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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 Associate to support PxD’s existing operations in Kenya. You will work in a non-hierarchical team and have opportunities to work closely with PAD and affiliated researchers and substantially contribute to PxD’s programs that test new ideas, measure their impacts, and scale them up.
Kenyan and East African citizens are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Research Associate will be responsible to provide ongoing support to PxD’s research activities in Kenya. The Research Associate will report to the Research and Operations Manager (Kenya) and will work with the Director of Research and relevant Research Affiliates. The position will be located in Kenya.
PAD is a start-up organization and will require flexibility from all staff with regards to roles and responsibilities.
The Research Associate will be responsible for the following main tasks:
- Supervise the implementation of field operations and research activities;
- Support and manage the development of digital platforms to disseminate information to smallholder farmers via their mobile phones;
- Monitor and analyze usage of the SMS and IVR services;
- Hire, train, and supervise data collection staff;
- Supervise data management activities, clean and analyze data;
- Work with PAD team to ensure that all projects and operations adhere to policies, protocols, and timelines;
- Develop and update project documentation regularly;
- Assist in managing partner relations and working with external stakeholders for implementation of field operations.
Required Qualifications and Experience:
- A bachelor’s degree in economics, agricultural economics, public policy, statistics, or a closely related field.
- Fluency in English. Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills.
- Management and organizational skills, detail-oriented, and ability to work independently and be supervised remotely.
- 1-2 years’ work experience running or managing research projects.
- Knowledge of Stata or R or similar software for data analysis.
- Ability to work under time pressure and solve problems in the field.
- Willingness to travel up to 30% to project areas nationally.
- Good understanding of economics and familiarity with randomized evaluations.
Desired Qualifications and Experience: Our preferred candidates are likely to have some, but not all, of the following qualifications:
- Master’s degree in economics, agricultural economics, public policy, statistics, or a closely related field.
- Proficient in using SurveyCTO or a similar program for survey design.
- Experience working on randomized evaluations.
- Experience working on agricultural programs.
- Experience managing teams and working in groups.
- Previous work experience in Kenya or other East African countries