Research Assistant, MCC Indonesia Green Prosperity: Community-Based Off-Grid Renewable Energy Grants  470 views

Social Impact is a global development management consulting firm. We provide monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity building services to advance development effectiveness. We work across all development sectors including democracy and governance, health and education, the environment, and economic growth. Since 1997 we have worked in over 100 countries for clients such as US government agencies, bilateral donors, multilateral development banks, foundations, and nonprofits. 

Project Description:  

The Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), on behalf of the United States Government, entered a Compact Agreement for a US $474 million grant to be implemented over a 5-year period. The Compact was signed on November 19th, 2011 and entered into force on April 2nd, 2013. The Millennium Challenge Account- Indonesia (MCA-I) is responsible for implementing the Compact Program. The largest of the Compact’s three projects was the Green Prosperity Project, with a final disbursed value of $228 million. Its objectives were to: (i) increase productivity and reduce reliance on fossil fuels of expanding renewable energy; and (ii) increase productivity and reduce land-based greenhouse gas emissions by improving land use practices and management of natural resources. 

The GP Project concentrates in provinces and districts which have the highest potential for achieving poverty alleviation and environmental objectives. It consists of four Activities, the centerpiece of which is the “GP Facility Activity.” The Facility offers grant funding for programs working in renewable energy and sustainable management of natural resources. Grants that meet the GP Project objectives and various investment criteria are awarded through a competitive selection process. These grant investments are intended to have mutually reinforcing benefits of enhancing sustainable economic growth and social conditions while also reducing Indonesia’s carbon footprint and aligning incentives and practices to foster improved environmental stewardship. The GP Facility essentially serves as a grant-making and grant administration/oversight body. The 73 grants that were signed were subsequently grouped into four main “portfolios”: (1) Sustainable Agriculture, (2) Renewable Energy (RE), (3) Peatlands, and (4) Social Forestry. 

Community-Based Off-Grid Renewable Energy Grants 

Window 3A and some grants in Window 2 of the Facility offered funding for community-based off-grid renewable energy (CBOG RE) projects. The objective of these grants was to fulfill the goals of the GP Project by increasing rural people’s access to electricity while providing them with opportunities to generate income and reducing GHG emissions. These objectives would be achieved by increasing communities’ awareness about renewable resources, increasing households’ access to renewable energy sources, offering training on the community ownership and management of the infrastructure, and increasing economic opportunities of participating communities through the provision of training.  

GP funded 25 grants that had community-based off-grid RE components covering biomass, hydro, and solar technologies paired with community ownership and management models. While 3A grants (5 total) were focused solely on off-grid RE, the Window 2 grants (20 total) incorporated elements of off-grid RE along with other activities, such as sustainable agriculture. 

Evaluation Overview 

Social Impact (SI) has been contracted to complete a summative evaluation of the GP Facility’s portfolio of CBOG RE grants by focusing on six grants. One of these grants, the “Solar PV Distributed System in East Sumba Project” (East Nusa Tenggara), will be evaluated using a quasi-experimental impact evaluation design. Another, the “Off-Grid Power Plants for three Villages in Berau Regency-East Kalimantan Project” (East Kalimantan), will be evaluated using a pre-post performance evaluation design. Four additional grants: W2 Burung (East Nusa Tenggara) W3A Sky Energy (West Sulawesi),  W2 IIEE (West Sumatra), and W2 LAKPESDAM-PBNU (Jambi and West Sumatra) will be evaluated at endline using a qualitative case study methodology.  

Position Description: 

The Research Assistant is expected to provide logistical support to data collection activities in their base province to ensure a high quality and useful evaluation. SI is looking for Research Assistants who are currently based in the following provinces: East Nusa Tenggara, East Kalimantan, West Sulawesi, West Sumatra, and Jambi.  

The evaluation team anticipates that the Research Assistant will need to conduct in-person activities including – visits to study villages to identify and recruit respondents for interviews, serving as a notetaker during in-person interviews, conducting in-person visits to see the condition of grant-funded infrastructure. Any in-person work would be conducted in accordance with public health guidelines and Government of Indonesia COVID-19 regulations. Data collection is expected to take place during October – December 2021.   

The provinces and sub-province areas included in the evaluation are:  

Province Sub-province area Grant name 
East Nusa Tenggara East Sumba Regency W3A Anekatek 
 East and Central Sumba Regency W2 Burung 
East Kalimantan Berau Regency  W3A Akuo Energy 
West Sulawesi Karampuang Island W3A Sky Energy 
West Sumatra South Solok District W2 IIEE 
Jambi Tanjung Jabung Timur Regency W2 LAKPESDAM – PBNU 
West Sumatra South Solok District 


The Research Assistant will be responsible for the following tasks related to data collection in their base province:  


  • Participate in team meetings prior to, during, and post-data collection, as requested.  
  • Support the team in identifying and recruiting appropriate respondents for data collection activities. This includes village officials, community members who manage the RE infrastructure, community groups who use the RE infrastructure (small businesses, processing/pumping facility users, farmer’s groups etc), and community members. The Assistant is expected to closely follow the guidance of the Junior Analyst and Program Manager when identifying respondents.  
  • Provide other logistical support to the evaluation team, as needed, including scheduling interviews, providing regular status updates on data collection efforts etc.  
  • Participate in interviews as a notetaker and produce detailed notes of interviews, as needed. 
  • Coordinate effectively with evaluation team members and external stakeholders to ensure smooth and timely completion of data collection tasks.  


  • Bachelor’s degree, plus 2 years of relevant experience 
  • Experience working on evaluations of development projects, including experience supporting project teams to recruit participants for data collection and providing logistical support to qualitative interviews 
  • Prior experience conducting surveys or interviews (preferred) 
  • Proven organization, communication, and team-work skills and ability to deliver results within specified and often changing timeframes. 
  • Excellent oral and written fluency in Bahasa Indonesia 


Apply by October 10, 2021 at:  

Only paid candidates can apply for this job.
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