Researcher-Economist (Impact Evaluation & Impact Assessment)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Colombo, Sri Lanka 🇱🇰


Job Purpose:

To contribute to the design and execution of rigorous evaluations of technologies, interventions and policy reforms, such as those developed and introduced by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and others. Such analyses employ quantitative evidence about human behavior and preferences to learn what works and why. Such research will often examine the effects on income distribution and poverty alleviation to assess changes in broader measures of social welfare. Research findings can lead to the improved design of proposals for scaling up and replication in diverse settings.

To undertake high-quality research in policy design, policy reform, and in the assessment and formulation of strategies to stimulate the catalyzing role of water in the development of rural and peri-urban regions. Most of this work will take an empirical, micro-econometric focus to support clear messages that speak to policy makers, development funders, and other key stakeholders in civil society.

The position will provide the opportunity to build a research portfolio based on examination of household- and firm-level data, and the application of impact evaluation methodologies in developing regions of Asia and Africa.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Work independently or collaboratively with research teams to enhance the understanding of the impacts of interventions and initiatives at different scales of analysis.
Design and execute large-scale household surveys, including study design, sample selection and questionnaire design, and analyze primary data to assess outcomes and impacts, such as changes in productivity, livelihoods and behaviors.
Inform processes to improve living conditions and targeted outcomes of interest.
Support economic analysis using primary data in projects across IWMI’s Strategic Programs by working with project leaders. This could encompass not only disciplinary research but also interdisciplinary research projects, such as those involving hydrologists, agricultural water management researchers and environmental scientists in IWMI’s regional and country offices.
Communicate research results to diverse audiences such as policy makers, funders, civil society and the research community through peer-reviewed articles.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Specialized training in, and experience with, randomized control trials, natural experiments and quasi-experimental impact evaluation methods (difference-in-difference, regression-discontinuity design, propensity-score matching, instrumental variables), having used one or more of these methods while conducting previously published research.
Appropriate application of quantitative and qualitative methods to select and test salient research hypotheses.
Good quantitative skills in microeconomic analysis.
Demonstrated facility with micro-econometric analysis of household survey data, such as for hypothesis testing and prediction.
Ability to collect primary data with sample surveys in developing countries, and to analyze datasets using standard econometric software.
Broad understanding of land and water management issues as they relate to food security and climate change.
Good understanding of developmental and rural poverty issues in one or more regions of Asia or Africa.
Willingness and ability to travel internationally and to work under conditions common to rural areas of developing countries.
Excellent writing and communication skills in English.
Capacity to work effectively in multidisciplinary and multicultural research teams while assuring the quality and relevance of project outcomes and promoting a workplace culture of knowledge sharing and transfer.

Minimum Educational Qualifications and Experience:


PhD in Economics (especially Development Economics or Environmental Economics), Agricultural Economics or Public Policy with a specialization in impact evaluation of development projects.
At least 2 years of post-PhD experience in the agriculture, water or sanitation sector, and peer-reviewed publications that demonstrate research ability.
Experience in the design and execution of large-scale survey questionnaires, including sample and survey design, pilot testing, micro-econometric data analysis, quality assurance, hypothesis testing, interpretation and management.

Ability to conduct (social and private) cost-benefit or cost-effectiveness analysis of proposed interventions or replications, including stochastic simulation of probabilistic outcomes.
Experience in writing funding proposals and managing projects.
Ability to work in unstructured conditions with minimal supervision.