Consultant Research Assistant for Behavioral Science

World Resources Institute (WRI)

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico 🇲🇽

Position Title: Consultant Research assistant for behavioral science

Job Type: Contractor

Job Location: Monterrey, Mexico

If Limited/Short Term, Select End Date: 10/31/2024

New or Replacement Position: New

Job Grade: 4

Solid line Manager: Daniel Cano

Job Category: Research Assistant

Dotted line Manager: Mindy Hernandez

Dept/Program/Center/IO: Economics Center

(Optional) Other Info & Comments:

Project Overview:

Monterrey is facing a water crisis. Currently the city reservoirs can procure only 60% of the city’s water needs. In an attempt to reduce water use, the city government created a water rationing plan that has increased the use of water, particularly in middle- and high-income households. Population-level behavior changes are needed to decrease water use in ways that are both equitable and sustainable.  

This project will support the local water provider by proposing and testing different behavioral interventions that could reduce water consumption in the metropolitan area of Monterrey. The project will produce:

  • A literature review on behavioral interventions for water conservation in Mexico
  • A behavioral map outlining key actors, constraining and enabling factors of consumption behaviors and identifying promising interventions for such factors and constrains.
  • Evaluations of 3-4 local water conservation interventions
  • A final report summarizing the quantitative impact of each intervention along with recommendations for future priorities

This project is financially supported by FundaciĂłn FEMSA.

Program Overview:

The Living Lab for Equitable Climate Action (TLL) is part of the WRI´s Economics Center. TLL works to design behavior-informed policy and structural reforms that drive population-level rather than individual behavior change. For example, a communication campaign that aims to reduce food waste through increasing people’s desire to compost food relies on individual-level change. In contrast, a municipal composting program makes behavior change easier and accessible to everyone.

We consider climate impacts as well as social impacts like health, income and equity. To maximize likelihood of success and scale, we partner with a wide range of stakeholders, including local and international academic and research institutions, government agencies, civil society groups and industry leaders.

WRI Overview:

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills, and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include integrity, innovation, urgency, independence, and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years, and our operating budget is nearing $200 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of over 1,600 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions. 

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.

Job Summary:

The Living Lab at WRI is hiring a research assistant (RA) in Monterrey, Mexico to support our Decreasing Water Consumption project. The research assistant will work closely with the Global and Mexico teams of the Living Lab to identify potential interventions for behavioral change, test possible interventions, and create a resulting body of knowledge documenting our findings.

As the only staff memeber located in the city of Monterrey, the RA will serve as the main point of contact with local partners including the water administration, academics, and private institutions. The RA will work as part of a an international team that includes experts in Mexico, USA, Colombia, and Thailand. Even though this position will be located in Monterrey, the RA will report directly to a remote project coordinator.

Key activities include preparing research and project materials; conducting desk research; drafting, reviewing, compiling, and editing documents for publications; coordinating with local partners; and preparing events and workshops.

Job Responsibilities:

Total time dedication to the project: 100%

Research and Analysis 60%

  • Support and/or lead background desk research on water consumption patterns and behaviors in Monterrey
  • Help develop a landscape analysis documenting key players and events contributing to the water crisis in Monterrey, Mexico
  • Contribute to a literature review of water conservation behavioral interventions
  • Prepare summary materials distilling key literature and research inputs for the research team to review and discuss
  • With the support of the technical team and local partners, support the execution of field interventions
  • Assist in collecting, cleaning, and analyzing data/results from the formative research (household surveys, expert interviews) and field pilots
  • Support the review and editorial process for key publications
  • Contribute to high-quality and pertinent WRI knowledge products, including research papers, reports, blogs, presentations, and other written research material as needed

Outreach and Engagement 25%

  • With support from the technical team, lead local coordination activities with the water utility, funders, and academic partners
  • Support the preparation and execution of local and virtual meetings, events, and technical workshops
  • Coordinate and serve as a liaison between local project partners, public institutions, and the project team

Project Management 15%

  • Support day-to-day project management including scheduling meetings and keeping track of delivery of key activities and milestones for the development of the pilot interventions, research products, communication materials, and data sharing
  • Prepare meeting materials and presentations, take notes during meetings, and draft meeting summary reports
  • Support reporting and communication to donors and key partners

Job Qualifications:

  • Master´s degree in economics, political/social sciences, urban planning, environmental policy, or related field.
  • 4 years of additional experience in those fields and a bachelor’s degree will be considered as equivalent to a Master´s degree.
  • Minimum of 3 years’ full-time work experience, preferably related to environmental research and/or data analysis
  • Strong analytic and research skills
  • Ability to analyze data and present statistical results. Experience using statistical analysis software like Python, R, Strata or similar software.
  • Ability to manage relationships with partners and counterparts
  • Excellent writing, editing, and interpersonal communication skills in English and Spanish
  • Great attention to detail, manage multiple priorities, and work under tight deadlines
  • Committed to WRI’s mission and values
  • Ability to work in the Monterrey metropolitan area
  • Familiarity with the theory or practice of behavioral sciences preferred
  • Experience conducting behavioral research or interventions preferred

How to Apply:

Please submit a resume with cover letter. Resume and cover letter must be submitted in English to be considered. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal.






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development