Senior Research Associate

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Job Description: Senior Research Associate | Laterite Rwanda

Position:                            Senior Research Associate

Education:                         Min. Masters in Economics, Public Policy, Public Health, Statistics or Engineering 

Experience:                       Minimum 5 years of relevant professional experience 

Language requirements:  English; Kinyarwanda a plus

Pre-requisites:                  Outstanding quantitative data analysis skills & experience managing research teams 

No of positions:                  2

Position Summary 

  • Do you want to make a difference in knowledge creation in Rwanda through development research?
  • Are you passionate about leading a technical team of researchers and working across various thematic levels such as agriculture, education, poverty, gender, etc.
  • Do you work best when collaborating with experts across disciplines and getting the best out of their expertise?
  • Do you love discovering new contexts and spending time in countries like Rwanda?

If yes, then this might be the role for you! Laterite's Senior Research Associate role based in Rwanda will provide you with the opportunity to hone your leadership and technical skills and make a difference to development research in Rwanda.

 About Laterite 

At Laterite, we transform the way development research is done. Our mission is to deploy the most innovative research methods and the latest academic thinking to design effective responses to development issues. We provide three types of services to clients: i) comprehensive data collection and data processing solutions; ii) research services, from the design of large-scale research projects through to analysis; and iii) strategic and technical research advice to public and private sector clients.

Laterite currently operates in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, India, and the Netherlands. Our offices bring together more than 40 full time local and international staff, who work with a team of over 400 enumerators.  In the last few years, we have successfully completed over 100 projects, working with internationally recognized universities, global think tanks, international NGOs, multilateral donor organizations and several Government ministries and agencies. 

 The Laterite Model

  1. We believe that impact is a long-term endeavor that requires being embedded in the local context: In order to achieve policy impact through research, it is important to establish a strong local presence. Delivering high-quality research and advice requires building a local team and data collection systems, understanding the context, establishing close working relationships with key players and understanding their constraints and motivations. We only conduct research where we have a local presence.
  2. We are rigorous and structured, but not rigid in our choice of analytic methods: Our mission is to deploy the most innovative research methods to design effective responses to development issues. We do not define ourselves by a particular method or approach (e.g. RCTs), but by our ability to embrace and deploy new technologies and research methodologies in our project work. We work in an anti-disciplinary way, by borrowing methods not only from econometrics but other fields as well.
  3. We innovate with every opportunityWith every new challenge and opportunity, we try to innovate, always with the objective of creating new and better ways of conducting research in low-resource country contexts. The Laterite Lab, our internal research development arm, catalyzes our research efforts and aims to equip our teams with new research methods and techniques. Our aim is not only to acquire and implement new methods but to create new methods.

You can find out more about Laterite on our website at www.laterite.com

Working with Laterite

Working at Laterite will provide you with the opportunity to build on your management and technical expertise to make a difference in priority development questions. At Laterite, you will have:

  • The opportunity to shape the strategic direction of a dynamic and growing research firm;
  • A chance to make a difference in relevant policy and development issues in a high-pace environment;
  • The opportunity to manage and focus on the professional development of a high-performing team of researchers and data collection specialists; and
  • The challenge to constantly upgrade your own technical capabilities, to ensure that as a company we are always on the cutting-edge of research with impact.

 Who We Are

Laterite is led by a team of entrepreneurial professionals who strive to transform the way development research is done. Our research team has degrees from some of the world’s top universities and vast experience delivering research projects in emerging markets. Our data collection team is recruited from the best local universities and are rigorously trained. We are proud to be a culturally diverse organization. We are also very proud of our office culture that is hard working, but relaxed, non-hierarchical, and fun!

 Position Description & Key Responsibilities

Laterite is hiring for 2 Senior Research Associates to be based in Kigali, Rwanda. Senior Research Associates at Laterite play a hands-on role in leading research projects, overseeing technical analysis and delivering research to clients. They are involved in all the steps of the research process, from designing research proposals to designing and piloting research instruments, designing sampling strategies, supervising data collection processes, conducting a quantitative and qualitative analysis, writing reports, managing communication with clients and presenting findings and recommendations to clients. 

Senior Research Associates are part of Laterite’s Management Team and have a voice in project selection, corporate strategy, and structuring Laterite’s research agenda. They have direct management responsibilities when it comes to the delivery of research projects. Senior Research Associates lead research teams on specific projects and are directly responsible for the management and technical oversight of these projects.  

At Laterite, we value the career progression of our staff. We expect our staff to progress within the company and grow professionally, from both a managerial and technical perspective. 

Key responsibilities include:

  • Manage specific research projects and research teams (from an operational and technical perspective)
  • Contribute to the development of research proposals and pro-actively propose new research ideas/opportunities
  • Oversee research design and development of sampling strategies/research instruments
  • Lead qualitative and quantitative analysis, using statistical software such as STATA, R, or Python, and train research team members to ensure continuous professional development of the team on these tools
  • Coordinate with Laterite Data & Quality Assurance teams to ensure the highest data quality standards
  • Manage project budgets, including tracking project expenses and adherence to the budget targets
  • Ensure that timelines and benchmarks are being met for our clients
  • Lead client communication for project portfolio
  • Develop a strong understanding of the Rwandan context
  • Provide support, as needed, to the senior management team – including accounting, HR, logistics and related tasks.

 Profile

Ideal candidates have outstanding technical and analytical skills. You are passionate about social and economic research in SubSaharan Africa. You can quickly grasp research concepts, and structure your technical approach to a problem. You have solid project management skills and can manage a portfolio of activities/projects involving varying levels of stakeholders. You have excellent interpersonal skills, are self-motivated and can flourish in a fast-paced environment, where timelines can often be unpredictable. You also have excellent written and oral communication skills (in English), and can effectively communicate internally and externally. 

Proficiency in STATA/R/Python is a must! You have a Master’s in Economics, Statistics, Public Policy, Engineering or related field, and at least 5 years of relevant professional experience. Lastly, you are willing to develop your professional skills, lead the growth of an organization dedicated to social and economic development, and thrive in a growing organization setting.

 Qualifications 

  1. Pre-requisite: excellent quantitative skills with a strong knowledge of econometrics, sampling techniques, and program evaluation
  2. At least 5 years of work experience in international development, public policy, economic and social research, or management consulting
  3. Masters degree in economics, public policy, international development, public health, or a related field
  4. Strong statistical analysis skills and knowledge of related tools/software (in particular R, Stata, Python, and MatLab)
  5. Strong oral and written communication skills in English
  6. Fluent in English (Kinyarwanda is a plus)
  7. Excellent management and organizational skills; must be detail-oriented, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, independent and motivated self-starter
  8. Experience living and working in different cultural settings; time spent in sub-Sahara Africa or other developing countries strongly preferred
  9. Must thrive in a growing organization setting, and be able to adapt to dynamic growth and change

Compensation 

 Competitive with similar roles in other social enterprises and research firms. Benefits include two round-trip flights back home per year (for international staff), generous leave, international health insurance, medical evacuation (for international staff), and individual/team bonuses.

Application Process

Please complete the following application https://form.myjotform.com/83531548943565, including a CV, cover letter and a short writing sample within the link. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis so we encourage you to apply ASAP.