RESEARCH ASSOCIATE (Branchless Banking)


COUNTRY                                             : Indonesia

START DATE                                       : ASAP

LENGTH OF COMMITMENT             : 7 months with possible extensions

EDUCATION                                        : Bachelor’s or Master’s

ORGANIZATION                                  : J-PAL Southeast Asia

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT            : English, Indonesia


Job Description

J-PAL Southeast Asia, based at the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the University of Indonesia (LPEM-FEBUI) seeks qualified applicants for a Research Associate position to coordinate field research and piloting activities towards the aim of implementing a set of RCTs on mobile banking and financial inclusion among Indonesian women. The Principal Investigators for this project are: Erika Deserranno (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University), Oriana Bandiera (London School of Economics), Gianmarco Leon (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), and Firman Witoelar (SurveyMETER).

The position offers an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on experience and to have significant responsibility in a vibrant organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. In collaboration with the respective PIs, the Research Associate will support the ongoing design, as well as the implementation of the project for which they are hired. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring activities are implemented with fidelity to the research design, as well as having close relationship with and between actors at various levels of the government, implementing partners, and field survey staffs.

In addition to their respective PIs, a Jakarta-based Research Manager will guide and supervise the Research Associate in his/her various tasks. The Research Associate will work mainly on the field in East Java with potential relocation for up to 3 months per project phase.

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

Strong Project Participation and Oversight:

  • Propose and, as appropriate, implement innovations in the different stages of a project in coordination with PIs
  • Maintain and grow effective relationships with partner organizations (e.g. donors, implementing partners, and survey firms)
  • Oversee and lead the field research activities, including the implementation of the evaluation, according to the research design in coordination with partners
  • Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, running pilot exercise, refining study design and surveying instruments
  • Supervise data collection and data-entry and ensure the good quality of the data at each of these two stages
  • Assist with data cleaning and preliminary data analysis
  • Ensure that project activities are on schedule and prepare project update reports according to agreements with funders and partners


Budget Management:

  • Work with the J-PAL SEA Finance and Research Managers to keep detailed accounts of all project activities, including monitoring expenses in the field and summarizing current expenditures and forecasting expected expenditures


Reporting and Communication:

  • Facilitate, strengthen and maintain effective and efficient communication as the primary contact point with PIs
  • Provide periodic updates on project activities to PIs and subject experts
  • Participate in the planning and design of any outreach activities
  • Prepare project summary reports and dissemination materials
  • Produce project log and diaries


Mandatory Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, math, statistics or related technical fields
  • Minimum two years of prior work experience including managing multi-stakeholder initiatives in a collegiate or professional setting
  • Fluency and excellent communication skills in Bahasa and English
  • Proven management and organizational skills
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations
  • Flexibility, self-motivation, and ability to effectively work independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced, dynamic environment
  • High proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint
  • Willingness to be relocated to East Java for up to 3 months per project phase
  • Work authorization in Indonesia (either by being an Indonesian national or otherwise)


Preferred Qualifications and Experience

  • Familiarity with RCTs is strongly preferred
  • Strong quantitative skills, including knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred) or other data analysis software
  • Training in and a technical understanding of economics and econometrics
  • Attention to detail and advanced writing and presentation skills (clear, precise, creative) for communicating policy lessons from academic papers in ways that policymakers understand
  • Interest in pursuing a Master’s/Doctorate degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, or related fields preferred

Note on Work Authorization: You must have work authorization in Indonesia (either by being an Indonesian national or otherwise)

How to Apply

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The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a research center headquartered in the Economics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. J-PAL’s mission is to ensure that policy is informed by scientific evidence.

J-PAL Southeast Asia (SEA), based at the Institute for Economic and Social Research in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Indonesia (LPEM FEB UI) in Jakarta, is one of six independent regional offices hosted at leading universities around the world. J-PAL’s regional offices are at the center of our policy outreach and capacity building activities.

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