you are the type of person who takes charge and responsibility, can do good work with little supervision, and are not afraid to learn new things in order to get the job done. Strong data analytic skills are required to clean and analyze the data collected for sampling purposes, as well as through the pilot, and eventual roll-out phase. A willingness to travel and the ability to take on challenges are essential.

Job Requirements

  • Master’s degree in economics, public policy, or a related discipline from an internationally recognized university. Well-qualified Bachelor’s candidates with significant related work experience (3-4 years) will also be considered.
  • Preferably 1-2 years of relevant experience in research/program design and/or evaluation, including the design and execution of surveys, focus groups, and interviews
  • Ability to work closely in a small team and take direction.
  • Ability to take a well-defined problem and come up with a response based on an independent analysis of the data.
  • Strong STATA skills.
  • Familiarity with various research and evaluation design concerns.
  • Willingness to travel for fieldwork.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage various tasks effectively and coordinate between project members
  • Comfortable communicating with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
  • Fluent in English and Urdu and comfortable with Punjabi.
  • Willing to take on added responsibility as the project progresses.

How to apply: Interested candidates should fill this online form and send their cover letter, CV, and university transcripts to with the subject title “Research Team- Supporting BISP”. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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