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Social Scientist/Economist/Researcher at IDinsight

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Applications have closed
  • Salary: 00


Social scientist/Economist/Researcher

Locations: East Africa (Nairobi, Kenya); South Asia (Delhi or Jaipur*, India); Southeast Asia (Manila, Philippines and Jakarta, Indonesia*); Southern Africa (Lusaka, Zambia or Lilongwe, Malawi*); West & North Africa (Rabat, Morocco or Dakar, Senegal)
Exact title will depend on qualifications and role.

About IDinsight
We amplify social impact by partnering with leaders to develop tailored solutions. Our mission is to use data and evidence to help leaders combat poverty worldwide.

IDinsight is a mission-driven global advisory, data analytics, and research organization that helps global development leaders maximize their social impact. We 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. We work with governments, multilateral agencies, foundations, and innovative non-profit organizations in Asia and Africa. Our work spans a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, education, health, governance, sanitation, financial inclusion, and other areas.

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

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.
IDinsight is committed to non-discrimination in our recruitment, employment practices, and organizational culture, regardless of people’s age, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation, or any other status protected by applicable law.

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

About the Social Scientist 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 our 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 we provide to clients are statistically and methodologically sound. In collaboration with the Technical Team lead and personnel, the Researcher’s role will include, but not be limited to, the following activities:

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 our 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, M&E 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. The Researcher 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 Researcher 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.

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 field. 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 preferred
Deep contextual knowledge and experience in the regions where IDinsight works
Candidates interested in the Dakar or Rabat office should be fluent in French.
Professional 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.

Nuts & bolts
We prefer for this position to be based in one of IDinsight’s offices (Dakar, Senegal; Delhi, India; Lusaka, Zambia; Manila, Philippines; Nairobi, Kenya; or Rabat, Morocco) or with one of IDinsight’s satellite teams (Jaipur, India; Jakarta, Indonesia or Lilongwe, Malawi). However, we are willing to consider candidates in remote locations outside of these offices for exceptional candidates 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.

Start date
The start date of this position is flexible, with preference for candidates that can start immediately. We expect a two-year minimum commitment, with regular professional development conversations and potential for a long-term career at IDinsight.

Work authorization
IDinsight is able to sponsor employment visas for all nationalities in these locations; however, we will prioritize candidates who do not require IDinsight to sponsor work authorization in the aforementioned countries. Most candidates who are not currently located in the cities listed above will be expected to relocate to their office locations at the onset of their employment.

Compensation and benefits are commensurate with the qualifications and experiences IDinsight is hiring for, and competitive within the global development sector. We are especially proud of the people-focused benefits we offer including comprehensive international health insurance, including mental health coverage; paid vacation, sick, and parental leave; relocation benefits; a travel stipend; technology and work from home stipends; a professional development budget; and more.

Please note, as a non-profit, we are unable to provide compensation similar to leading private sector organizations.


Method Of Application

Please click the “Apply for this job online” button at the top right. The application asks various questions in order for us to get to know you, and requires a CV and cover letter.

Please ensure that your CV includes relevant professional and personal experience as well as details on academic qualifications. CVs can range from one to two pages. Please note, headshot photographs, parental details, birth dates, marital status and other personal information not relevant to the application do not need to be included in your CV. Additionally, we strongly encourage you to use your cover letter to highlight why you want to work for IDinsight specifically, and what has prepared you to succeed in the role you’re applying for. A customized cover letter is an important part of IDinsight’s recruiting process as it allows us to understand your motivations for the position, relevant skills, and clarity of writing.

More information, including details on IDinsight’s hiring process and frequently asked questions, can be found online at IDinsight Careers. Any questions should be directed to

IDinsight’s commitment to reducing power asymmetries
IDinsight is committed to reducing power asymmetries in the social sector. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion reflects our understanding of the need for the sector to abandon unhealthy practices of the past. We wish to be part of a new generation of international NGOs who are honest about this history and transparent about our role in the present. Our commitment is also aligned with the impact of our work.

We seek a workforce that is inclusive of a variety of perspectives that will help us refine and improve our methods and relationships, and strengthen the services we provide our clients and their communities or constituencies. The following commitments represent our vision for the IDinsight team:

IDinsight will have greater representation from the populations with whom we work and clients we serve.
IDinsight will have greater representation from the countries in which we work.
Across all countries in which we recruit, we will seek greater representation from historically excluded communities.
IDinsight will foster an inclusive work culture that empowers a diverse team to do their best work.
IDinsight is an equal opportunity employer and strives to create a diverse and supportive workplace.