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Research Associate/Manager, Cash Benchmarking


The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is a hub for research on global economic development, with a network of over 60 academic researchers extending across the University of California, Stanford University, and the University of Washington. Our faculty affiliates design and test solutions for the problems of poverty, generating actionable evidence for policy-makers in less developed countries. Using rigorous field trials, behavioral experiments, and tools from data science, we measure and maximize the impacts of development programs throughout the world.

A topic of growing interest is how to benchmark the cost effectiveness of development interventions against just providing equivalent digital cash transfers. Funded by USAID, the Development Impact Lab (a UC Berkeley program co-managed by CEGA and the Blum Center for Developing Economies) is currently carrying out multiple cash transfer impact evaluations aiming to create a generalizable cash benchmark which USAID can use to evaluate its other activities against.

Closing Date

Jul 20, 2018 11:59 pm PDT


The Research Associate/Manager (Research Data Analyst 3) will be responsible for coordinating across multiple cash studies to ensure that the results from each can be easily compared, and to maximize generalizability.  They will work with several PI teams (including Raul Sanchez de la Sierra at UC Berkeley, Jon Robinson at UC Santa Cruz, Jenny Aker at Tufts, and Ted Miguel at UC Berkeley) to help develop and coordinate survey instruments, implementation approaches, and identification of common problems.  The Research Associate/Manager will also be responsible for cost effectiveness analyses of multiple DIL studies, which will include working with study partners to identify and calculate their costs of implementation. The incumbent will be a self-starter with strong data analysis skills and knowledge of impact evaluation research. S/he will serve as an advisor to the initiative’s leadership in developing administrative, performance management, and dissemination systems to meet the program’s goals.  While this position will be based in Berkeley, the position will require travel, including time spent working at research sites in multiple countries in Africa.

This is a challenging opportunity for candidates who are passionate about global development and impact evaluation; have a strong desire to expand and deepen their skills in research management and research dissemination; and who are energized to contribute to the long-term success of a dynamic organization.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Work closely with multiple research teams to coordinate their survey approaches and outcome measurement
  • Work closely with USAID to identify outcomes of interest and develop a cost effectiveness analysis approach.
  • Perform cost effectiveness analysis on multiple development interventions.
  • Capture lessons from ongoing research projects, through close communication with researchers and technology partners; manage research dissemination efforts, including identifying publication outlets, drafting policy briefs and blogs, and developing materials for scale-up.
  • Support the community of practice around cash benchmarking, including: organizing and/or participate in initiative-related conference calls, events, and matchmaking convenings, including content development, recruitment of partners, press coverage, and agendas.
  • Develop subject matter expertise in cash benchmarking; stay up-to-date on relevant research and policy trends in the field.
  • Participate in center-wide management activities, internal work groups, performance evaluation, process documentation, and strategic planning.  
  • Expansion of the project as feasible, by working on proposal development.

Required Qualifications

  • 1-3 years of field-based experience working on impact evaluation research projects.
  • Experience coordinating empirical research projects in developing countries, such as overseeing field data collection and analysis, ideally focused on multi-country evaluation.
  • Experience developing survey instruments.
  • Exceptional communicator, both verbally and in writing.
  • Well-organized, with strong administrative skills and outstanding attention to detail.
  • Strong financial management skills.
  • Demonstrated experience writing research proposals, managing grants, and interacting with private and public donors.
  • Strong skills in short-term and long-range planning, analysis, problem-anticipation and -solving; ability to independently investigate solutions to challenges and anticipate leadership/sponsor needs.
  • Self-directed, intrinsically motivated; proven capacity to manage work independently, multitask and be responsive to time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Strong and effective interpersonal skills in working with colleagues at all levels. Ability to use discretion and maintain confidentiality. Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work diplomatically with diverse constituencies.
  • Good sense of humor, and ability to maintain flexibility and adaptation to change.
  • Strong competency in data analysis (Stata or a comparable language), MS Office (especially Excel) and Google applications.

Desired Qualifications

  • Masters in a quantitative discipline, including Economics, Public Policy, Public Health, or a related field strongly preferred
  • Fluency in French
  • Experience performing cost effectiveness analyses
  • Experience working with USAID or on USAID funded research
  • Experience developing partnerships with and/or working closely with implementing partners
  • Experience working with researchers and faculty in an academic setting.
  • Experience navigating the University of California, Berkeley systems and departments
  • Perfectionist with high attention to details.
  • Experience using Salesforce
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite (including Adobe InDesign and PhotoShop)
  • Sense of humor with a positive attitude in approaching challenges and uncertainty

Selection Timeline

Online application is required. Please visit and search for Job ID# 25218.

Applications should include a brief cover letter, resume, and three professional references (please combine into a single PDF in order to upload to the UC Berkeley portal). Cover letter should briefly address how the applicant will contribute to diversity on the UC Berkeley campus and within CEGA, including through life & professional experiences.

Please note this position is not eligible for US visa sponsorship, though foreign nationals with permission to work in the US are encouraged to apply.