Social Scientist/ Economist/ Researcher

Full time
Apply by 31 October 2021

Job description

About IDinsight

IDinsight is a mission-driven global advisory, data analytics, and research organization that helps global development leaders maximize their social impact. They tailor a wide range of data and evidence tools, including randomized evaluations and machine learning, to help decision-makers design effective programs and rigorously test what works to support communities. They work with governments, multilateral agencies, foundations, and innovative non-profit organizations in Asia and Africa. IDinsight work spans a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, education, health, governance, sanitation, financial inclusion, and other areas.

They have expertise in a variety of rigorous approaches and methodologies, which they tailor to each client depending on their needs and constraints. To achieve a positive social impact they:

  • Support clients’ use of data and evidence for routine and major decision-making.
  • Inform funding decisions – toward high-impact initiatives and away from less effective programs or approaches.
  • Create and share tools, knowledge, and ideas that expand the use of data and evidence for social good.

Their diverse, growing team of roughly 180 outstanding colleagues operate in nearly two dozen countries around the world. Learn more about their mission and values at

About the role

IDinsight Social Scientists (hereafter “Researcher”) are experts in quantitative and qualitative research tools who support a large portfolio of projects across diverse geographies, sectors, and methodologies. This position may allow for specialization along any or all of these dimensions.

The Researcher will be required to think critically about how to maximize methodological rigor given their clients’ time, operational, political and budget constraints. The ideal candidate should love having many different types of problems thrown at them, be able to quickly digest and understand the program and evidence objectives, and provide advice and guidance on how best to proceed.

The Researcher will be an important member of IDinsight’s Technical Team. The Technical Team is responsible for ensuring that the services they provide to clients are statistically and methodologically sound. 

Locations: Preference for Dakar, Senegal; Nairobi, Kenya; Lusaka, Zambia; or Rabat, Morocco. Willing to consider candidates in remote locations outside of these offices.

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Designing and implementing evaluations and other research activities for IDinsight clients in collaboration with project teams: The Researcher will play a leading role along with their client teams in designing and implementing studies for IDinsight clients, including descriptive studies, diagnostic/needs assessments, impact evaluations, process evaluations, monitoring systems, program design and advisory, and scale-up plans.
  • Ensuring technical rigor of project deliverables: The Researcher will support project teams in drafting and refining technical documents, which include evaluation designs, pre-analysis plans, sample size calculations, data collection instruments, technical reports, and other documents. They will also be a crucial resource to the country office where he or she is stationed by providing technical expertise on short-term issues that confront project teams.
  • Working with culturally and geographically diverse project teams: The Researcher will work with project teams that can be spread across the globe, from different nationalities and cultures.
  • Supporting the technical professional development of staff: The Researcher will prepare and lead training sessions on technical topics (such as statistical inference and Stata programming) on a regular basis. He or she will also provide individualized support to staff on their technical professional development.
  • Publishing IDinsight studies in academic and policy journals: The Researcher will have the opportunity to co-author publications in academic and policy journals to showcase results from IDinsight studies, based on IDinsight’s client needs and the Researcher’s interest.
  • Develop new projects and services: The Researcher will have the opportunity to develop new projects and client relationships in accordance with IDinsight’s values of client-focused and decision-focused research.

The role holder will be expected to fulfill these responsibilities and others with professionalism and on strict deadlines. He or she will also be expected to propose, design and implement new initiatives for supporting project teams and increasing the technical rigor of IDinsight’s work.

Career development

Professional development for Researchers is essential for IDinsight’s long-term impact. With support from IDinsight leadership, Researchers maintain self-directed professional development plans and are given ‘’stretch’’ opportunities designed to strengthen their professional skills. Real-time feedback and structured reviews are regularly provided to maximize each Researcher’s expertise. IDinsight’s entrepreneurial culture allows roles and career progression to be tailored to individual strengths, interests, and goals. Researchers have the opportunity to increase responsibilities, and high performers will have the opportunity to move up in the organization along technical, managerial, or client-facing paths.

Opportunities to protect a small portion of time for the candidate to work on their own research agenda may be possible.

Does this sound like you?

  • Deeply passionate about social, economic, and environmental policies and programs, and social Impact.
  • Advanced degree in economics, econometrics, statistics, political science, public policy, public health, sociology, anthropology or other applied fields. PhD preferred although candidates with a Master’s degree and a strong record of success doing similar work will be considered.
  • Outstanding quantitative and critical thinking skills.
  • Self-starter who will thrive in a start-up setting by taking ownership and initiative Intellectual curiosity and sense of humor.
  • 3+ years of relevant work experience preferred, including designing and managing evaluations, quantitative analysis, field research, and managerial experience in a developing country.
  • Significant experience with Stata or R preferred. Experience with additional programming languages a plus.
  • Prior work authorization in one of the position locations.
  • Deep contextual knowledge and experience in the regions where IDinsight works.
  • Candidates interested in the Senegal or Rabat office should be fluent in French.


IDInsight prefers for this position to be based in one of IDinsight’s offices (Dakar, Senegal; Nairobi, Kenya; Lusaka, Zambia; or Rabat, Morocco). However, they are willing to consider candidates in remote locations outside of these offices based on candidate needs and preferences. Preference will be given to those with pre-existing work authorization in these countries; however, IDInsight will seek work permits where possible for exceptional candidates.

Persons of all gender, race, sex, orientation, age, and identity are encouraged to apply.

About IDinsight

IDinsight helps leaders combat poverty worldwide by designing, deploying and promoting evidence-generating tools. It tailors the best methodologies to partner needs and constraints to fuse evidence with action. IDinsight serves governments, NGOs, foundations and social businesses across Africa and Asia in all major program areas including health, education, agriculture, livelihoods, finance, energy and governance.

IDinsight's diverse, growing team of over 150 outstanding colleagues operate in nearly two dozen countries around the world.

Learn more about the organization's impact at

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