Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) – Research and Operations Manager (Nairobi).

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Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD)

Precision Development (PxD) is a global non-profit organization that harnesses technology, data science and behavioral economics to empower people living in poverty to improve their lives. By providing actionable information to the right people, in the right way and at the right time, PxD empowers poor people living in developing countries to improve their livelihoods, mitigate risks, and advance environmental sustainability. PxD, through its primary project, Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD), delivers customized agricultural advice to smallholder farmers via their mobile phones. PxD implements this pioneering model of agricultural extension in collaboration with partner organizations to maximize scale, and continuously experiments, iterates, and gathers evidence on impact to improve service delivery and demonstrate value. PxD currently works in nine countries in Africa and Asia, is launching operations in Latin America, and is rapidly expanding as governments and organizations look for innovative ways to utilize new technologies to deliver actionable information to people who need it. As of the end of 2020, PxD was serving 3.8 million farmers through a range of services providing tailored information on crop optimization, pest management, input utilization and environmental stewardship. PxD is piloting the use of mobile technology to deliver information in sectors beyond agriculture, including the use of SMS to facilitate math education in Kenya.

We are looking for a driven, creative and independent person to join a high-performing, flexible team as a Research and Operations Manager (ROM). You will work in a non-hierarchical team and have opportunities to work closely with PxD and affiliated researchers and substantially contribute to PxD’s research programs that test new ideas and measure their impacts.  


The Research and Operations Manager will be responsible to provide ongoing support to PxD’s research operations and management in Kenya as well as other countries in Africa where we currently work (e.g. Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria). In order to facilitate a steady stream of research and programmatic opportunities, the successful applicant will also actively contribute to fundraising, funder reporting, and research dissemination. The Research and Operations Manager will work closely with the Director of Research, Africa Regional Director, Research Affiliates, Research Associates and the relevant teams. The position will be located in Kenya. PxD is a start-up organization and will require flexibility from all staff with regards to roles and responsibilities.

Research management and support

  • Work with relevant PxD teams, researchers, and research affiliates to manage the implementation of research projects and ensure that projects adhere to policies, procedures, and timelines.
  • Provide guidance and oversight to Research Associates on research activities, including data cleaning, power calculations, and preliminary analysis. 
  • Apprise PxD researchers, research affiliates, and country leads on the progress of projects on a regular basis.
  • Support the project teams in preparing progress reports for funders and partners.
  • Work closely with PxD researchers and our partner organizations to identify, develop, and launch new research projects, and ensure technical rigor.
  • Guide program teams on the use of evidence-based approach and contribute to the building of institutional knowledge of the evidence base.
  • Take lead on preparing Institutional Review Board applications and modifications with oversight from PxD researchers and research affiliates.
  • Support literature reviews and other desk research to inform research activities as well as programmatic functions for PxD.
  • Assist with proposal development for prospective funders and partners, alongside other PxD team members.
  • Support PxD in developing processes to maintain the integrity and the quality of research
  • Stay abreast of the latest research related to mobile phone-based agricultural extension.

Knowledge management

  • Maintain library of relevant research for all PxD team members.
  • Take lead on maintaining the PxD’s institutional knowledge base on current landscape of other organizations and companies operating in the mobile phone-based agricultural advisory space.
  • Write research summaries and results in various formats, including briefs, website text, presentations, emails, etc.
  • Actively contribute to research dissemination and outreach activities.
  • Support PxD in creating and maintaining institutional knowledge related to its research findings. 


  • Contribute to general management tasks important for PxD’s functioning and success – including but not limited to budgeting, hiring, and strategic planning – on an as-needed basis.

Qualifications and experience

  • Master’s degree in economics, agricultural economics, public policy, or a closely related field (we may consider exceptional candidates without a Master’s degree who have extensive experience in experimental research in developing countries)
  • Deep understanding of economics, econometrics, and statistics
  • At least 4 years of professional experience 
  • Experience with randomized controlled trials
  • Experience with statistical software, such as Stata and/or R
  • Strong communication skills in English, both written and oral
  • Experience with research in developing countries
  • Experience managing partnerships with an implementing organization.
  • Experience managing program and/or research staff.
  • Interest in agricultural development and technology for development
  • Strong interest in and commitment to PxD’s mission to leverage technology to improve the lives of the poor at scale.
  • Excellent organizational skills, detail-oriented, and ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Experience working in a start-up environment desired but not required.
  • Experience working with an organization across multiple geographies desired but not required.

Position details

  • Full time
  • Start date: as soon as possible
  • Location: Nairobi or Kakamega, Kenya
  • Due to the ongoing pandemic, PxD operations have been remote since March 2020. PxD will continue to monitor the situation in all of our countries of operation to assess safety and feasibility of our office operations. 
  • Compensation: Commensurate with experience



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