Senior Research Assistant

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸


The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks a qualified candidate to serve as a Senior Research Assistant within the Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) team of USAID’s Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) Program in the Environment and Production Technology Division. This is a one-year appointment based at IFPRI Headquarters in Washington, DC. Conditions of employment, benefits and performance assessment processes for this position would be those established by IFPRI.

Job Summary:

Africa RISING program comprises three research-for-development projects supported by the United States Agency for International Development as part of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative. Through action research and development partnerships, the Program will create opportunities for smallholder farm households to move out of hunger and poverty through sustainably intensified farming systems that improve food, nutrition, and income security, particularly for women and children, and conserve or enhance the natural resource base. The three projects are led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in West Africa (Ghana and Mali) and East and Southern Africa (Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia) and the International Livestock Research Institute in the Ethiopian highlands. The IFPRI leads an associated project on monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment across all the Program countries. To aid with its monitoring activities, the M&E team has developed a web-based project monitoring and mapping tool (PMMT). The team is also in charge of coordinating the management of program generated data using ILRI’s web-based open-source data portal (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network -CKAN-).

Essential Duties:

The SRA will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Analyze large scale micro data collected by the M&E team as part of Africa RISING Baseline Evaluation Surveys.
  • Produce research papers to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals, as well as reports to be submitted to the program’s stakeholders.
  • Manage, aggregate, and analyze data (to be) collected through project-specific databases, such as PMMT and CKAN, as necessary.
  • Interact with Africa RISING program implementers in all program countries, including traveling to program countries and providing in-country trainings if required.
  • Assist with the planning and coordination of follow-up data collection in program countries.
  • Analyze various micro data sets available within the Spatial Data and Analytics (SDA) team as necessary.
  • Assist the team with additional tasks as requested by the M&E team, program partners, and the donor.

Required Skills:

  • Master’s Degree in international development, development economics, agricultural and applied economics or a very closely related field.
  • At least two years of experience in analyzing complex household-level micro data, preferably on agriculture-related.
  • Ability to work independently, particularly in producing research outputs.
  • Pay due attention to details, and deliver with efficiency.
  • Strong writing skills and capacity to analyze complex phenomena and publish findings in various forms.
  • Experience in survey methodologies, data management, analysis and compilation.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Advanced knowledge of statistical software (STATA strongly preferred), good econometric skills and strong familiarity with data production processes.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated experience in effective interactions and negotiations in a multi-cultural environment setting with researchers.
  • Willingness to travel to project countries.
  • Good organizational and follow-up skills, to be able to deliver quality products and services on time under tight deadlines.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Good knowledge of the agriculture and livestock sector in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Experience with methods of analysis of spatially-disaggregated data (i.e. mapping and use of GIS software).
  • Working knowledge of a second language of relevance to the geographic areas of research focus (e.g., French).