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  • Research Manager at Precision Agriculture for Development

  • Posted on: 12 September, 2018 Deadline: Not Specified
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  • Precision Agriculture for Development, Inc. (PAD) seeks a Kenya Research and Operations Manager to support PAD research, operations, and scale-up activities in Kenya by overseeing multiple research projects in collaboration with one or more key partner organizations.

    PAD was established with a keen eye towards rigorous evaluation and constant experimentation. Each of our programs and partnerships have a strong complement of research, ranging from large- and small-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to A/B tests to pilot trials. Most of PAD's research projects are led by Shawn Cole (Harvard Business School) and Michael Kremer (Harvard University). PAD's research activities are also supported by affiliated researchers from other institutions and are overseen by PAD's Boston-based Senior Researcher.

    Kenyan and East African citizens are strongly encouraged to apply.

    East Africa Research Manager


    Job description

    Organization background

    PAD is a US-based non-profit organization with a mission to support smallholder farmers in developing countries by providing customized agricultural information and services that increase productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability. PAD is pioneering a model for agricultural extension: delivering farmers personalized agricultural advice via their mobile phones. PAD implements this model in collaboration with partner organizations and gathers evidence on its impact. PAD aims to improve the lives of 100 million farmers in developing countries with its services.

    The initial phase of PAD's work consisted of testing the impact of similar mobile phone-based agricultural extension services in multiple contexts across the developing world. That research found that while careful attention to design and context and careful evaluation was critical, mobile phone-based agricultural extension could increase adoption of appropriate farm management practices, yields, and incomes, with point estimates suggesting a benefit cost ratio of 10/1. Based on our initial evidence around a proof of concept technology, PAD began working with partners capable of scaling and further testing this approach, while simultaneously continuing to build its own research efforts.

    A key element of our approach is helping partners with wide reach such as governments, contract farming organizations, telecommunications firms, agribusiness, and NGOs to design, build, evaluate, and improve customized mobile phone-based agricultural advisory systems. We help partners structure and improve their service offerings through incorporation of the latest availability technologies and data as well as insights from behavioral economics and social learning theory. Taking a global approach, we bring experience on what has worked elsewhere to every engagement and continue to optimize to local contexts using A/B testing and rigorous evaluation.

    PAD currently has operations in four countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan), is advising a partner in Rwanda, and is working towards new endeavors in Ecuador and Uganda. These opportunities have allowed PAD to reach over 345,000 farmers by end-2017, both with our own services and research efforts as well as through partnerships.


    The East Africa Research Manager will be responsible for the following main tasks:

    • Work closely with PAD researchers and our partner organizations to identify, develop, and launch experiments on mobile phone-based interventions to support smallholder farmers;
    • Supervise from start to finish the implementation of research projects in collaboration with our partners. This includes developing proposals, implementing randomization, manage the implementation of research activities, and writing up research reports;
    • Ensure project adherence in the field to general research design, sample selection, data quality and security, and research protocols;
    • Directly supervise project staff (Research Associates, Field Staff, Interns), and lead training and onboarding of new/incoming project staff;
    • Maintain excellent relationship and communication with our partners to ensure the success of our projects;
    • Develop and maintain work plans and timelines across projects to ensure optimal allocation of resources and meeting key deadlines on time;
    • Support data cleaning and preliminary data analysis;
    • Keep the global and regional teams appraised of all developments on the projects in their portfolio, and serve as key link between partners, project staff, and PAD researchers;
    • Support the production of reports on research findings and the dissemination of results via presentations and reports to our partners;
    • Contribute to project financial management, including creation and monitoring of program budgets;


    Required Qualifications and Experience:

    • A master's degree in economics, agricultural economics, public policy, or a closely related field.
    • Strong technical understanding of economics, econometrics, and experimental research.
    • Experience conducting statistical or econometric analysis with large datasets
    • At least 2 years' experience working on experimental research, preferably in developing country settings.
    • High proficiency in using STATA and familiarity with R
    • Strong writing and oral communication skills in English, with attention to detail and advanced writing skills.
    • Ability to manage multiple projects. Strong self-motivation with skill in working under tight timelines.
    • Strong leadership and relationship-building skills with experience managing staff and working with partners.
    • Willingness to travel within the East Africa region.

    Desired Qualifications and Experience:

    • Experience working on randomized evaluations.
    • Experience working on agricultural programs
    • Previous work experience in developing countries.

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified? Go to Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) career website on www.linkedin.com to apply

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