Job Opportunity for Senior Manager – Research Operations at Poverty Action Lab

  • Anywhere

Website Poverty Action Lab

The Senior Manager (Research Operations and Research Support) will be leading the management and on-field support for evaluations in J-PAL South Asia. Reporting into the Associate Directors (Research & Research Ops.), the Senior Manager will be responsible for providing oversight to multiple work streams like primary data collection, quality assurance, and research compliance in the field, people and project management.

Roles and responsibilities:

Research management and operations support to projects (35%) 

  • Provide research management support to assigned projects, across multiple sectors; work closely with the Principal Investigators and project teams on the ground to lend expertise in strategic planning and execution across the project lifecycle: 
  • Support PIs and project teams on preparing research proposal, research design, survey implementation and monitoring, data management, report writing and dissemination and policy outreach of finding as and when required. 
  • Supervise and train research associates (assistance), guiding them to follow proper research procedures, budgeting, and clearly monitor and report all project activities. 
  • Track research and organizational compliance on allocated projects and provide support to ensure compliance as needed. 
  • Prepare Institutional Review Board applications and modifications in close collaboration with the PIs. Ensure systematic documentation on project history, progress, deviations and key decisions. 
  • Work closely with the research team and research operations staff to ensure the projects budgets are updated and revised on time and that the implementation on the ground remains in line with the financial assumptions. 
  • Work closely with the Finance Managers and ensure the projects budgets are updated and revised on time and that the execution on the ground remains in line with financial assumptions. 
  • Mentor Research Associates, Research Support Assistant and Survey Coordinators to build technical and managerial competence and prioritize their learning and skill development. 
  • Maintain clear lines of communication with Principal investigators and J-PAL SA senior management team. Flag potential problems such as delays, overspending, data quality issues or threats to validity and recommend solutions. 

Leading the Research Operations Support and L&D activities for Research Operations vertical (30%)

  • Project Communication and RO support to projects 
  • Setup and manage systematic channels of communication across projects to track planned activities and implementation timeline. 
  • Ensure quality delivery support to projects on field operations front pertaining to hiring, training and monitoring of field staff and supervision of field operations activities on the ground 
  • Setup and manage an efficient reporting structure within RO vertical for effective decision making on feedback on the quality of survey delivery and quality on the ground.
  • Learning and development initiatives 
  • Develop, design and implement L&D programs for the research operations team members that focus on core competencies required for the job and overall developmental plans. 

Research Quality and Survey Delivery quality support (20%) 

  • Work closely with research and research operations teams to provide research quality and survey delivery quality support (RQS, SDQS). Keep track of data pertaining to research and survey delivery quality and take measures to resolve flags in timely manner. 

RO data and knowledge management (15%) 

  • Design, streamline and digitize vertical level data and information systems to generate insights and information around future interventions to continuously evolve data collection efficiency and improving survey delivery quality 
  • Lead vertical’s knowledge management initiatives; contribute to the knowledge library by bringing the key qualitative insights and experiences from the field as write-up and op-eds for newsletter and the vertical’s knowledge library. 

Qualifications and Experience 

  • Masters in development economics, data science, social work, public policy or any other field related to development sector or economic development 
  • At least five to seven years of experience in conducting social science or economic field research-supervising data collection, managing multiple projects with large teams of field workers, survey design and implementation, and data management. 
  • Passion for field work and management practices that improve efficiency. 
  • Experience with data management and econometrics. Advanced knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred) and/or any statistical package is preferred, as well as data collection software such as Survey CTO. 
  • Strong quantitative, analytical and financial management skills required. 
  • Strong attention to detail, with a quality-focused mind-set. 
  • Ability to work independently and problem-solve, as well as enlist the support of other teams within the organization. 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and complete fluency in English is required.

Behavioural Requirements 

  • Passion to work at the grassroots level and to collaborate actively with the field team on the ground to continuously evolve measures around data collection and management. 
  • Strong interest in studying and improving measures around survey methodology and designing technology solutions that lead to high quality data collection in the field. 
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills to work with teams on the ground. Ability to be at the forefront and lead research operations staff and mentor them on developing themselves. 
  • Strong communication skills, as well as listening and interpretation skills
  • Sound knowledge around various Government programs and policies.

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