Research Analyst
Mercy Corps - Washington, DC

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Funding for this position is currently available up to June 30, 2013.

Department Summary

Mercy Corps’ portfolio of program research and impact evaluations is growing, including several externally funded, long-term studies. Significant technical and management support is required to ensure the quality and utility of these studies. At the same time, the regional value propositions (RVPs) that Mercy Corps has prioritized place a strong emphasis on research, and several contain explicit research agendas. Refining and executing these agendas is central to informing the RVPs’ strategies and in understanding their success. Increasingly, Mercy Corps is employing rigorous, quantitative methods as part of its research and impact evaluations. These methods require expertise in statistics and econometric techniques. Mercy Corps’ Strategy and Learning team requires additional support to strengthen the data collection and analysis, and the communication of the status and results of its current and upcoming research efforts.

Position Summary

The Research Analyst will provide support to the Director of Research and Learning with quantitative data analysis, and communication of research and evaluation processes and findings. This support will contribute to producing accurate and credible research findings, and to greater awareness and use of research products among internal and external audiences.

Essential Job Functions

Research design (25%):
Input to research and evaluation designs, including reviewing quantitative data collection instruments to ensure the data produced will be conducive to analysis

Advise on sampling strategies and sizes, including doing power calculations

Research literature for existing quantitative measures, especially for complex, unobservable constructs (e.g. adaptive capacity and government responsiveness)

Data analysis (25%):
Prepare data for analysis, including cleaning, organizing, recoding data into consistent formats, and deriving new/composite variables

Conduct inferential statistical analyses to test and generate hypotheses

Conduct factor analyses to validate and develop scales from related sets of data

Communication of research findings (25%):
Produce tables, charts and other graphics to illustrate key research findings

Develop or edit research briefs and other accessible summaries of studies

Support communications regarding ongoing studies with Mercy Corps country and technical teams, and with research partners

Capacity building (10%):
Develop or revise tip sheets or other forms of guidance on research-related topics aimed at promoting better practice in the field

Assist to organize web-based training sessions and forums for sharing research findings

Other duties identified (10%)

Organizational Learning (5)%:
As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Responsibilities:
The responsibilities will vary by assignment, and may include:

Reviewed data collection instruments and plans

Sampling plans and power calculations

Cleaned and (re)coded data sets

Outputs for statistical tests

Accessible narrative and graphic representations of key findings

Research briefs and summaries

Knowledge and Experience

MA or MSc in international development or other relevant social science

At least two years of fieldwork in a developing country

Demonstrated skills in applied research and statistical analysis

Experience with quasi-experimental research designs, including propensity score matching

Proficiency using SPSS, STATA, or other statistical analysis package

Demonstrated ability to explain research findings, both visually and in writing

Success Factors:
Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills

Excellent written/verbal communication skills, including in report writing

Good organizational skills and ability to work under time constraints

Flexibility to adapt to changing conditions and requirements

Supervisory Responsibilities: None

Accountability

Reports directly to: Director of Research and Learning

Works with: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning and Technical Support Unit team members

Living /Environmental Conditions:
This position will be based in Washington DC. No major travel is expected. Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Required Skills

Required Experience

Mercy Corps - 23 months ago - save job
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Mercy Corps is dedicated to helping the poor and oppressed in developing countries. The not-for-profit organization offers emergency relief...